Standard International Operator's Licence

A Standard International Operator's Licence is needed to operate vehicles weighing more than 3,500 kilograms to carry your own or other people's goods for hire or reward while in the UK or on international journeys. Although this legal requirement should be easy to satisfy, it can be hard to successfully navigate the application process.

We provide expert support to potential, new or long-standing businesses, ranging from one vehicle owner-drivers, to multiple-licence holders with large fleets.

Whatever your requirements - we can assist with your application and provide you with our expert guidance to get your vehicles on the road and remain compliant with your licence undertakings.

Get in touch with our friendly and experienced operator licensing team for help, support, and advice.

What is a Standard International Operator's Licence?

A Standard International Operator's Licence allows you to carry your own goods, and other people’s goods, in the UK and internationally.

If you're applying for a vehicle operator's licence for the first time, you'll get a UK Licence for the Community as part of your application for a standard international operator licence. There's no extra fee for them. This will permit trips between EU member countries, transit through them, and cabotage within single European states.

Operators that wish to carry their own and other people's goods in the UK only, should consider applying for a Standard National licence. While a Restricted licence may be more appropriate for those that exclusively carry their own goods in the UK or internationally.


To qualify for a Standard National licence, vehicle operator's must be able to satisfy a Traffic Commissioner that they:

  • Are of good repute, and fit to hold a licence
  • Have suitable facilities or arrangements to maintain their vehicles
  • Be capable of ensuring that all licensing rules and laws are obeyed
  • Demonstrate that they have sufficient financial standing and resources to run their business and maintain their vehicles
  • Have designated at least one operating centre where vehicles can be safely stored when not in use
  • Must be properly established with premises in where the core business documents are kept. A PO Box or third-party address cannot be used for correspondence on a Standard licence
  • Have a Transport Manager with the Certificate of Professional CompetencE (CPC) 'international' qualification, that is of good repute
  • Have access to a vehicle. This means that the operator must either own at least one vehicle or have in place a formal contract in place to hire one when needed.

It is important to note, that you must have a full understanding of the robust systems that you will need to have in place, to ensure that you and your staff are able to obey all the rules relating to your licence undertakings and compliance obligations. Failure to do so could result in regulatory action being taken against your licence.


  • Details of your business entity, i.e. whether you are a sole trader, partnership or limited company, etc.
  • The type of business
  • Details of all directors, or business owner /partners
  • Correspondence address and contact details
  • The full address of your proposed Operating Centre and the number of vehicles and trailers that you will be parking there
  • A public notice advertisement, placed in a newspaper local to the proposed operating centre, giving details of the number of vehicles and trailers you will keep then
  • Supporting financial documentation
  • Transport Manager details (for link to online TM form, to be completed by Transport Manager with their full details, including proposed hours, other commitments etc.)
  • Name and workshop address of maintenance contractor and frequency of the planned safety inspections
  • Details of your planned tachograph analysis (if applicable)
  • Previous financial and operator licensing history for all directors, or sole trader/partners and nominated Transport Manager
  • Details of any relevant offences or criminal convictions


Applicants are required to satisfy a number of requirements, and it can be difficult to know which rules apply. Providing the wrong information or failing to show that you satisfy the eligibility criteria could lead to long delays and prevent you from using your vehicles.

We work closely with our clients to provide them with the best possible chance of getting their Licence applications successfully granted. With extensive experience of operator licensing, we offer clear and practical advice at every stage of the process from the initial consultation; the preparation of your online application; the checking of your supporting documentation and information; through to liaising with the Office of the Traffic Commissioner on your behalf, until your application has been finalised.

In addition to initial Licence applications, we are also able to provide our expert assistance for applications to vary an existing Licence, for changes such as:

  • An increase in the vehicle and/or trailer authority
  • An additional or change of operating centre
  • A change in the Licence type


Enter a few brief details below and one of our experienced consultancy team will be in touch with you soon to help you through the License Application process.

Operator Licence FAQs

What Categories of Operator's Licences are Available?

How Long Does an Operator's Licence Last For?

What is the Cost of an Operator's Licence?

What Are the Operating Centre Requirements?

How Much Is the Financial Standing?

What are the Standards of 'Professional Competence' in Operator Licensing?

What are my Responsibilities as a Licence Holder?

Are there any Vehicle Operator's Licence Exemptions?

What Are Your Fees and What Is Included?

What is a UK Licence for the Community?

What Financial Evidence Will I Need to Provide?

How Many Vehicles and Trailers Can I Apply to Operate?

Do I Need a Transport Manager (CPC Holder)?

What Counts as 'Carrying Goods for Hire or Reward'?

Who needs an operator's licence?