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Weighbridge operator's licence


To operate a public weighbridge in County Durham, you will need a certificate of competence from us.

This is a legal requirement of Section 18 of the Weights and Measures Act 1985.

Section 19 of the Act states that operators must:

  • carry out a weighing if requested unless they have reasonable cause not to do so
  • carry out the weighing fairly
  • give the person requiring the weighing a written statement of the weight found
  • make a record detailing the time, date and particulars identifying the vehicle and the load on the vehicle
  • not make a false record or a false statement
  • not commit any fraud

It also states that:

  • anyone bringing an item to be weighed must, if requested, give their name and address to the weighbridge operator
  • records of weighing must be retained for two years
  • records must not be destroyed or defaced within two years

Reg 4(7) states that no person may carry out a 'double weighing' for trade purposes.

Eligibility criteria

Operators of public weighing equipment have a responsibility to ensure that they can perform their duties competently and honestly.

No-one may operate public weighing equipment unless they hold a certificate from a Chief Inspector of Weights and Measures.

To operate a public weighbridge the operator must have sufficient knowledge for the proper performance of their duties including basic numeracy skills.  Anyone applying for a certificate must pass a verbal and practical test to show they can:

  • operate the weighbridge satisfactorily and complete any weighbridge tickets and associated documentation
  • understand the basic terms associated with the operation of the weighbridge
  • identify potential frauds which may unknowingly be assisted by a weighbridge operator
  • understand the importance of accuracy when operating a weighbridge by performing simple arithmetic (use of a calculator is permitted)

Application evaluation process

When we receive your application, an authorised officer from our Trading Standards team will contact you to arrange a verbal test. When the test is passed, a certificate of competence will be issued within seven days.

Applicable fees

There is no fee payable for this licence.

Implied granting of licence ('tacit consent')

If you have not heard from us by the end of the end of the target completion period, you have the legal right to act as though your application has been granted. This is known as 'tacit consent'. This only applies to applications made online.

The target period for processing a correctly completed application is 6 weeks (43 calendar days) from receipt.

Apply online

Apply for a public weighbridge operator's certificate

Failed application redress

An application for this licence will only be declined on the grounds of competency. Should this occur and you wish to make a complaint, please contact the Safety and Metrology Manager.

Licence holder redress

Any existing licence holder that has cause for complaint should contact the Safety and Metrology Team.

Consumer complaint

If you are in the UK, any consumer complaint relating to a weighbridge or a weighbridge operator should be made to the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline. For further information please refer to Citizens Advice: consumer information . 

If you are outside of the UK, please contact the UK European Consumer Centre.

In partnership with

  • EUGO
Contact us
Safety and Metrology
03000 261 016
Our address is:
  • Durham County Council
  • Environment, Health and Consumer Protect
  • PO Box 617
  • Durham
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • DH1 9HZ
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