Personal licence

What is a 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.

More than one personal licence holder can work at the same premises. Applicants may also choose to become a personal licence holder if they wish to apply for more then five Temporary Event Notices a year.

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

We can only accept your application if you live in Three Rivers (or if you live outside of England and Wales). You must also be able to prove (with copies of official government-issued documents) that you have the legal right to work in the UK.

All applicants must be over 18 years old.

To apply for a licence, please print and complete the forms below:

The following must be provided with all Personal Licence applications:

  • The original certificate detailing the licensing qualification held by the applicant. The qualification must be accredited by the Secretary of State; this is currently:
    • BIIAB Level 2 Award for Personal Licence Holders
    • CIEH Level 2 Award for Personal Licence Holders
    • HABC Level 2 Award for Personal Licence Holders
    • IQ Level 2 Award for Personal Licence Holders
    • LASER Level 2 Award for Personal Licence Holders
    • Pearson Education Ltd Level 2 Award for Personal Licence Holders
    • QNUK Level 2 Award for Personal Licence Holders
    • SQA Level 2 Award for Personal Licence Holders
    • Training Qualifications UK Level 2 Award for Personal Licence Holders
      • The aim of this provision is to ensure that licence holders are aware of licensing law and the wider social responsibilities attached to the sale of alcohol
  • An original Basic Disclosure Certificate Please note that any certificate must have been issued no earlier than one calendar month prior to submission of the application
  • A statement made by the applicant detailing any forfeiture of a personal licence or foreign offences
  • Proof of your right to work in the United Kingdom. Acceptable documents are detailed in Note 2 of the application form
  • The fee of £37  (payable by card or BACS only)
  • Two photographs which are:
    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 and without sunglasses and, unless the applicant wears a head covering due to his/her religious beliefs, without a head covering
    4. On photographic paper
    5. Endorsed by one of the following:
      1. The chief executive of the licensing justices for the relevant licensing authority
      2. A solicitor or notary
      3. A person of standing in the community
      4. An individual with a professional qualification

If you satisfy all the criteria, we will issue a personal licence, usually within 2 weeks of receiving your application.

If you have any unspent convictions for relevant or foreign offences, or have had to pay a civil immigration penalty, or if your right to work in the UK is unclear, we will consult with the police or the Home Office, as applicable. If they object to your application, it will be determined by our Licensing Sub-Committee at a hearing.
Convictions and immigration penalties - 'relevant offences'

'Relevant offence' refers to the offences listed in the Licensing Act 2003 that could, on conviction, rule out the grant or renewal of a personal licence to the applicant concerned. The full list of relevant offences can be found in Schedule 4 to the Act.

When applying for the grant of a personal licence the applicant must include details of any relevant or foreign offences for which they have been convicted. We consult with Hertfordshire Constabulary on all applications to ensure that licenses are not issued to persons with relevant offences. 

What if I am convicted of an offence while holding a personal licence?

The Act makes provision for the holder of a personal licence charged with a relevant offence to produce his licence to the court or, if that is not practical, notify the court of the existence of the personal licence. Where a personal licence holder is convicted of a relevant offence, the court may order forfeiture or suspension of the personal licence.

If a person is convicted of either a relevant or foreign offence while holding a personal licence, they must as soon as reasonably practicable inform the licensing authority which granted the licence of the conviction.

If an applicant for the grant of a personal licence is convicted of a relevant or foreign offence during the application process, they must also notify the licensing authority of the conviction. Failure to notify a licensing authority is an offence.

How do “foreign offences” differ from relevant offences?

Relevant offences mean those offences listed in Schedule 4 to the Licensing Act. Convictions for offences (other than relevant offences) under the law of any place outside England and Wales, including other parts of the United Kingdom such as Scotland and Northern Ireland, are counted as foreign offences. Details of these will also need to be given. The reason for the separate terms is that offences under the law of places outside England and Wales, which are equivalent to relevant offences, will not necessarily exist in exactly the same form as relevant offences.

How will licensing authorities check relevant and foreign offence records?

Each personal licence application will have to include details of records of any relevant or foreign offence for which the applicant has been convicted. We consult with Hertfordshire Constabulary on all applications. The police will consult either their own records if any offences have been committed that are 'relevant'. The chief officer of police will then notify the licensing authority if he is satisfied that granting the personal licence would undermine the licensing objective of preventing crime and disorder.

For foreign offences the police will take steps to contact their counterparts in the region or country where the conviction occurred.

Change of name and/or address

Personal licence holders must notify us in writing of any change to their name or address. A £10.50 fee is payable (by card only) to update the licence.
Lost/replacement licence and/or card
If you have lost or misplaced either your personal licence certificate or the ID card then you can request a replacement from us. Please put your request in writing giving us your full name, address and licence details. There is a fee of £10.50 (payable by card only). 
If you are requesting a new ID card then a recent passport sized photo (verified) must be submitted to us. 
Duration and renewals
Personal licences are valid for life, and do not need to be renewed. They will cease to be valid in the following circumstances:
  • if the holder dies
  • if the holder no longer has a legal right to work in the UK
  • if the licence is surrendered by the holder (for example, if they no longer work in the licensed trade and return the licence to us)
  • if we revoke the licence, due to the holder being convicted of a relevant offence or having to pay a civil immigration penalty
  • if a court orders the forfeiture of the licence, as part of a sentence following conviction for a relevant offence.
If your licence has been damaged or lost and you need a replacement, we will issue one on receipt of a written request and payment of the £10.50 fee.
More information
For further information about personal licences, or to discuss any particular issues, please email us at, or phone us on 01923 776611.