Operator Licence Application Process

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How to apply

For Operator’s License applications you will need to complete a form called “GV79” application form. You can read the associated GV79 (G) guidance notes to help you with the application. I would strongly recommend that you have a Transport Consultant carry out the application process for you. If you make any mistake DVSA will ask you to correct the mistakes and this will delay your licence application.

When to apply

You should be thinking of putting in your application for a 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 licence for operation within nine weeks

If you need to operate within nine weeks, you should ask for an interim licence to be considered as part of your application by completing the form INT1 with your GV79 form. (Please note that you will not be able to apply for an interim licence unless your application is complete). The INT1 form will cost extra.

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 It will expire when the full licence is granted or if the application for a full licence is either withdrawn or refused.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 charged a fee. When you have paid the fee, 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's License Applications and Decisions

The traffic commissioner will also publish details of your 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’.

How long does your O Licence last?

Your licence is valid for life unless you: operate outside your licence agreement and a traffic commissioner takes regulatory action; surrender it; fail to pay the required fees to keep the licence going after five years; or you do not follow the rules of what VOSA state to keep safe and legal.

Advertising your application

You must advertise your licence application 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.

You maybe wondering why you need to advertise your operating center in the paper. Advertising your application 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 you place 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. I always say in this area put your advert in the local paper and send of with your GV79 application form so you are sending all information off at the same time. This way you are within the 21 days stated.

Please note when advertising your application

As stated previously, If you do not advertise your application correctly your application cannot be considered. You should also check the following:

  • The numbers of vehicles and trailers applied for on the GV79 form (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 on the GV79 form.
  • 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.
Leafe’s Logistics would like you to be fully informed of costs of applying for an operator licence from other parties before you get started:
DVSA Application Fee

This is the fee payable to DVSA to process your application and input your Application and the documents provided onto their licence system.

DVSA Interim Fee

An interim licence (if granted) allows you to start operating your business in the meantime while your FULL application is underway, this Interim licence is optional and is guaranteed before the full licence grant.

Public Notice Fee in the Newspaper

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 in which we fill out for you to send to the paper for a quote.

£250 (approx)
DVSA Granting Fee

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

Leafe’s Logistics Application Assistance Fee

This is the fee for our service to assist you with your application.

Leafe’s Logistics Interim Fee

Payable for interim applications only, we do not charge our customers, the only fee payable is direct to DVSA for the interim licence which is as above: £68

No charge!

Overview of an Operator’s Licence

You need a goods vehicle operator’s licence if your business uses goods vehicles above a certain weight.

You will require the need for an O licence to carry goods in a lorry, van or other vehicle with either the following:

• a gross plated weight (which is the maximum weight that the vehicle can have at any one time) of over 3,500 kg
• an unladen weight of more than 1,525 kg (where there is no plated weight on that vehicle)

There are three different types of O licence – what you will need is dependent on the work you do:

• Restricted – Carriage of your own goods
• Standard – Carriage of your own goods and other peoples in the UK only
• Standard International – Carriage of your own goods and other peoples in the UK and in Europe

Potential Operator Licence holders also need to ensure that any drivers they use or employ have the correct licence for that vehicle type and training. All vehicles that you use should be correctly taxed and kept safe and in good condition at all times to ensure you adhere to the undertakings of the O Licence set by the Traffic Commissioners and the DVSA.

Operator’s Licence Application Form