Who Needs An Operator Licence?

𝑾𝒉𝒐 𝑡𝒆𝒆𝒅𝒔 𝒂𝒏 𝑢𝒑𝒆𝒓𝒂𝒕𝒐𝒓𝒔 π‘³π’Šπ’„π’†π’π’„π’†? If you wish to operate vehicles larger than 3.5 tonnes or. Passenger carrying vehicles with more than eight passenger seats you will need to have an operators licence to trade.

Depending on the nature of your operations will determine what kind of licence you will need. If transport is not your primary business activity a restricted licence may be possible. If transport is your main activity then you will more than likely need a standard operator licence.

No matter what type of licence you have you still must adhere to the rules relating to the operation of large vehicles and the Traffic Commissioners will determine your fitness to hold a licence based on your previous compliance history, not just of operating vehicles but anything which would demonstrate that you are able to operate a business lawfully and you will be honest with the Traffic Commissioner.

Trust is a major part of the the operator licensing regime and if the Traffic Commissioner can no longer trust you to operate compliantly then your licence will not be able to remain in force.

There are some exceptions to operator licensing some of which are as follows:

Plant machinery which does not carry goods such as access platforms
Dual-purpose vehicles
Agricultural vehicles
Vehicles which cannot exceed 40 Kilometres per hour
Trade licence vehicles
Vehicle testing
Road rollers
Snow clearing or gritting vehicles
Recovery vehicle
Police, fire brigade and ambulances
UK Forces

If you wish to run buses or goods vehicles privately for your own use then you do not need an operator licence. For example, a horse rider who wishes to take their own horses to event s for leisure and hobby purposes although sometimes this can be a contentious issue as the lines can be blurred between professional riders and those doing it for a hobby. This is one example of how a person could be operating without a licence, but would in fact need to have a licence in place, even though they may see what they do as not in-scope when it may well be.

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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