how to apply for an operators license

If you would like help with your application please contact us.

If not follow the guidance below and follow the links.

Useful link:

Before you start

To support your application, you need to send evidence that proves you have enough money to run your business. All finance documents must be in the name of the business applying for the licence.

If you’re applying for a heavy goods vehicle (HGV) operator licence

You need to advertise your application in a local newspaper in the traffic area your business operates in. You’ll need to upload a copy of your advert when you apply.

Your application will be refused if you do not advertise your application correctly.

You’ll need to hold a goods vehicle operator’s licence for each traffic area where you have an operating centre. The traffic areas are:

  • east of England
  • north-east of England
  • north-west of England
  • west of England
  • London and the south-east of England
  • West Midlands
  • Scotland
  • Wales

To find out more about traffic areas and how to make sure you have the right licence, email the Office of the Traffic Commissioner:

Apply for a vehicle operator license

You’ll need:

  • a debit or credit card
  • your username and password if you’ve used the service before

You can register in the service if you’ve not used it before.

What you need to know

After you apply online, you’ll usually get a decision within 7 weeks. It can take longer - for example, if you do not provide all requested supporting documents when you apply.

help with your application

If you live in England, Scotland or Wales, contact the DVSA to get help with your application.

DVSA customer service centre
Telephone: 0300 123 9000
Monday to Friday, 7:30am to 6pm
Find out about call charges

If you live in Northern Ireland, contact the Transport Regulation Unit to get help with your application.

Transport Regulation Unit
Telephone: 0300 200 7831
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
Find out about call charges

frequently asked questions

How do I get an operator's license?

To qualify for an Operator's Licence, whether it is Standard or Restricted Licence, you must satisfy a traffic commissioner that you:

  1. Are of good repute and fit to hold a licence.
  2. Are of appropriate financial standing eg: you have enough money to run your business.

How long does it take to get a Operators licence?

Timeframes. A typical application can take up to 16 weeks to process, depending on the circumstances.

How do I get an operators licence UK?

You can apply by post if you cannot use the online service. If you live in England, Scotland or Wales, contact the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency ( DVSA ) to request a form. Contact the Transport Regulation Unit if you live in Northern Ireland. Send your completed form to the Office of the Traffic Commissioner.

Do you need a transport manager for a Operators licence?

A transport manager is necessary if you hold a Standard National or Standard International Operator's Licence. This is because there is a requirement to show professional competence for both types of licence.

Can I use someone else's operators licence?

other businesses - even if there is a margin. There are many cases where operators lend their licence or licence discs, even though they know it isn't legal

Do you need an operators licence for 7.5 ton lorry?

Do I need an operator's licence to hire a 7.5-tonne lorry? Yes, you'll need an Operator's licence, or O-licence, if your business carries goods over 3.5-tonnes (3,500 Kgs) gross plated weighted or unladen weight of more than 1.52-tonnes (1525 Kgs) in a lorry, van or any other vehicle.

What happens if you dont have an operators licence?

If you fail to hold an operator's licence and use a goods vehicle on a road for the carriage of goods for hire and reward, or in connection with a trade or business, then not only are you guilty of an offence of using a vehicle without the relevant operator's licence, which is subject to a court fine, but you also run the risk of having the vehicle and it’s contents seized.

Is Transport Manager CPC hard?

How difficult is Transport Manager CPC? The Transport Manager CPC is a Level 3 qualification, so equivalent to an A-Level.

Get in touch