GETTING AN O LICENCE

LOOKING TO START YOUR BUSINESS OR BRING LOGISTICS IN HOUSE?
To get an Operator’s Licence, you will need to complete the GV79 form.

We can email you the GV79 forms, along with some handy information that might help you find the vehicle you need.

GETTING A HGV OPERATOR’S LICENCE

Want to start your own HGV business or bring logistics needs in house? You’ve already found a flexible and supportive commercial vehicle partner; now find out how to get your HGV Operator’s Licence.


The main purpose of goods vehicle operator licensing is to ensure the safe and proper use of goods vehicles and to protect the environment around operating centres.


You need an operator’s license if you want to use:

  1. A vehicle over 3.5 tonnes (3500kg) plated weight
  2. For business, hire or reward
  3. Or in conjunction with trade or business

The Operator's Licence should be applied for in the name of the person, company or partnership that is the “user” of the vehicle.

You are considered the user if:

  1. You are the driver and owner of the vehicle
  2. It is in your lawful possession under an agreement for hire, hire purchase or loan
  3. The driver is your employee or agent (i.e. you pay them to drive to drive the vehicle for you)

TYPES OF OPERATOR’S LICENCE

There are a variety of O licence types that could be suitable to your needs.

  1. Standard International Licence:
    This allows you to carry your own goods, and goods for other people for hire or reward, both in the UK and on international journeys. It requires that you and your Transport Manager must each satisfy the requirement of good repute and professional competence.
  2. Standard National Licence:
    This allows you to carry your own goods on your own account, or other people's goods for hire or reward, in the UK and to carry your OWN goods on your own account abroad.
    It requires that you and your Transport Manager must each satisfy the requirement of good repute and professional competence.
  3. Restricted Licence: This only allows you to carry your own goods on your own account within the UK and the EU. You do not have to satisfy the requirement of professional competence.
    Examples of using a restricted license are: If you produce your own products and deliver them yourself or if you use the vehicle to transport tools or equipment to and from a job, e.g. a scaffolder or builder.
OPERATOR’S LICENCE EXEMPTIONS

There are a few exemptions when it comes to Operator Licensing. These are the most common:

  1. Recovery Vehicles which are constructed or permanently adapted for the purposes of lifting, towing or transporting a disabled vehicle.
  2. A vehicle with equipment permanently attached to it for the life of that vehicle. Examples include permanently fixed machines or appliances eg: a road sweeper or cherry picker. The only goods or burden these vehicles are allowed to carry
  3. Vehicles being used for or in connection with snow clearing, and the distribution of salt or grit.
OPERATOR’S LICENCE REQUIREMENTS

To qualify for an Operator’s Licence, whether it is Standard or Restricted Licence, you must satisfy a traffic commissioner that you:

  1. Are of good repute and fit to hold a licence.
  2. Are of appropriate financial standing eg: you have enough money to run your business.
  3. Have suitable facilities or arrangements for maintaining your vehicles.
  4. Are capable of ensuring that both you and your staff obey all the rules.

For a Standard Licence there are three other requirements:

  1. The applicant must be properly established in Great Britain. “Established” in this context means have premises in which the operator keeps their core business documents (eg: personnel, driving and vehicle maintenance records). Therefore, a PO Box or third party address cannot be used for correspondence on a standard license.
  2. Must have a transport manager that is of good repute and professionally competent.
  3. The licence holder must have “access” to a vehicle. This means that the holder owns at least one vehicle or has in place a formal contract with a hire company, other operator or other organisation to hire one when needed.

Note: Licence holders are not required to own or hire a vehicle all the time, for example where licences are granted for seasonal work. However in these cases, a formal agreement must be in place to hire or otherwise secure access to a vehicle when one is required. A license cannot be granted when no vehicles are in possession and no formal hire agreement is in place.

OPERATING CENTRE REQUIREMENTS

Since you cannot keep goods vehicles over 3.5t GVM on a public road you are going to need a safe and secure facility to base your vehicles. This is your Operating Centre and should have sufficient off-street parking for all your vehicles and trailers.

When you apply for a licence you will be asked to list your proposed operating centres and provide information about the vehicles you intend to keep there. If you do not own the operating centre you may be asked to provide evidence that you are entitled to use it. You will also need to satisfy a traffic commissioner that your operating centres are suitable, for example that they will:

  1. Be big enough.
  2. Have safe access.
  3. Be in an environmentally acceptable location.
TRANSPORT MANAGERS

If you are applying for a standard national or international licence, you will need to have at least one transport manager who satisfies the requirements of good repute and professional competence. There are two types of transport manager: Internal and External.

Internal Transport Mangers

Internal Transport Managers are closely connected with the Operator. To qualify as an Internal Transport Manager they must:

  1. Be resident in a European Union Country.
  2. Effectively and continuously perform their transport manager role for the operator in question.
  3. Have a genuine link to the operator, such as being a full-time or part-time employee, director or owner.
External Transport Mangers

You can employ an external Transport Manager to work as a consultant on a contract or part time basis if you do not fulfil the role as of Transport Manager, for example due to a lack of qualifications or are a owner driver or sole trader, or do not currently have in Internal Transport Manger.

The contractor must have effective and continuous management responsibility for the transport activities of the operator and:

  1. Be of good repute and be resident in a European Union country.
  2. Have a contract with the operator that specifies the tasks they perform as transport manager.
  3. Only work for a maximum of four operators with a combined total fleet of 50 vehicles.
  4. Must act solely in the interests of the operator and independently of transport customers.

If you are interested in becoming a Transport Manager, there are a number of awarding organisations who are able to offer the Transport Manager Certificate of Personal Competence (also known as CPC but not to be confused with Driver CPC!). There are no academic entry requirements for the examination. Neither are there any fixed rules or requirements for study. For more details, follow this link: www.ocr.org.uk

HOW DO YOU APPLY FOR AN O LICENCE?
  1. To apply for a new licence you need to complete a Form GV79. This form is available from the VOSA Contact Centre, Tel 0300 123 9000. We can also email you the GV79 forms, along with some handy information that might help you find the vehicle you need.
  2. The completed form, with the relevant application fee, must be sent to the Traffic Area in whose are you have an operating centre.
  3. You will also need to advertise your application in a local newspaper circulating in each place where you are applying to have an operating centre. This gives anyone owning or occupying buildings or land in the vicinity of the operating centre an opportunity to make a representation against your application on environmental grounds.
  4. Your GV79 application form contains a blank advertisement form and tells you how to fill it in. You can choose the size of the advertisement yourself, but it must be big enough to be easily read. The advertisement must appear at least once within the period running from 21 days before to 21 days after you make your application. Tear out the whole page of the newspaper showing your advertisement and send it straight away to the Traffic Commissioner. The page sent should contain the date and name of the paper.

You should apply for your O Licence at least 9 weeks before the date when the licence is needed. This allows time for the Traffic Commissioner to make any enquiries thought to be needed. In straightforward cases a licence should be issued within those 9 weeks.

WHAT IF YOU NEED TO START OPERATING URGENTLY?

You could write to the Traffic Area Office giving reasons why you want to operate urgently. The Traffic Commissioner may issue an interim licence, but can only do so if you have applied for a full licence. A fee will be charged for the issue of the interim licence and for each vehicle specified for use. When the fee is paid a vehicle identity disc will be sent to you for display on the windscreen.

Remember: an interim licence does not guarantee that you will get a full licence. Until you get a firm decision on that, you would be unwise to make any long term commitments.

IT IS ILLEGAL TO OPERATE BEFORE AN OPERATOR LICENCE IS ISSUED. MV COMMERCIAL CANNOT HIRE A COMMERCIAL VEHICLE TO YOU UNLESS YOU HAVE AN OPERATORS LICENCE IN YOUR OR YOUR TRADING NAME

The complete guide, which is titled Goods Vehicle Operator Licensing Guide for Operators is available from the gov.uk website here http://bit.ly/18BVbOe