Overview of Operator Licensing

Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency Inspector roadside

Overview of Operator Licensing and who needs a goods vehicle Operator’s Licence

This Blog is to cover the overview of Operator Licensing. The potential Operator will need a goods vehicle operator’s licence if they use a goods vehicle of over 3.5 tonnes gross plated weight or (where there is no plated weight) an unladen weight of more than 1,525kg to transport goods for hire or reward or in connection with a trade or business.

For a vehicle and trailer combination, generally the operator will need a goods vehicle operator’s licence if the gross plated weights or unladen weights of the vehicle and trailer combined exceed the limits stated above for a single vehicle.

Exemptions from goods vehicle Operator Licensing

Small trailer exemption
A trailer with an unladen weight of less than 1,020kg need not be taken into account in the weight calculation for a vehicle pulling a trailer. It therefore can be ignored for the purposes of adding up total gross weights or unladen weights to determine whether they are above the threshold for requiring an operator’s licence.

However, this exemption does not apply if the operator is carrying other people’s goods for hire or reward. In such circumstances, the weight calculation must include any trailer attached (irrespective of the trailer’s weight). In this case, if the vehicle and trailer combination exceeds 3.5 tonnes gross plated weight or (where there is no plated weight) an unladen weight of more than 1,525 kg), a standard licence is required.

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