Operator Licences 101 – A guide to gaining your O-licence

The role of an HGV driver can be complicated at the best of times and becomes even more confusing when international travel and haulage are included. The right job roles and certifications must be in place to ensure your business remains compliant, which, if you’re a haulage company, includes hiring a Transport Manager.

Are you looking to become a Transport Manager?

This article will explain the common questions we see candidates asking when they are looking to complete one of our Transport Manager CPC courses or if they are looking to gain their Operators Licence.

What Operators licence do I need?

There are 3 different types of Operator licence each one having different requirements.
The different types of o-licence include:

  • Standard National Licence
  • Standard International Licence
  • Restricted Licence

Standard National Licence

Allows you to carry your own goods either in the UK or internationally or allows you to carry other people’s goods within the UK.

Standard International Licence

Allows you to carry your own goods and other people’s goods both within the UK and internationally.

Restricted Licence

Allows you to carry your own goods (both nationally and internationally) but will not allow you to carry other people’s goods.

What is an Operator licence?

An operator’s licence is required by any business that wants to operate vehicles with a plated weight over 3,500kgs for carrying goods, with different licences being required for those operating within the UK and those operating across the EU.

As well as needing an Operators licence, it is important that all staff and drivers employed have the correct training and licence categories required to complete their job including drivers CPC where required. This could include ensuring they have gained the licence needed to operate a particular vehicle, which can be done by completing HGV driver training.

Do Transport Managers need an Operators licence?

Any company that holds a standard or standard international operators licence needs to have a qualified nominated Transport Manager.

It is recommended that a Transport Manager complete Operator Licence Awareness training to remain compliant and up to date.

Operator licence requirements

In order to obtain your Operator’s Licence, there are a number of requirements that you need to meet so that the Traffic Commissioners approve your application, which includes:

  • Be fit to hold the licence
  • Have sufficient financial resources/standings
  • Have sufficient facilities and arrangements for maintaining vehicles in a fit & serviceable condition
  • Ability to obey all the rules

For more information on the different Operator Licences available and the requirements you need to meet, visit the Gov.uk website to read their goods vehicle operator licensing guide.

Operator licence costs vary depending on which training centre you chose to complete your training with and the requirements you have as a student.

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