Operator licensing

An operator’s licence (or O licence) is the legal authority that is required to operate goods, or passenger vehicles, in the UK. You are not allowed to simply purchase a lorry and start delivering goods for either yourself or other people. Goods vehicles range in size and weight and include the largest and heaviest types of vehicles on the road. The operator licensing system is intended to ensure that minimum standards of safety and environmental controls are in place to protect other road users and the general public.

Information on the topics below is available to FTA members by clicking on any available links or by downloading the Operator licensing chapter of the Yearbook of Road Transport Law

  • Who needs a licence?
  • Vehicles affected
  • How many licences are necessary?
  • Operating centre
  • Applying for or changing a licence
  • Objections and representations
  • Issue of the licence
  • Undertakings and conditions
  • Lead Traffic Commissioners
  • Fees
  • Disciplinary powers
  • Summary of procedures
  • Europe-wide data sharing
  • OCRS

More information

View the VOSA - Goods Vehicle Operator Licensing guide

View the Northern Ireland Operator Licensing - FTA compliance guide

Need more information?

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

Member Advice Centre