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Personal licence

A personal licence is needed to authorise the sale of alcohol in a licensed premises. 

To hold a personal licence you must:

  • hold the appropriate accredited licensing qualification
  • be entitled to work in the UK
  • provide a satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service check
  • be 18 years or older

How do I apply for a licence?


You must attach the specified documents to the application form:

  • two passport sized photographs
  • the fee of £37, which is to be made at the end of the application form
  • evidence of your licensing qualification
  • evidence of your entitlement to work in the UK
  • one of the following:
    • a criminal conviction certificate issued under S.1123 of the Police Act 1997
    • a criminal record certificate issued under the S.113A of the Police Act 1997
    • the results of a subject access search under the Data Protection Act 1998 of the Polcie National Computer by the National Identification Service
  • the certificate or search result must have been issued no more than one month before you make your application to us

You can request a copy of your criminal record on the Gov.UK website. Alternatively, you can request a copy from your local police station.

Passport photo requirements

The passport photos must be on photographic paper and they must have a statement on the reverse which say it is a true likeness to you, which must be made by:

  • the Chief Executive of the licensing jutsices for the relevant licensing authority
  • a solicitor or notary
  • a person of standing in the community
  • an individual with a professional qualification

Further details regarding the passport photograph requirements can be found on the Gov.UK website.

Apply for a licence

How long are they valid for?

Licences are valid indefinitely. It is important to remember that you are required to notify us in writing if any of your details change, for example change of name or address and any relevant convictions. You are also required to return your existing licence or explain why you are unable to do so. We will then contact you to collect an administration fee.

Please note: you can only hold one personal licence at any one time, but this licence will be valid anywhere in England and Wales.

Can the police object to my application?

The police can give an objection notice if:

  • you have been convicted of a relevant offence (or a foreign office which the Chief of Police considers comparable to a relevant office)
  • the Chief of Police is satisfied that granting your application would undermine the crime prevention objective

If the police do object your application they will send an objection notice to us which must be made within 14 days after the police receive details of your criminal record from us. We will then hold a hearing to consider the objection notice and inform you of the details of this hearing. At the hearing we must, by law, refuse the application if we believe it is necessary to promote the crime prevention objective. If your application is refused, we will give you our reasons for doing so.

What is a 'relevant offence' or 'foreign offence'?

Relevant offences are listed in Schedule 4 to the Licensing Act 2003 and foreign offences are offences under the law of any place outside of England and Wales. An offence committed in Scotland is a foreign offence, for example.

You must tell us about any relevant or foreign offences of which you are convicted from the time you make your application until it has been dealt with by us. There is no need to disclose convictions which are spent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

Can I appeal?

If we do refuse your application following a hearing, you do have the right to appeal against that decision to the Magistrates Court. However, if we grant your application following a hearing, the police also have the right to appeal against that decision.

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