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Transport Audits FAQ's

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an operator’s licence?

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.

What is an O licence for?

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.

Do I need an operator’s licence?

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:

  • Owner-drivers: The vehicle’s driver, if they own the vehicle, lease it, buy it on hire purchase or borrow it.
  • Companies: If they employ or control the driver of the vehicle

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.

What type of O licence do I need?

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.

How long will it take to get my operator’s licence?

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.

How much does an O licence cost?

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.