Guide A guide to personal licences (GN3) and renewals

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2. Information about a personal licence


Every premises licensed to sell alcohol must have a DPS (designated premises supervisor) named on the premises licence.  A DPS must hold a personal licence and they will be responsible, along with the premises licence holder, for authorising the sale of alcohol at the premises.

Before you can apply for a personal licence you need to take a qualification so that you have a good understanding of the Licensing Act 2003 and the responsibilities involved when selling alcohol.

The one exemption to this rule is for community premises such as village halls or church halls where committees can make an application to dis-apply (remove) the need for a designated premises supervisor (DPS). This is not an automatic entitlement and an application does have to be made.

You don't need a personal licence to sell alcohol under a temporary event notice (TEN) but if you do hold a personal licence the number of TENs you can serve in a year will increase from 5 to 50.

Not every person who sells alcohol at licensed premises (for example, bar staff)  will need to hold a personal licence but every sale must be authorised by the designated premises supervisor (DPS). 

Although the DPS will normally have day-to-day responsibility for running that premises, there are likely to be times when the DPS will not be on the premises when alcohol is being sold.  For that reason we strongly suggest that the DPS authorises, in writing, members of staff to sell alcohol in their absence.  

A personal licence has no expiry date and can be transferred between regions and premises. However, if we issue your personal licence we will remain your relevant authority and you'll need to let us know of any change to your name or address.  This is a legal requirement.

How to apply

If you live in East Devon you can apply to us for a personal licence


You must be 18 years or older and hold a licensing qualification. You can find a list of all qualification providers in our guide to personal licences.

Displaying your licence

You may be asked to show your personal licence to an authorised officer. This is a legal requirement so if you've lost your personal licence or it's been stolen you'll need to apply for a replacement.

Length of licence

The requirement to renew personal licences issued under the Licensing Act 2003 has been abolished with effect from 1 April 2015. 

While you no longer need to renew your licence you should remember that all personal licence holders have a duty to tell the licensing authority that issued their licence of any changes of name and address or if they are convicted of any relevant offences, foreign offences, immigration offences or if they are required to pay an immigration penalty.  Please be aware that if your licence was issued after the 6th April 2017 and you cease to be entitled to work in the UK, your personal licence will lapse and become invalid.


You can find out more in our guide to personal licences.

Further guidance about premises licences, the effect of the Act and the licensable activities is in our GN1 guide to the Licensing Act 2003.



If you have an issue with a licensed premises there are different people you should contact depending on the problem.  

Public register

You can view details of existing personal licence holders and a list of current applications on our licensing public register.

Trade associations

Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR)

Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematograph and Theatre Union (BECTU)

Federation of Licensed Victuallers Associations (FLVA)