Frequently Asked Questions
An operator licence (commonly called an O licence) is a legally compulsory licence issued to drivers and businesses in the UK to allow them to operate goods vehicles.
Like any licence, an O licence ensures that safety and environmental standards are met, and that road users and the general public are protected from harm.
If you drive or have a business which operates a vehicle over 3,5000kg (3.5 tonnes) gross vehicle weight, and that vehicle is used to carry goods on public roads for business or trade purposes, you need an O licence. It doesn’t matter if you are renting a vehicle for a single day, or have a vehicle which you use regularly – you will still need an O licence.
The O licence needs to be held by the individual or company who uses the vehicle, and not necessarily the owner. The user can be:
According to operator’s licence rules and legislation, all holders of O licences must be professionally competent or employ someone who is professionally competent. That means that they must hold a National Certificate of Professional Competence.
Currently there are three different categories of O licence. You will need the licence which matches the kind of work your business carries out:
Restricted Licences: If you carry goods within Great Britain or abroad on your own account.
Standard Licences: If you carry goods for hire or reward within Great Britain. (This also covers you for own account movement abroad)
Standard International Licences: If you carry goods for hire or reward, or on your own account, within Great Britain or abroad.
You will receive your O licence within nine weeks of a successful application. In some cases, it is possible to obtain a short term interim licence.
There are a number of fees required to obtain your O licence:
Application fee to the Traffic Commission: £257
Fee for issue of the licence: £401
Public Notice (in a local paper): Typically around £350
If we handle the application process for you, we will also charge a one-off flat fee, which we will agree with you beforehand.