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Environment / Guides

Want to start your logistic business? Here’s how you can get your operator’s licence

Operator's licence

Getting a fleet operator’s licence

Even if you know the various driving licence categories in the UK, you would’ve learned about the operator’s licence. Here’s what you need to know on getting a fleet operator’s licence, whether you own an HGV business or trying to fulfil your logistic needs after getting generous support from your commercial partner (regardless of your business ownership).

The aim of holding the goods vehicle operator’s licence is a promise of ensuring the safe and optimised use of HGVs and becoming as protective of the environment at your workspace.

Fill the below checklist to figure out if you need the operator’s licence.

  • You are using a vehicle over 3.5 tonnes, i.e., 3500kg of combined weight, to carry goods associated with a trade or a business.
  • Goods carriage is for hire or reward.

Licence applied by the person, organisation or partnership should be a vehicle user. Consult the below list to find out if you are a qualified user before applying for the operator’s licence.

  • You are a driver and have full ownership of the vehicle.
  • The vehicle is under a legal agreement for hiring, purchasing or loan.
  • Your driver is hired by you or operating as an agent.

What are the types of operator’s licences?

Let’s explore the spectrum of an operator’s licence type suitable for your exact purpose.

1. Standard International Licence

The standard international licence will allow you to carry your own and people’s goods for hire or as a reward in the UK and on international journeys. You and your partner/manager must satisfy the requirements with a professional reputation & competence.

2. Standard National Licence

The standard national licence will allow you to carry your own and other people’s goods for hire or reward, in the UK and on your account overseas. You and your partner/manager must comply with the requirements with a professional reputation & competence.

3. Restricted Licence

This restricted licence will allow you to carry your own and your customer’s goods on your accountability within the United Kingdom and the European Union. Although with getting such licence, the requirements carried out to be satisfied by you and your manager will be tolerated. So, suppose you are a scaffolder or a builder, and if you want to grow your business within the UK and the EU, you can apply for the restricted licence.

Requirements to get the operator’s licence

To claim an operator’s licence, you must hold a good reputation and appropriate financial backbone for your business and ensure your vehicles are well maintained with an efficient staff that obey all the rules. After securing the formal etiquettes, the following technical requirements must be checked.

  1. The applicant must be a settled citizen in Great Britain. Meaning that you can present your core business documents and paperwork such as personnel, driving and vehicle maintenance bills and records if asked. (A PO box or a third party address cannot be used as your correspondence on a standard (national/international) licence.
  2. The applicant must have a professionally competent manager to handle the business.
  3. The applicant will be the licence holder, so they must access their vehicle. Meaning that the holder is an owner of at least one vehicle or other organisation for hire when needed.

Remember: Suppose the licence is granted for seasonal work; in such cases, there’s no need to own or hire a vehicle all the time.

How to apply for an operator’s licence?

To get an operator’s licence, you need to fill out the GV79 form available for the applicant at the VOSA Contact Center – 0300 123 9000. You can get it on the UK’s official website being a goods vehicle operator.

After the form filling is done, the applicant must send the form with an associated fee to the Traffic Area, in which you will have an operating centre.

The GV79 application form will also come with a blank advertisement sheet to fill it by yourself. It’s coming handier when you get to pick the size of your advertisement. While you are also applying to have an operating centre, you will advertise your application in your local newspaper circulating in your decision area.

The publishing period of your advertisement will be 21 days prior and 21 days later you apply. The page along with your advertising published should be sent to the traffic commissioner with a date of publishing and the name of that newspaper.

It’s best to apply for the operator’s licence at least 8-9 weeks before the preferred date when you need the licence. This will allow the traffic commissioner to enquire about your documents if required. If everything goes fluid, your licence will be issued within nine weeks.

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