Personal licence

Personal licences are granted to individuals to sell or to authorise the sale of alcohol. All sales of alcohol must be made by, or under the authority of, a personal licence holder. Not everyone who makes a sale has to hold a personal licence, so long as a personal licence holder has authorised the sale. This does not apply to sales that take place at premises which hold a club premises certificate, certain community premises or premises operating under a Temporary Event Notice.

A personal licence does not authorise its holder to sell alcohol anywhere, but only from establishments with a premises licence authorising the sale of alcohol in accordance with the premises licence. An individual may hold only one personal licence at any one time.

Applications for a personal licence must be made to the Council in whose district the applicant lives.

PLEASE NOTE: The Deregulation Act 2015 received Royal Assent on 26th March 2015 and as from 1st April 2015 the requirement to renew personal licences has now been abolished.

Personal Licences will carry on indefinitely until such times that they are either surrendered or revoked. The expiry date no longer applies and therefore now has no relevance.


Before you can apply for a personal licence, you will first need to complete a qualification known as the Award for Personal Licence Holders (APLH).

The Government maintains a list of awarding bodies who issue this qualification.

Please contact the qualification providers directly for details of their course and local training centres.


The following must also be submitted to validate the application:

  • the fee of £37 (payable by card only)
  • a clear passport sized photo which has been countersigned (please see the guidance for personal licence photos 
  • an original basic disclosure certificate dated within the last 30 days.
  • the original licensing qualification certificate
  • proof of your right to work in the United Kingdom (the original document must be scanned or a clear photograph taken and emailed to

Please email all the required documents as clear scans to and call to make payment as soon as you have done this. 

Will tacit consent apply?

No tacit consent will not apply.

The Licensing Department will notify the police of the application, who may formerly object within 14 days. If an objection is received from the police, a hearing will be arranged to determine the application.

If there are no objections and the applicant fulfils the criteria, the licence will be granted.

Personal licence holder duties

The Licensing Act 2003 places duties on all personal licence holders that must be complied with. Please see details below.

Changes in name or address shown on personal licence

The personal licence holder must, as soon as reasonably practicable, notify the Licensing Authority of any change in their name or address as stated in the personal licence. It is an offence, without reasonable excuse, to fail to comply with this duty. To change your name and address, please write to the Licensing Authority notifying them of the change of details. You must return your personal licence (card and paper licence) to the Licensing Authority with a fee of £10.50. Your records will be updated and an updated licence will sent to you.

There is a fee of £10.50 payable, please call 01923 776611 to pay this. 

Personal licence - notice of change of name/address

Charged with a relevant offence

In the event that a personal licence holder is charged with a relevant, foreign or immigration offence or penalty they must produce the personal licence to the court. If the licence cannot be produced, then the personal licence holder must notify the court of the existence of a personal licence, the name of the appropriate Licensing Authority and the reason why they cannot produce their personal licence. This should be done during the first appearance in the magistrate’s court, or if the personal licence is granted after the first appearance, notification should be given at the next court appearance.


In the event that a personal licence holder is convicted of a relevant, foreign or immigration offence or penalty, they must, as soon as reasonably practicable after the conviction, notify the Licensing Authority of the nature and dates of the conviction and any sentence imposed. This notification must be in writing and you must return your personal licence so that this can be updated with the conviction details.

Production of Licence

Any constable or authorised officer who provides evidence of their authority may require the holder of a personal licence to produce that licence for examination. A person who fails, without reasonable excuse, to comply with this duty, is guilty of an offence.

Replacement personal licence and/or licence card

If your personal licence issued by Three Rivers District Council has been lost, stolen, damaged or destroyed then you'll need to apply for a replacement. Authorised officers can ask to see your personal licence and you are legally required to be able to produce it. 

There is a fee of £10.50 payable, please call 01923 776611 to pay this.

Personal licence - replacement request

When received, the licensing authority will reissue the certificate and/or card, depending on what is required.

More information

For further information about personal licences, or to discuss any particular issues, please email us at, or phone us on 01923 776611.