Personal licence

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, so long as a Personal Licence Holder has authorised the sale. This does not apply to alcohol sold under a Temporary Event Notice or a Club Premises Certificate

To get a Personal Licence you must:

  • be over 18
  • possess an approved licensing qualification
  • pay the required of £37.00
  • Not have forfeited a personal licence within the last 5 years
  • Not have been convicted of a relevant or foreign offence

A person who holds a Personal Licence is needed to supervise the sale of alcohol in any premises. You can apply for a Personal Licence to the Council for the area in which you live. This will then remain with the Council responsible for continuing to licence you, even if you move away from the area.

There are various duties on holders of a Personal Licence, and a Court can forfeit their licence if they are convicted of any relevant offences (relevant offences as listed in the Licensing Act).

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 Temporary Event Notice’s in a year (but otherwise would not require one).

How do I apply?

You need to complete the application form and return this to the Licensing Department with the relevant documentation as follows:

  • Two photographs 
  • Evidence of your Licensing Qualification
  • The correct fee of £37.00 
  • Disclosure and Barring Service Certificate (Criminal Record Check) 
  • A completed Disclosure of Convictions Form, which includes details of any relevant or foreign offence

Fill in our request a licensing application form and select a personal licence form required to complete your application.

The Licensing Qualification

Applicants must hold a Licensing Qualification that has been accredited by the Secretary of State. Holding the qualification ensures that licence holders are aware of licensing law and the wider social responsibilities attached to the sale of alcohol.

Criminal Record Check

You must enclose with your application a 'basic' Criminal Record Check (external link). This must be no more than 28 days old at the time of submission of your application.

Photograph Requirements

You must enclose two(2) photographs with your licence which satisfy the following criteria:

  • Taken against a light background so that the applicant's features are distinguishable and contrast against the background
  • 45 mm by 35 mm
  • 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


You will need to get one of your two photographs signed.

Your countersignatory should write the following on the back of one photo:

'I hereby certify that this is a true likeness of (Full name of person in photograph)'

They must add their signature, the position they hold and the date under the statement.

Who can countersign your photographs?

The counter signatory must hold a professional qualification, they may not be a spouse or relative.

  • Accountant
  • Airline Pilot
  • Articled Clerk of a Limited Company Assurance Agent of Recognised Company Bank/Building Society Official
  • Barrister
  • Chairman/Director of Limited Company
  • Chiropodist
  • Christian Science Practitioner Commissioner of Oaths Councillor: Local or County Civil Servant (permanent) Dentist
  • Director, Manager or personnel officer of a VAT registered company
  • Engineer (with professional Qualifications) Fire Service Official
  • Funeral Director
  • Insurance agent (full time) of a recognised Company
  • Journalist
  • Justice of the Peace
  • Legal Secretary (fellow or associate member of the Institute of legal secretaries and PA’s)
  • Licensee of a public house
  • Local Government Officer
  • Manager/Personnel Officer (of Limited Company)
  • Member, associate or fellow of a professional body
  • Member of Parliament
  • Merchant  Navy Officer
  • Minister of a recognised religion (including Christian Science)
  • Nurse {RGN or RMN)
  • Officer of the armed services
  • Optician
  • Paralegal (certified paralegal, qualified paralegal or associate member of the Institute of Paralegals)
  • Person with Honours (e.g. OBE MBE etc)
  • pharmacist
  • Photographer (Professional)
  • Police Officer
  • Post Office Official
  • President/Secretary of a recognised organisation Salvation Army Officer
  • Social Worker Solicitor Surveyor
  • Teacher, Lecturer Trade Union Officer
  • Travel Agent (Qualified)
  • Valuers and auctioneers (fellow and associate members of the incorporated society)
  • Warrant officers and Chief Petty Officers

Or persons of similar standing to the above, working or retired, are acceptable as counter-signatories.

Who Can Make Representations Against The Application?

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

What Happens If I Change My Address?

You must inform the Licensing Department of any change to your name or address. If you fail to do this (without reasonable excuse) you commit a criminal offence and may be liable to prosecution.

To change your address the original Personal Licence must be returned to the Licensing Department along with the £10.50 fee and the notification of change of name and address application form. Request the 'Notify us of a change of Name and Address' via our Request a licensing application formAn amended Licence will then be sent to you in the post. 

My Personal Licence Has Been Lost or Stolen

You need to inform the Licensing Department as a matter of urgency. There is a £10.50 fee for issuing a replacement licence.

Who can Object To My Application?

The Police can object to your application if you have been convicted of a relevant or foreign offence and they believe that by granting you a Personal Licence it would undermine the Crime and Disorder licensing objective. If the Police raise such objections you will be invited to attend a hearing at which the application will be considered by the Council’s Licensing Act Panel. During the hearing you will have the opportunity to make representations in support of your application.

The offences that are listed in Schedule Four to The Licensing Act 2003 are all relevant offences. A 'foreign offence' is an offence (other than a relevant offence) under the law of any place outside England and Wales.

Last Updated on Wednesday, May 8, 2024