Anyone driving a vehicle in excess of 3.5 tonnes used to transport goods on public roads is required by law to be in possession of a Goods Vehicle Operator’s license. These licenses can be issued to individuals or companies, and are required by anyone who drives the vehicle (including short-term usage) – regardless of whether or not they are the owner.

Types of License

There are three varieties of Goods Vehicle Operator’s licenses, and it is important that you hold the correct one:

Standard International Licence
This license entitles you to transport goods – either for yourself or for others – both inside the United Kingdom and abroad.

Standard National License
This license entitles you to transport other people’s goods inside the United Kingdom. It also entitles you to transport your own goods on your own account – but not other people’s goods – abroad.

Restricted License
This license entitles you to transport goods on your own account inside the United Kingdom and the European Union.

The Application Process

To apply for a Goods Vehicle Operator’s permit, you will first need to complete a GV79 application form – which can be downloaded here – and include all relevant supporting documents. You must also advertise your application in a local newspaper circulating in the area(s) you wish to operate within (further details can be found in the GV79 form).

The application process takes a minimum of nine weeks, so you should apply well before the date that the license is required. It is illegal to drive your vehicle prior to the license being issued, although you can apply for an interim license if you require your license urgently; however, you should be aware that an interim license can only be issued upon receipt of an application for a full license.

If your application is successful, your Goods Vehicle Operator’s license is valid for life – although it can be revoked under certain conditions:

– If you violate the terms of the license.

– If you do not pay the required fees.

– If you choose to surrender your license.

License Requirements

When applying for a Goods Vehicle Operator’s license, you must meet certain criteria set by the Traffic Commissioner.

– You must be of good repute and fit to hold a license.

– You must be of appropriate financial standing.

– You must be able to maintain your vehicles to the required standard.

– You must ensure that both you and your staff obey all relevant rules and regulations.

– If you are applying for a standard license, you must meet three additional criteria.

– You must be properly established in Great Britain (i.e. all core business documents are kept in the country).

– You must have a professionally competent and reputable transport manager.

– You must own, or have ‘access’ (i.e. a contract with a hire company) to at least one vehicle.

Although there is still uncertainty surrounding the impact of Brexit on the road haulage industry, we now know that a No Deal Brexit cannot happen until at least January 31st 2020, so there will be no change to current rules prior to this date.

If a deal is agreed before December 31st 2020, the country will enter a transition period of up to two years, during which the current rules will still apply. At the end of the transition period, new customs rules may be introduced, so operators should prepare for this scenario. A further extension to Article 20 may lead to the UK remaining in the EU for an extended period, although we do not currently know whether this is likely to happen.

We will endeavour to keep you up to date with the latest Brexit news, so you know what to expect. At Transmode, we pride ourselves on being agile, adaptable and more than capable of responding to any challenges Brexit brings in order to keep your business moving. Get in touch today for your road haulage and logistic solutions.

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