Operator licensing

This chapter covers the need and requirements for a restricted, standard or standard international operator licence. It also explains which vehicles are exempt, how to apply for or make changes to a licence, the Traffic Commissioner’s role in operator licensing and the Operator Compliance Risk Score (OCRS).

Updates for 2024:

  • Changes to OCRS points values.

  • Small trailer concession flowchart added.

  • Reference to new HSE and DVSA updated load security guide. 

Information on the topics below is available to Logistics UK members by downloading the Operator licensing chapter of the Yearbook of Road Transport Law

Download the Operator licensing chapter of the Yearbook of Road Transport Law


  • What is a licence and who needs one?

  • Vehicles affected.

  • Small trailer concession flowchart.

  • Operator licensing for international operators.

  • Exemptions.

  • How many licences are necessary?

  • Operating centre.

  • Criteria for obtaining an opereator licence.

  • Applying for an operator licence.

  • Applying for a major change to a licence.

  • Transfer of operating centres – schedule 4 procedure.

  • Objections and representations.

  • The licensing decision.

  • Issue of the licence.

  • Undertakings and conditions.

  • Lead Traffic Commissioners.

  • The review procedure and periodic checks.

  • Changes to a licence.

  • Fees.

  • Disciplinary powers.

  • Summary of procedures.

  • Europe-wide data sharing.

  • OCRS.




Need more information?

If you are a Logistics UK member and have a query regarding this topic, or need more information, contact our Member Advice Centre.