Personal licence application for the sale of alcohol

All sales of alcohol must be made by, or under the authority of, a personal licence holder.

Not everyone who makes a sale has to hold a personal licence but a personal licence holder must authorise the sale. This does not apply to sales that take place at premises which hold a club premises licence, or premises operating under a temporary event notice (TEN).

Applications for a personal licence must be made to the Council in whose district the applicant lives.

More than one personal licence holder can work at the same premises.

Applicants may also choose to become a personal licence holder if they wish to apply for more than five TENs a year (but otherwise would not require one).

If the application for a premises licence includes consent to supply or sell alcohol (but not a club premises licence), a designated premises supervisor (DPS) must be appointed. This is the person(s) who will be the first point of contact with the Council or responsible authorities should they have concerns regarding the operation of the premises.

You cannot become a DPS unless you are a personal licence holder.

Qualifying clubs do not need a DPS to sell alcohol to members and guests but this exemption does not apply if the premises are hired out for functions e.g. wedding receptions.

A full premises licence is required for those activities (unless a small number of events are held, which can be authorised under a TEN) and therefore must appoint a DPS.

Requirements for a new application for a personal licence

1) applicants must be over 18, hold a licensing qualification that has been accredited by the Secretary of State (the current list of accredited qualifications is available on the following web page The Register of Regulated Qualifications). This ensures that licence holders are aware of licensing law and the wider social responsibilities attached to the sale of alcohol.

2) basic criminal conviction certificate, which can be obtained from Disclosure & Barring Service (Tel: 0300 020 0190 or website:- the date of issue shall be no earlier than one calendar month before the giving of the application to the relevant authority.

3) fee of £37.00

4) two photographs which are:

  • taken against a light background so that the applicant's features are distinguishable and contrast against the background,
  • 45 millimetres by 35 millimetres,
  • full face uncovered and without sunglasses and, unless the applicant wears a head covering due to his religious beliefs, without a head covering
  • on photographic paper, and
  • endorsed by either
    - a solicitor or notary,
    - a person of standing in the community, such as a bank or building society official,
    - a police officer, a civil servant or a minister of religion or,
    - an individual with a professional qualification.

5) Document(s) which demonstrates entitlement to work in the UK. Refer to application guidance for more information.

If there are relevant offences, the police can make a representation against the application on crime prevention grounds. If the police make a representation there will be a hearing of the representation.

If no objections are received from the police, the licence will be issued.

Our normal processing time is 14 days, however due to a high demand on the service, application processing times are currently being affected. We are working hard to return to normal processing times and we appreciate your patience and understanding at this time.

Personal licences are now granted indefinitely with no expiry date. Equally, if you hold an existing personal licence - this remains valid indefinitely and the expiry date should be disregarded. Should you wish to update your licence to remove the expiry date a fee will be charged.

You must inform the licensing department of any change to your name or address. A person commits an offence if they fail, without reasonable excuse, to comply with this. The original personal licence must be returned to the licensing department along with the prescribed fee of £10.50, with a covering letter informing us of your new name or address details. An amended licence will be sent to you.

How to apply

You can now download an application form from here

What if my licence is lost or stolen?

You must inform the licensing department as soon as possible.

A fee of £10.50 is required for the issuing of a replacement.

For further information, please contact us: 

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Last updated: 27 January 2022 16:33:03