Types of Licences for Passenger Carrying Vehicles (PCV) and Passenger Service Vehicles (PSV)

Like heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) there are numerous types of licences which Passenger Carrying vehicles (PCV’s) and Public Service Vehicles (PSV’s) can hold for various different reasons.

INTERIM Operator Licence

The same as HGV’s, an interim licence is granted to a company which allows them to commence trading before a full licence is granted. This does not mean that they will have a full licence but as long as the licence application is successful, the grant of a full licence will follow.

RESTRICTED Operator Licence 

Unlike HGV restricted licences, there is a limit on both the size of vehicles and the number of vehicles which operators are allowed to operate. A restricted operator must hold no more than two vehicles which are not larger than 16 passenger seats, and transport must not be the main activity of the organisation. 

We are currently assisting a college to acquire some licences for transporting their students to different colleges where there are activities which they need to attend which are at different sites. This would be a good example of an organisation that fits with a restricted licence.

That said, there are parts of the country where they need more than two vehicles so in these areas they have to hold a  standard licence, even though transport is not their main activity, vehicle numbers are enough.


This is a specific licence type which allows a registered taxi operator who is authorised by the local authority to operate taxis. With this licence type the company can run a single local, registered service for passengers paying at separate fares. 

This is the only vehicle over eight passenger seats which can be used on the licence and the licence is granted by the traffic commissioner for the area in which they are operating. 

All other vehicles operated by the company must be of a type, smaller than eight passenger seats.


A standard national licence is for operators that wish to run PCV’s or PSV’s in the United Kingdom only. There is no limit to the numbers of vehicles you can operate but your operations cannot be outside the UK.


A standard international licence is for operators that wish to run PCVs or PSVs in both the United Kingdom and beyond. There is no limit to the numbers of vehicles you can operate and your operations can be outside the UK and can also go beyond the European Union (EU) but if operations do go beyond the EU you must give consideration to the extras permits for both the vehicles and the drivers on the operations including the documentation and vehicle standards required.

If you need any assistance with the topics covered in our Total Compliance Fortnightly Focus, please get in touch through info@totalcompliance.co.uk or by called 0345 9001312.

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