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Operator Licences – Applications and Appeals

Licences Generally

Once you have taken the 4 CPC tests every 5 years you must:

  • Take 35 Hours of CPC training
  • Renew your licence
  • If 45 or over, when making an application to renew a lorry / bus licence, the applicant must include a medical examination report signed by a doctor.

If you’re 65 or over you must renew your lorry or bus driving licence every year.

Upon application for an HGV or operators’ licence or renewal, the Traffic Commissioner may well call an enquiry.

Public Enquiries with Traffic Commissioners

You may be called into a public enquiry if a body (for example the DVSA, police, local authority or a trade union) has objected to your existing licence or application/renewal.

This could be because there are environmental concerns about a goods vehicle you have been operating, if your conduct has come into question, your financial situation, your reputation or fitness, driving licence endorsements, disqualification, prosecutions or failure to keep records.

The public enquiry will be before the Traffic Commissioner.

Traffic Commissioners licence and regulate operators of HGVs and PSVs. They can take action against any operator or individual driver when applying for or renewing a licence and can take action against an operator or individual driver over any particular circumstance if they believe they have broken the terms of their licence.

At the Hearing

The hearings are public. Anyone can attend.

You can decide to represent yourself or instruct a lawyer.

You’ll get the following notice period:

  • 28 days for a transport manager
  • 21 days for a new or existing goods operator licence
  • 14 days for a new or existing passenger operator licence

The hearing itself is very similar to a Court hearing. Representations will be made by both sides. The parties who raised the objections will have their say and present their case as to why the licence should be refused, suspended, disqualified or varied.

The person applying for the licence will also be asked to present their case and put forward their arguments as to why they should be allowed to apply/renew/vary their licence.


The Commissioner will either state the decision there and then or provide the decision in writing within 4 weeks of the hearing. They can:

  • refuse a licence
  • refuse to vary an existing licence
  • attach conditions to a licence
  • grant a licence allowing fewer vehicles than the number applied for
  • impose financial penalties
  • end or suspend a licence
  • disqualify an individual or a company from having a licence
  • disqualify transport managers


You can appeal to the Upper Tribunal against a decision. There is a particular form to complete which must be served within 1 month of the written decision, with the day of receipt as day one, sent to the address on the form.