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Completing operator licence applications

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O licence identity disc in window of lorry

Did you know that nearly 90% of operator licence applications sent to the Central Licensing Office (CLO) in Leeds are incomplete?

A recent sample of 100 applications found the most common reasons were forms not being completed in full and financial standing not being met. These aren’t the only issues for applicants. Simple things like maintenance contracts not being submitted will also cause delays to your application.

The traffic commissioners and their staff have made improvements to application forms and provided clearer guidance to avoid incomplete applications.

We’re also working to introduce new online application services that will help to reduce the number of incomplete applications submitted digitally.

In the meantime, here are some tips for completing applications:


  • make sure financial evidence is in the name of the applicant or licence holder
  • provide original documents with your application
  • if you’ve only just opened your account, get an opening statement from the bank showing the required level of money for your licence
  • make sure you’ve got enough to support the number of vehicles you have applied for

Operating Centre and Maintenance

  • If you don’t own the site, get written permission from the person who does
  • make sure your advert is published in a newspaper that can be bought in the area where your operating centre is located
  • check the advert wording is correct before sending it off to the newspaper
  • make sure your advert is placed in the newspaper within the required timescale
  • if maintenance isn’t in house then send a formal contract signed by you and the contractor to Leeds - 386 Harehills Lane, Leeds, LS9 6NF.

Transport Manager (standard licences)

  • make sure your transport manager’s original CPC is provided with your application
  • complete the TM1 form with your transport manager
  • if your transport manager will be specified on more than one licence, set out how they will meet all their responsibilities in a separate letter

Previous history

  • tell the Traffic Commissioner about any operator licences you’ve previously held or been involved in
  • make sure you disclose any adverse financial history of other businesses you’ve owned (not just transport)
  • tell the Traffic Commissioner about any convictions and penalties for you or the business

Finally, when you’ve completed your application form, take the time to read through it again and check that you’ve completed all relevant sections.

Further guidance

More information on completing operator licence application forms  for HGVs and PSVs are available.

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