How to apply for an Operator Licence

Save time and get your vehicles on the road sooner by letting us take care of your Operator Licence application.

Our experience with processing Operator Licence applications allows you to get on with the day-to-day running of your business, with the peace of mind that your application process is being taken care of quickly and professionally.

As we are well known in the Traffic Office, through our daily contact with the DVSA and our quality licence applications, the process can be completed up to 50% quicker—meaning your vehicles can be on the road much sooner than if you were to complete the application process yourself.

We provide:

How to apply

For Operator Licence applications, simply complete our online Application Form and we will be in touch.

When to apply

You should be planning to apply for your Operator Licence at least nine weeks before the date you need to operate. This allows time for the necessary checks to be made by VOSA. In simple cases, a licence is usually issued within nine weeks.

Applying for an Interim Operator Licence for operation within nine weeks

If you need to operate within nine weeks, you should ask for an Interim Operator Licence to be considered as part of your application.

There is no statutory time limit or expiry date for an interim licence. It will expire when the full licence is granted or if the application for a full licence is either withdrawn or refused. However, a traffic commissioner may only consider issuing you with an interim licence if you have sent in a complete application that meets all the requirements within the objection date period.

Once the interim licence is granted you will be sent a vehicle identity disc that you should display on the windscreen of the relevant vehicle. Please be aware that being issued with an interim licence does not guarantee that you will get a full licence.

Operator Licence Applications and Decisions

The traffic commissioner will also publish details of your Operator Licence application in Applications and Decisions sections. This is a publication that provides notification of details of applications for new operators’ licences and variations to existing licences.

Applications and Decisions is sent to various organisations, including local authorities, the police and industry associations, all of which have a statutory right to object to your application. The publication is also available on the VOSA website.

Your licence authorises you to use a maximum number of motor vehicles and trailers. The number of vehicles you apply for should include the number of vehicles you intend to use straight away as well as extra motor vehicles to cover increases in business or emergencies such as breakdowns (rentals).

This is particularly important if you use only a few motor vehicles. The authorisation for these extra vehicles is called ‘the margin’.

Advertising your application

Your Operator Licence application must be advertised in a local newspaper that circulates locally to your proposed operating centre. An operating centre is the place where you normally park your vehicles when they are not in use, (where you keep your vehicles over night). If your application is for several operating centres, you may have to advertise in several different newspapers to make sure you cover all the areas.

The reason for advertising your application is that it gives anyone who owns or occupies a building or land in the area surrounding your proposed operating centre a chance to raise any concerns or make a representation against your application. I.e. noise by their home, etc.

Advertisement and timings need to be correct

The advertisement placed must be big enough to be easily read and must appear at least once within the period of 21 days before to 21 days after you make your application. It must contain the exact wording as shown in the application form. We always recommend to place your advert in the local paper at the same time the application is submitted; this way you are within the 21 days stated.

Please note when advertising your application:

As stated previously, if your application is not advertised correctly then your application cannot be considered. You should also check the following:

  • The numbers of vehicles and trailers applied for (at each operating centre applied for) are the same as those shown in the advertisement for the centre.
  • The address of the operating centre is correct in the newspaper advertisement and is the same as the one given in the application.
  • You have included the correct postcode for both the correspondence address and the operating centre(s) in the advertisement.
  • The address for correspondence given in the advertisement is correct.
  • Check the proof from the paper before it goes in. Often the newspaper can make a mistake and you will note notice this until it is in the paper and then you have to start over again.

Operator Licence Application Costs

Leafe’s Logistics Application Assistance Fee

This is our fixed-cost fee for our complete service to assist you with your application, giving you peace of mind and enabling you to focus on your business while we deal with the paperwork.

DVSA Application Fee

This is the fee payable to DVSA to process your Operator Licence application.

DVSA Interim Licence Fee (optional)

An Interim Licence allows you to start operating your business in the while your FULL Operator Licence application is underway.

DVSA Granting Fee

If the Traffic Commissioners approve your application, you have to pay this fee before DVSA will grant the FULL Operator Licence to you.

Public Notice Fee in a local newspaper

£250 (approx)
Public notice is required in a local newspaper that meets the required criteria, costs can vary but can be up to £250. We have the draft forms which we complete for you to send to the paper for a quote.