The Government is aiming to remove the requirement for personal licence holders to renew their licence every 10 years through the Deregulation Bill, which is currently before Parliament.
The first personal licences were granted in February 2005. However, the Bill is unlikely to go through before the tenth anniversary of the date on which the first personal licences were granted.
To ensure that personal licence holders are not disadvantaged by this position, the application form to renew a licence has been altered, so that licence holders are only required to provide essential information to the licensing authority.
All people wishing to renew their personal alcohol licence must do so no later than one month before their licence expires. You will be required to enclose your licence or a copy (depending on who you renew your licence through.) To ensure that applicants have certainty that their forms have been received, licensing authorities should acknowledge receipt of the application.
How do I know if I am affected?
Your personal licence will have an expiry date. If the expiry date is in early 2015, you will need to apply for a renewal. You may apply three months before the expiry date, but no later than one month before the expiry date.
When will the form be available?
The form is not yet available. Changes must be made in secondary legislation and this must be agreed by Parliament. You will be able to access the form from your licensing authority’s website in due course. This will also be available on the gov.uk website.
What information will I need to provide?
Personal licence holders will each need to submit a completed form to the licensing authority. You will need to send your existing licence to the licensing authority. Individual licensing authorities can decide whether applicants are required to submit the original licence or a copy (e.g. a scanned version or a photocopy) and you should check your licensing authority’s requirements before you apply.
Which licensing authority should the application be sent to?
The application must be submitted to the licensing authority which granted the original licence. The name of the licensing authority will be stated on the licence. Contact details are available on their website.
How much will it cost?
There will be no charge for renewal. Licensing authorities may make a charge of £10.50 to cover administrative costs if you ask for a new licence to be issued, for example to change your address.
How do I apply?
You can apply by email or post. You will have to supply your licence to the licensing authority who will confirm if they will require the original licence or a copy.
What if I apply for a renewal less than one month before my licence is due to expire?
Your application will not be valid. Your licence will lapse and you will have to apply for a new licence.
What happens if I do nothing?
Personal licences which are due to expire before the requirement to renew is abolished by the Deregulation Bill must be renewed. Failure to do so will mean that the licence will expire. The abolition of the requirement to renew is subject to Parliamentary process.
What will the licensing authority send me?
The licensing authority will acknowledge your application and return your licence to you, if you sent the original.
I can’t find my personal licence or details.
You should contact the licensing authority which issued your licence. If you cannot find your licence and providing it has not expired, you may apply for a duplicate copy.
Will I receive a new licence?
No. Licensing authorities are not required to issue a new licence but may choose to do so for clarity.
How will I prove that my licence is still valid if it contains an expiry date?
You may use the acknowledgement from the licensing authority as proof that the licence has been renewed