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 It ends the previous outdated regime where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
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
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
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
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.
N.B. When applying for a personal licence both of the following two documents must
The set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's), below, are
provided by the DCMS
Legal & Public Health Protection
Telephone: (01902) 696804