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Personal licence for selling alcohol

Personal licence for selling alcohol

What is a personal licence?

All sales of alcohol must be made by, or under the authority of, a Personal Licence Holder. This means that any individual may sell alcohol provided that the sale has been authorised by a Personal Licence Holder.

You can have as many Personal Licence Holders at a premises as you wish, providing there is only one Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS).

You can also choose to become a Personal Licence Holder if you wish to apply for more than five Temporary Event Notices a year, but otherwise would not require one.

What is a designated premises supervisor?

All premises operating under a Premises Licence to sell or supply alcohol must appoint a Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) for the premises. There can only be one DPS per premises. 

The DPS will be held as the person in overall charge of the premises. You should therefore choose this person with care.

Applicants must nominate the DPS on their application form for a premises licence. This person does not have to be on the premises at all times, however they must take responsibility for what happens there.

This means the DPS should ensure any staff they appoint are appropriately trained in the requirements of the Licensing Act 2003 and of any specific conditions attached to the Premises Licence.

A person cannot become a DPS unless they are also a Personal Licence Holder.

How do I apply for a personal licence?

Applicants must be over the age of 18. You must submit the following to the Licensing Authority:

  1. Application fee of £37. To pay:
    • send a cheque or postal order, payable to Bristol City Council, to: Licensing Team, PO box 3176 (100 TS), Bristol, BS3 9FS
    • call 0117 3574 900
  2. A copy of your completed personal licence application form (pdf, 346KB) (opens new window) (opens new 
  3. A copy of your disclosure of convictions form (pdf, 82KB) (opens new window)
  4. Two passport photographs, one of which is signed verifying the likeness of the photograph to the applicant by a solicitor, notary, a person of standing in the community or any individual with a professional qualification.
  5. Proof that you hold a Licensing Qualification that has been accredited by the Secretary of State. Please forward your original certificate. For information regarding what qualification you need please see GOV.UK  
  6. Your Criminal Record Certificate. These can be obtained either from the Disclosure and Barring Service website (apply for a Basic Disclosure) or from Data Protection Unit of the Police. Please ensure that in either case the certificate or search results shall be issued no earlier than one calendar month before the submission of the application to Bristol City Council.

Read guidance on how to apply for a personal licence for selling alcohol (pdf, 223KB) (opens new window) .

If you want someone else to discuss your application or licence with us on your behalf, you’ll need to give us written permission.

Immigration Act 2016

As of 6 April  2017, any person applying for a licence must provide proof that they are eligible to reside and work in the UK.

See our Licence and Immigration Act 2016 page for information on the Immigration Act 2016 and the documents we accept for proof of residence.

What happens if my application is granted?

You will be issued with a photocard, a paper licence and a copy of the duties of a personal licence holder (pdf, 52 KB) (opens new window) (pdf, 53KB) (opens new window) .

How long are personal licences valid for?

Personal licences previously were valid for 10 years. However the Deregulation Act 2015 has recently come into effect and means that from 1st April 2015 Personal Licences are valid indefinitely.

Can I still apply if I have relevant convictions on application?

If you have relevant convictions on submitting your application, the police are given 14 days to object to the grant of the licence. If the Licensing Authority receive an objection the application will be placed before the Public Safety and Protection Committee.

What happens if I change my address or name?

If you change your name or address, it's your responsibility to amend your licence as soon as possible. 

You'll need to confirm this in writing to us, and return your paper licence and photocard. If you can't return one or both of these, you will need to write a statement stating why you cannot return these.

A fee of £10.50 is payable for any change of details.

If you're changing your name, we'll need evidence of your name change in addition to the documents above.

What happens if my licence is lost or stolen?

If your licence is lost or stolen, you must tell the police. They'll give you a crime reference number. Once you have this, contact the Licensing Office for a copy of your licence. You'll need to pay a fee of £10.50.

How do I surrender my personal licence?

You are required to return your licence to the Licensing Office together with a signed letter advising that you wish to surrender the licence.