Applying for a Personal Licence for Alcohol Sales


What Is A Personal Licence?

A personal licence entitles the licence holder to supply or authorise the supply of alcohol in accordance with a premises licence. The local Licensing Authority where the applicant lives ordinarily grants it. It last for 10 years and then may be renewed. Grant of such a licence is a mandatory requirement except in respect of restricted classes of individuals prescribed by legislation.

Do I Qualify For A Personal Licence?

Eligibility for a personal licence presupposes that:

  • You are at least 18 years old;

  • You possess a an accredited licensing qualification;

  • You have not forfeited a licence within the preceding 5 years to the date of the application;

  • You do not have any unspent convictions for a relevant offence or a comparable foreign offence.

Accredited licensing qualifications are those accredited from time to time by the Secretary of State for the Home Department. For access to the Home Office list of accredited personal licence qualifications and providers, click here .

Unspent convictions’ for a ‘relevant offence’ means convictions that are not spent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 in respect of the many offences prescribed by Schedule 4 of the Licensing Act 2003. In order to access a free copy of Schedule 4 click here. In order to access a free copy of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 click here.

An application for a personal licence must be rejected if the applicant in less than 18 years old, he does not possess an accredited licensing qualification, or he has forfeited a licence within the preceding 5 years. However, with respect to unspent convictions for offences within the United Kingdom, or comparable foreign offences, the law provides for a notice to be provided to the local Chief Constable who may then object to the grant of the licence.


The Practicalities Of Making The Application


The relevant provisions relating to forms that should be used, and information and documents that must be supplied, are contained in the Licensing Act 2003 (Personal Licences) Regulations 2005 / 41. If you would like to access this legislation for free, click here.

The application should be made using a prescribed form and contain prescribed information (see schedule 1 of the regulations for the prescribed form). A fee is payable to the licensing authority upon application (currently £37).

The application should be accompanied by the following documents:

  • Two photographs of the applicant, taken against a light background so that the applicant’s features are distinguishable and contrast against the background, and which are 45 mm by 35 mm. The applicant’s full face must be uncovered and without sunglasses and, unless the applicant wears a head covering due to his religious beliefs, without a head covering. The photographs should be on photographic paper, and one of which is endorsed with a statement verifying the likeness of the photograph to the applicant by a solicitor, notary, a person of standing in the community or any individual with a professional qualification.

  • Either a criminal conviction certificate issued under section 112 of the Police Act 1997, or a criminal record certificate issued under section 113A of the Police Act 1997, or the results of a subject access search under the Data Protection Act 1998(b) of the Police National Computer by the National Identification Service, and in any case such certificate or search results shall be issued no earlier than one calendar month before the giving of the application to the relevant licensing authority, and

  • A declaration by the applicant, in the form set out in Schedule 3, that either he has not been convicted of a relevant offence or a foreign offence or that he has been convicted of a relevant offence or a foreign offence accompanied by details of the nature and date of the conviction and any sentence imposed on him in respect of it.

  • The licensing qualification of the applicant.

Police Objections To Grant Of A Personal Licence

For information regarding the circumstances in which the police may object to the grant of a personal licence, please click here.

If you would like assistance with issues discussed in this article, please contact the licensing team. Call us in strict confidence and without obligation to see how we can assist you, on: 08454 903 567