Personal licence

A personal licence is needed by an individual who wants to sell or supply, or authorise the sale or supply of alcohol at premises that already hold a premises licence.

Find out how to apply for a premises licence 

There are different rules for the supply of alcohol under a club premises certificate or temporary event notice.

Personal licences are "portable" between different premises throughout England and Wales and are valid for ten years; allowing a personal license holder to sell or authorise the sale of alcohol for consumption on or off any premises with a premises licence.

Who can apply for a Personal Licence?

Any individual may apply for a personal licence whether or not they have current employment or business interests associated with the use of the licence.  However, a licensing authority will only grant a personal licence if:

  1. The applicant is aged 18 or over;
  2. The applicant possesses a relevant licensing qualification or is a person of a prescribed description under the Act;
  3. The applicant has not forfeited a personal licence in the previous five years, beginning with the day the application was made; and,
  4. The applicant has not been convicted of any relevant offence.

In addition, the applicant must not already hold another personal licence or have applied for a personal licence with this or any other licensing authority.

Application process

An applicant must apply to the licensing authority for the area in which (s)he is ordinarily resident.

Applications can be made online or by post. All applications must be made by providing the following documents and submissions. Please note that unless otherwise stated, all documents must be original, as photocopies will not be accepted.

Please note that applications that do not meet the criteria detailed may be deemed invalid and subsequently rejected.


The application must be accompanied by two photographs of the applicant.

Each photograph must be:

  1. Taken against a light background so that the applicant's features are distinguishable and contrast against the background;
  2. 45 millimetres by 35 millimetres;
  3. Full face uncovered (without sunglasses) and, unless the applicant wears a head covering due to his or her religious beliefs, without a head covering;
  4. and on photographic paper.

One of the two photographs must be certified by a statement verifying the likeness of the photograph to the applicant by either the chief executive of the licensing justices for the relevant licensing authority, a solicitor, notary, bank or building society official, police officer, civil servant, minister of religion or any individual with a professional qualification.

Certification should provide sufficient information on the individual making the statement such that the endorsement can be verified.

Relevant (Foreign) Convictions - Disclosure Certificate

The application must be accompanied by a disclosure certificate provided by one of the following organisations or services.  Please note that any certificate or search results supplied must not have been issued any earlier than one calendar month before making the application for the personal licence to the licensing authority.

  1. A criminal conviction certificate issued under S112 of the Police Act 1997 (This is a Basic Disclosure Certificate - only available from Disclosure Scotland), or
  2. A criminal record certificate issued under S113a of the Police Act 1997 (This is a Standard Disclosure Certificate - available from the Criminal Records Bureau), or
  3. The results of a subject access search under the Data Protection Act 1998 of the Police National Computer by the National Identification Service.

Relevant (Foreign) Convictions - Declaration

In addition to the above, all applications must be accompanied by a declaration by the applicant that either:

  1. she or he has not been convicted of a relevant offence or a foreign offence, or
  2. she or he has been convicted of a relevant or a foreign offence accompanied by details of the nature and date of the conviction(s) and any sentence(s) imposed.

Accredited Licensing Qualifications

The application must be accompanied by an 'accredited' licensing qualification that has been awarded to the applicant.

At the time of publication, the Secretary of State has accredited five qualifications for personal licence holders.

Please note that the list of accredited qualifications may change from time to time as accreditation may be awarded to other organisations.  Accordingly, applicants are advised to check the list of accredited courses available to them via the website.


The application must be accompanied by the prescribed fee.  All cheques and/or postal orders should be made payable to Stevenage Borough Council.

How long will it take us to determine your application?

We will acknowledge your application within 4 working days.  Your application cannot be determined until the 28-day period allowed for representation(s) has passed.  Where no representation(s) are received, we aim to process the application within 2 months.  However as we deal with a large number of licence applications, permits and other authorisations, it can sometimes take us a little longer.

Where necessary, we are statutorily required to commence a hearing within a period of 28 days after the last date for representations.  While we will try and give you as much notice as possible, we aim to give you at least 10 working days notice of the date of any hearing(s) we intend to hold.

What happens if your application is refused?

If we refuse the application, we will inform you of our decision in writing, together with the reason(s) for refusal and your rights of appeal, what you need to do to appeal and the time in which you have to do it should you choose to do so.

Will tacit consent apply

No.  It is in the public interest that we must process your application before it can be granted.  If you have not heard from us within the service standards defined, please contact us.