You will need to apply for, and attain an Operator Licence (or ‘O’ Licence as they are often referred to) if you carry goods in connections with trade or business if your vehicle exceeds the following weight classifications:
- Gross plated weight of more than 3.5 tonnes
- 1525kg unladen weight if not plated
- Trailers over 1020kg unladen weight
In the horse industry, if you drive a vehicle (combination of vehicles), falling under the weight categories above, in connection with trade or business then you are required to have an operator's licence.
The licence is applied for and held by the 'user' of the vehicle. By law, the user is determined as:
- the driver, if they own, are leasing, buying, hiring or borrowing the vehicle
- in the case of an employed driver, the person who employs or controls the driver
There are three types of ‘O’ Licence, as follows:
This category of licence applies to you if you are carrying goods for business, but these goods are for your own use, i.e. horses you own and transport in connection with your own business.
- Standard National
This category of licence applies to you if you carry goods for business – for yourself and for others for hire or reward, i.e. if you carry horses owned by others.
- Standard International
This category of licence applies if you carry goods for business – for yourself and for others for hire or reward here in Great Britain and abroad.
Operator licence holders are also required to demonstrate sufficient financial resources to maintain and keep their vehicles operational throughout the life of the licence.
Restricted licence holders must have £3,100 for the first vehicle and an additional £1,700 for each vehicle thereafter.
Standard licence holders must have £8,100 for the first vehicle and £4,500 for each additional vehicle.
The funds do not have to be in the bank, but provision must exist for making the funds available via an overdraft for example.
Licence applicants must also demonstrate their fitness to hold a licence. This is based on good repute. Licence holders must inform the licencing authority of any relevant convictions or fixed penalties they have on application or during the life of the licence.
To apply, please contact VOSA for all the necessary application forms and guidance documents.
www.vosa.gov.uk or telephone 0300 123 9000.
Last updated: 25/06/2010