Personal licences

What is a personal licence?

A personal licence allows someone to sell or supply (or authorise the sale or supply of) alcohol, where a valid premises licence is in place.

You do not have to hold a personal licence, to work at a bar or club. Venues may employ multiple licence holders, but can only nominate one designated premises supervisor (DPS). To be nominated as a DPS, an individual must hold a personal licence.

  • Personal licences are portable. They can be taken and used at venues with a premises licence in England and Wales
  • Personal licences have no expiration or renewal date. Once granted, they are valid for a lifetime (unless the licence is surrendered, revoked or forfeited - or the licence holder loses the right to work lawfully in the UK)
  • You need to apply for a personal licence from the local council (or 'licensing authority') where you live - not the council in which your place of work is

Who can apply for a personal licence?

Anyone who:

  • is the over the age of 18
  • does not already hold a personal licence issued by another council
  • has not had a personal licence forfeited within the last five years

can apply.

However, before you can apply for a personal licence, you will need to attend a course, to gain the relevant qualification (a Level 2 Award for Personal Licence Holders). Pages 13 and 14 of our personal licence guidance pack contains information about accredited course providers.

The government have also published a list of accredited personal licence qualification providers on their website.

Contact us

If you have any other queries about personal licences, please email

Apply for a personal licence

To apply for a personal licence, you will need to download and complete our Application for a personal licence form.

A completed application contains several parts. You will need to submit to us:

  • a completed Application for a personal licence form
  • evidence of your relevant qualification (we need the original certificate)
  • two photographs of yourself – one of which has been endorsed and signed by:
    • a solicitor or notary or
    • a person of standing in the community or
    • any individual with a professional qualification
  • a criminal record check – the original copy, and not more than one month old - which might be:
    • a basic or standard Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check or
    • results from a subject access search
  • a disclosure of convictions and declaration (this is appended to our application form)
  • evidence of your right to work in the UK
  • the application fee (£37)

More information about the application process is available via our personal licence guidance pack.

Change an existing personal licence

If you are a personal licence holder and your name or address changes, you need to let us know.

Tell us about a change via our Notification of change of name or address form.

Alongside the completed form, you will also need to submit your personal licence and the notice fee (£10.50).