Getting It Right- Vehicle Operator Licences

As Bar Standards License holders, one of the big issues we see when working with barristers and solicitors to strengthen cases for Public Inquiries before a Traffic Commissioner, is incorrect or lack of a goods vehicle operator’s licence, resulting in the DVSA finding a business to be non-compliant with laws and policies in place.

In short, you need a goods vehicle operator’s licence if your business uses goods vehicles above a certain weight.

When it comes to any decisions revolving around policies, law and compliance, we know that getting it right is essential to a compliant business. This is especially important in the transport and logistics industry when ensuring you have the correct goods vehicle operating licences.

This is because when it comes to commercial vehicles, serious consequences can come in the form of imposing suspensions or removals of licences and losing your licence means losing your business.

Goods Vehicle Operator Licences have multi-faceted uses and are not just a service used by operator licence holders and transport managers. The database behind the system is accessible by the DVSA, meaning should a vehicle be stopped at the roadside by DVSA Examiners, they will be able to check all licences are compliant.

It is important to note there are three different types of operator licences for goods vehicle licences, those being:

A restricted licence, which allows you to carry your own goods, but not other peoples.

A standard licence which allows you to carry your own goods in the UK and internationally, and other people’s goods in the UK.

And finally, a Standard international licence which allows you to carry your own goods, and other people’s goods, both in the UK and on international journeys.

So where to begin?

First, the goods vehicle operator’s licence should be applied for in the name of the person, company or partnership that is the ‘user’ of the vehicle.

Then you need to be sure of the weight and service of your vehicle. You will need an Operators licence in place if you operate any vehicle over 3.5 tonnes gross plated weight, or where there is no plated weight, an unladen weight of more than 1525kg to transport goods for hire and reward, or in connection with a trade of business.

However, for a vehicle and trailer combination, you will usually need a goods vehicle operator’s licence if the maximum laden weight or unladen weight of the vehicle and trailer combined exceeds 3.5 tonnes, but bear in mind that this weight limit decreases to 2.5 tonnes if you are carrying goods for hire or reward in Europe.

But what is the purpose of a goods vehicle operator licence?

Well, the main purpose is to ensure the safe and proper use of goods vehicles, fair competition through consistent application of the rules and to protect the environment around operating centres.

The goods vehicle operator licencing scheme is administered by the DVSA on behalf of the Traffic Commissioners, who are responsible for licensing operators of goods vehicles. Traffic Commissioners will also take disciplinary action against operators who have broken the conditions set out in the goods vehicles operating licence.

And as of May 2022, new rules were introduced to the licensing system, which our team spent time learning and applying to what they already know so that they will be able to offer expert advice and guidance on these changes.

Click here to get the process started with Logico, to ensure a successful application.