Bus Operation in the United Kingdom/Operator Licensing

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To operate a bus with more than nine seats, where fares are taken for the carriage of passengers, an operator's license is required.[1]

License Types[edit | edit source]

There are four types of license available, Standard International, Standard National, Restricted, and Special Restricted.[1]

Standard Licenses[edit | edit source]

There are two types of Standard License, National and International. The International license allows the use of vehicles outside the United Kingdom, whilst the national does not.[1]

Restricted Licenses[edit | edit source]

A restricted licence authorises the use of PSVs with eight passenger seats or less, or the use of PSVs with up to 16 passenger seats where the vehicles are used other than in the course of a passenger-carrying business or when the licence holder’s main occupation is not the operation of public services with vehicles of more than eight passenger seats.[1] A restricted license cannot be issued for more than two vehicles, or for vehicles with more than 16 seats, where a standard license would be required.

As an example, a hotel running a minibus to collect customers could apply for a restricted license, as the vehicle is not used in the course of a passenger-carrying business.

Special restricted licences[edit | edit source]

Special restricted licenses allow holders of a taxi licence, a PHV licence or PHC licence, to operate a licensed taxi, PHV, or PHC on a registered bus service.

Applying for a License[edit | edit source]

PSV operator licenses are issued by the Traffic Commissioner for the area containing the operator's operating centre.[2] Operators with multiple operating centres in different traffic areas will require a license for each traffic area they operate in. However, operators can have multiple operating centres in each traffic area, on the same license.

References[edit | edit source]