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The Licensing Act 2003 has established a regime for the granting of personal licences to individuals to supply, or to authorise the supply of alcohol.
The personal licence is separate from the licence that authorises the premises to be used for the supply of alcohol. The licensing of individuals separately from the licensing of premises permits the movement of personal licence holders from one premises to another, allowing greater flexibility. It ends the previous outdated regime where publicans were tied by licences to the premises where they work. The Act also provides the police and licensing authorities with powers to deal with errant personal licence holders.
The personal licence relates only to the supply of alcohol under a premises licence. An individual will not require a personal licence for the other licensable activities, the provision of regulated entertainment or late night refreshment, or for the supply of alcohol under a club premises certificate or temporary event notice (although personal licence holders will be able to give 50 temporary event notices each year instead of the limit of 5 for non-personal licence holders).
A personal licence does not authorise its holder to supply alcohol anywhere, but only from establishments with a premises licence authorising the supply of alcohol in accordance with the premises licence. An individual may hold only one personal licence at any one time.
All premises licences authorising the supply of alcohol must have an identified personal licence holder known as the designated premises supervisor. This ensures there is always one specified individual who can be readily identified at a premises where a premises licence is in force.
This person will usually be responsible for the day-to-day running of the premises. More than one individual at the licensed premises may hold a personal licence, although it is not necessary for all staff to be licensed. But, all supplies of alcohol under a premises licence must be made by or under the authority of a personal licence holder.
A personal licence is issued for ten years in the first instance and can be renewed on application for a further ten years if the licence holder has not been convicted of any relevant or foreign offence. 

The Government is aiming to remove the requirement for personal licence holders to renew their licence every 10 years through the Deregulation Bill, which is currently before Parliament. The first personal licences were granted in February 2005. However, the Bill is unlikely to receive Royal Assent before the tenth anniversary of the date on which the first personal licences were granted.


In view of the pending change in the Law the Government have introduced a simplified renewal process for those personal licence holders whose licences may fall due for renewal before the provisions of the Deregulation Bill take effect.


If you fall under this category your application for renewal will need to be submitted no earlier than three months before it is due to expire, and no later than one month before it is due to expire.


You will not have to enclose an application fee, photographs, a criminal convictions certificate, criminal record certificate or the results of a subject access search of the Police National Computer. You will have to provide your original licence with your application or state why it is not practicable for you to do so.


The simplified process requires us to then acknowledge receipt of the application and we will then return your original licence to you.


The information contained on this page will be updated once the Law has been changed.

Applicants for personal licences will need to obtain an accredited qualification first. The aim of the qualification is to ensure that licence holders are aware of licensing law and the wider social responsibilities attached to the sale of alcohol. Personal licence qualification providers are accredited by the Secretary of State. (see links below for a list of providers)
Applicants are also required to apply for a basic criminal record check.
Basic criminal record checks can be obtained from Disclosure Scotland for further details call their helpline number 0870 609 6006, or their website (see link below).

How to access this service


You can download and complete the forms from the links below, these will then need to be posted to the address specified.
You may wish to download the comprehensive guidance notes below for further information on the application process.


The fee for a personal licence application is £37.00, with the same fee on each renewal, at ten yearly intervals.

Links/ Forms

Premises Licence
PDF Document: Guidance notes on how to apply for a Personal Licence

N.B. When applying for a personal licence both of the following two documents must be completed:


PDF Document: Personal Licence Application Form (91 KB) 
PDF Document: Disclosure of convictions and declaration (52KB)
PDF Document: External Link:
External Link: Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) - Personal Licence information


The set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's), below, are provided by the DCMS website.
Why do I need to apply for a personal licence?

What is the application process for a personal licence?

How do I obtain the necessary licensing qualification for a personal licence?

How long will a personal licence last?

Do I have to have to hold a personal licence to work in a pub?

Does there always have to be a personal licence holder/DPS on the premises in order to authorise a sale?

Should a licensee employ more than one personal licence holder?

How much will I have to pay for a personal licence?

How do I qualify for a personal licence?

What will a personal licence look like?

What is the meaning of the term 'relevant offence'?

How do 'foreign offences' differ from relevant offences?

How will licensing authorities check relevant and foreign offence records?

What if I am convicted of a relevant offence while holding a personal licence?

What happens if I am convicted for a relevant offence, but I failed to produce my licence to the court (or notify them of its existence)?

What happens if I am convicted of a foreign offence?
What happens if I am convicted of a relevant or foreign offence during the application period for the grant or renewal of a personal licence?




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