Personal licence

The Licensing Act 2003 requires anyone who authorises the supply of alcohol for consumption on or off any licensed premises to hold a personal licence, except at club premises where a club premises certificate is in force or a temporary event notice has been given.

What are personal licences?

Personal licences permit a person to authorise the supply of alcohol at premises licensed for that purpose. Every premises where alcohol is sold (except under a temporary event notice) must also have a Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS), who must be the holder of a personal licence. A person giving a temporary event notice may authorise the sale of alcohol under their notice and they will not need to hold a personal licence.

In exceptional circumstances, a Designated Premises Supervisor may not be required if a premises licence permits the sale of alcohol at a village hall or church hall. Please contact the licensing team for further information.

There is no limit to the number of personal licence holders who may work at any one premises, although each individual may only hold one personal licence.


Please note that personal licences will no longer expire after 10 years and will continue in force until surrendered or revoked. The 10 year period was removed by the Deregulation Act 2015, which amended section 115 of the Licensing Act 2003 with effect from 1 April 2015. We wrote to all holders of personal licences issued before 1 April 2015 to advise them of this change.

If you change your name, address or any other details, or you wish your licence to be re-issued without an expiry date, you must complete the change of name or address and/or the photo declaration forms and send them to us as possible, together with the fee of £10.50 for your licence to be updated.

Personal licence holders also have a duty to notify the relevant licensing authority in writing if they have been convicted of a relevant or foreign offence. This is a requirement under section 132 of the Licensing Act 2003. Relevant offences are listed in Schedule 4 to the Licensing Act 2003, as amended.

A failure by a personal licence holder to notify the Licensing Authority of a change of name or address or of any relevant or foreign convictions is an offence, punishable on summary conviction, by a fine not exceeding £500.

How do I apply?

An application for a personal licence must be made to the licensing authority where the person usually lives, which may not be the licensing authority for the area where they work. Please also see our guidance.

Section 120 of the Licensing Act 2003 requires every applicant to hold an accredited licensing qualification and produce an original basic criminal record check dated no more than one month before the day on which the application is made. The only valid qualification after 1 May 2011 is the Level 2 Award for Personal Licence Holders (APLH), although the Level 2 National Certificate for Personal Licence Holders (NCPLH) obtained before that date will continue to be valid.

No other qualification is acceptable; in particular, licensing qualifications obtained before the implementation of the Licensing Act 2003 are not valid; accredited personal licence qualification providers are listed on the GOV.UK web site. We are aware of a number of local courses provided under the auspices of the British Institute of Innkeeping - other providers are available.

A basic disclosure of criminal records can be obtained from the Disclosure & Barring Service. A fee is payable.

If you have a very recent (no more than one month old) standard or enhanced criminal record disclosure from the DBS, this will be acceptable in support of your application. Although the legislation mentions a third method for obtaining a suitable certificate, the Police advise that subject access requests under the General Data Protection Regulations 2018 cannot be used for this purpose.

You must send each of the following to us:

  • the completed licence application form (see below)

  • the completed criminal record declaration (see below)

  • two passport sized photographs, one endorsed (please see guidance notes)

  • the fee of £37.00 (set by central government)

  • the original criminal record disclosure (from the DBS or Disclosure Scotland) - no more than one month old, and

  • the original qualification certificate (Level 2 Certificate for Personal Licence Holders) - this will be returned to you. Please note, e-certifications are not accepted by Southampton & Eastleigh Licensing Partnership. Please obtain an original certificate, you may have to ask your provider for this.

It is important that you check that each of these documents is completed and enclosed with your application to us. We will not be able to process your application until all the required documents have been received. If the documents are posted to us, please ensure that the correct postage is prepaid - we are unable to accept post with outstanding charges. See the Royal Mail website for further information. Both the forms and the fees are prescribed by central government. The council has no discretion over the format of the application forms or the amount of the fee.

General Data Protection

The Council has a duty to protect the public funds it administers and may use the information you have provided or share it with other bodies for the purpose of preventing and detecting fraud. This includes participation in the Cabinet Office National Fraud Initiative. The National Fraud Initiative (NFI) is an exercise that matches electronic data within and between public and private sector bodies to prevent and detect fraud.

Please see our full privacy policy at

Contacting the Licensing Team
Please note that these functions are administered by Southampton City Council's licensing team on behalf of Eastleigh Borough Council. 

Telephone: 023 8083 3002 (option 4, then option 1) 
Fax: 023 8083 4061

Licensing Team 
Southampton and Eastleigh Licensing Partnership 
Civic Centre 
SO14 7LY

Document Exchange: DX 115710 Southampton 17

Opening hours:
Members of the Licensing Team are normally available on weekdays at the Civic Centre, Southampton, from 9am to 12pm and from 2pm to 4pm to assist personal callers.