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Applying for an Operator’s Licence

Applying for a new operator’s licence can be a frustrating process. Applicants often find they have to deal with many requests for further information from the Central Licensing Office. A badly handled application can even result in a Public Inquiry hearing with the Traffic Commissioner.

At Rotheras, our transport solicitors are experts in all operator licensing matters. We can manage the application process and respond to any requests for information on your behalf.

We understand that some applications are time sensitive. Our team can help you to apply for an urgent interim licence so you can start operating as soon as possible.

Common Application Problems

There are many reasons an application for a new licence can run into difficulties. These include:

Financial standing problems

You will have to show that you have enough money available to keep your vehicles in good repair. We can advise on the forms of financial evidence that will be accepted.

Failing to declare other licences or previous convictions

The Central Licensing Office will expect you to declare all operator licences you or anyone named in the application has been involved in, along with any relevant previous convictions. If you have failed to declare, they will want to know why.

“Fronting” concerns

The Traffic Commissioner may want assurances that any new application is not a “front” for a disqualified director. Concerns of this kind can often arise from a simple misunderstanding but, unless handled carefully, can lead to a Public Inquiry.

“Main occupation” concerns

If you are applying for a restricted PSV licence, you will have to show that you meet the “main occupation” requirement. We can advise you on this complex area of law and can help you to show that you meet this requirement.

Operating centre “environmental” objections

If you want to apply to use a site to operate goods vehicles you will need to advertise this in a local newspaper. We can help you to respond to any complaints from either the local authority or local residents.

What Type of Operator’s Licence do I need?

If can sometimes be difficult to know what type of operator’s licence you need, or whether you in fact need one at all.

Our transport solicitors can advise on whether you fall within an exemption from operator licensing, and if not, what type of licence you should apply for.

There are three types of Operator’s Licence:

  • Restricted Operator’s Licence
  • Standard Operator’s Licence
  • Standing International Operator’s Licence

The application requirements vary depending on whether you are applying for a goods vehicle or PSV licence, and the type of goods or passengers you are carrying.

Public Inquiry Hearings

If the Traffic Commissioner has concerns with your application, you may be called to a Public Inquiry hearing. A Public Inquiry is a type of public regulatory court hearing at which you will be questioned and your application scrutinized. Our advocates are extremely experienced in representing applicants at Public Inquiry hearings.

Public Inquiries – further information

For more information on applying for an Operator’s Licence contact our Road Transport Law Team on 0115 910 6210 or email

Contact our Transport Team

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Anton Balkitis
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This was my first experience using a solicitor, something I felt quite daunted about. Rotheras (Greg and Petra) put me at ease and were very helpful.

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Last year I experienced a car accident, as a front seat passenger. I put forward a personal injury claim with Rotheras. From start to finish, my claim has been dealt with efficiently and professionally, and I have always felt my best interests were considered. All communications were made via letter or email to inform me of all further updates. My claim has now come to an end and I am very happy with the overall outcome. I would recommend Rotheras for their service.

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Contact our Transport Team
Transport Team
Anton Balkitis

Anton Balkitis

Anton Balkitis leads the Transport Law team and is a nationally recognised Transport and Motoring Law specialist at Nottingham-based law firm Rotheras Solicitors.

Olivia Maginn

Olivia Maginn

Olivia Maginn is a transport and motoring law specialist at Nottingham based law firm Rotheras Solicitors.

Transport Solicitor

Chris Powell

Chris Powell is an associate solicitor at Rotheras, specialising in road transport law and motorist defence. He advises and represents haulage and PSV operator licence holders and drivers on all road transport regulatory matters.

Hardeep Chumber

Hardeep Chumber

Hardeep Chumber is a paralegal in Rotheras Motoring and Transport department and is based at our Lace Market office.

Elizabeth Shaw

Elizabeth Shaw

Elizabeth Shaw is a paralegal in Rotheras Transport department and is based at our Lace Market office.

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