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Personal licence for alcohol

A personal licence authorises the holder to supply alcohol or allow the supply of alcohol in premises holding a premises licence.

Not everyone who makes a sale of alcohol needs to have a personal licence, but all alcohol sales must be authorised by a personal licence holder.

Who can apply

To qualify for a personal licence you must fulfil certain criteria. These are set out in the Licensing Act 2003:

  • you are aged 18 or over
  • you have not previously held a personal licence which has been forfeited within the period of five years
  • before making the application, you possess an accredited licensing qualification, or you are a person of prescribed description
  • you have not been convicted of any relevant or foreign offence
  • you have the right to live and work in the UK


Complete the online form to Apply for a personal licence to sell alcohol

Before a personal licence may be issued you must:

  • provide two photographs, which must be: taken against a light background 45 millimetres by 35 millimetres full face uncovered and without sunglasses on photographic paper endorsed with a statement verifying the likeness of the applicant by a solicitor, notary, a person of standing in the community or an individual with a professional qualification  
  • provide proof of a relevant qualification
  • provide a disclosure certificate which must be no older than one month when submitted with the completed application - you can get a basic check from Basic DBS checks
  • provide a completed  Icon for pdf Disclosure of convictions and civil immigration penalties and declaration (PDF, 101.3kb)  dated within the last month
  • provide copies of acceptable documents to demonstrate your right to work in the UK
  • pay the relevant fee

Applications should be made to the council in whose area you normally live.

Current personal licence holders are no longer required to apply to renew their licence as part of the Deregulation Act 2014.

Please contact us if you have any questions about the application process.

How we will assess your application

If it appears there are unspent convictions for any relevant or foreign offences, the licensing authority will give a notice to the chief officer of police for the area. If an applicant declares a civil immigration penalty, the licensing authority will give a notice to the Home Office. If the police or the Home Office make no objections within a 14 day period, the licence must be granted.

Your right to appeal

You have the right of appeal to the local Magistrates Court if an application is refused.

Contact us
Our address is:
  • Durham County Council
  • PO Box 617
  • Durham
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • DH1 9HZ