Personal licence to sell alcohol

To get a licence, applicants must be at least 18, hold a qualification accredited by the Home Office, and be entitled to work within the UK. Applications must be submitted to the licensing authority in which you live, not work.

Applicants must submit:

  • a completed application and disclosure of convictions form
  • original qualification certificate
  • original basic criminal records disclosure
  • two identical photographs
  • application fee
  • proof of right to work

You can apply for a basic criminal records disclosure online through Your disclosure must be no more than one month old when you apply. Any disclosure more than one month old can't be accepted, and you will need to obtain a new disclosure.

We will need to see the original qualification certificate and basic criminal records disclosure. These will be returned to you once your application has been processed regardless of the decision.

The photographs must be 45mm x 35mm (passport size) and show your full face and head (unless any head coverings are worn for religious reasons). One photograph must be certified as being a true likeness of you. Make sure you check who can sign passport photographs before asking someone to countersign for you. They need to state that the photograph is a true likeness of you, and include their name and occupation.

As of April 6th 2017, all applications must be submitted with proof that the applicant is eligible to reside and work in the UK. The application form includes notes as to what documents are acceptable. You do not need to supply your original identification documents (such as passports, or driving licences), and only a copy can be submitted.

If the document copied is a passport, a copy of the following pages must be provided:-

  • any page containing the holder’s personal details including nationality;
  • any page containing the holder’s photograph;
  • any page containing the holder’s signature;
  • any page containing the date of expiry; and
  • any page containing information indicating the holder has permission to enter or remain in the UK and is permitted to work.

If the document is not a passport, a copy of the whole document must be provided.

You may also demonstrate your right to work by allowing the licensing authority to carry out a check with the Home Office online right to work checking service. You will need to obtain and provide a 9-digit share code (provided to you upon accessing the service at on the application form. This code, along with the applicant’s date of birth (also provided within this application), will allow the licensing authority to carry out the check. Not all applicants will be able to supply a check code. The Home Office checking service gives advice on what information and/or documentation applicants will need in order to access the service. Applicants who are unable to obtain a share code from the service should submit copy documents as set out above.

Applications can only be refused where someone has had a personal licence taken away from them within the last five years, if they have a criminal conviction, if they are unlawfully present in the UK, not permitted to work in the UK, or are not permitted to carry out this type of work.

We aim to process your application within five working days. If you have a conviction or have been subject to a civil immigration penalty, there is a 14 day consultation period and it may be necessary to hold a hearing to decide your application.

You must wait to hear from us before you can use the licence.

Unsuccessful applicants have a right to appeal to the magistrates' court if the application is refused. Any appeal must be submitted to the court in writing within 21 days of being notified of the decision.

Personal licences never expire. However, any licence issued from 6 April 2017 will lapse if the licence holder's lawful leave or permission to work ends. A licence can also be ordered to be forfeited or suspended by a court. Licence holders are required to notify a court that they are a personal licence holder during their first appearance before the court. The licensing authority may also review a personal licence upon conviction, and may suspend or revoke the licence.

Licence holders must notify the licensing authority if they change their name, their address, are convicted of a relevant or foreign offence, or are subject to a civil immigration penalty. Relevant offences are the offences listed in Schedule 4 to the Licensing Act 2003, and the meaning of foreign offence is dealt with in section 113 of the Act. The list of offences is liable to change with updates to legislation.

  • A new licence is £37
  • A replacement licence costs £10.50
  • To update your name or address on the licence it costs £10.50
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