Guide Personal licences

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2. Apply for a personal licence

How to apply

You can apply for a personal licence online. You'll need to be 18 years or older to apply for a personal licence.

What you'll need

You'll be asked to upload digital copies of the following documents with your application:

  • your licensing qualification certificate. All personal licence holders must hold an accredited personal licence qualification  obtained through an accredited qualification provider.
  • a criminal conviction certificate or criminal record certificate or the results or a subject access search of the police national computer by the national intelligence service - this must be less than one month old on the day you submit your application.  We have to tell the police about any relevant unspent convictions associated with an application. We also have to tell the Secretary of State if you have any relevant immigration offences or are required to pay an immigration penalty. Currently a basic criminal conviction record can only be obtained from GOV.UK on payment of a fee. 
  • a photograph of yourself, which has been endorsed on the back as a true likeness of yourself by a solicitor or notary, a person of standing in the community or any individual with a professional qualification. The photograph must be:
    • Taken against a light background so that the applicant’s features are distinguishable and contrast against the background
    • 45 millimetres by 35 millimetres
    • Full face uncovered and without sunglasses and, unless the applicant wears a head covering due to their religious beliefs, without a head covering
    A passport style photograph will generally be acceptable. The person who endorses your photograph should also complete a photograph endorsement form.  You can upload this to the online application with your photograph.
  • copies of documents which demonstrate your right to work in the UK.    Your right to work in the UK will be checked as part of the application process and this could involve us checking your immigration status with the Home Office.


You'll be charged a fee for this application.  Please make sure you are aware of how much this will cost.

Data Protection

Any personal information which you provide will be held and used by East Devon District Council for the purpose of the licensing service to process and administer your application for a personal licence.  Your information may also be shared within East Devon District Council for the purposes of carrying out our lawful functions.  Otherwise your personal information will not be disclosed to anybody outside East Devon District Council without your permission, unless there is a lawful reason to do so, for example disclosure is necessary for crime prevention or detection purposes.  Your information will be held securely and will not be retained for any longer than is necessary.  There are a number of rights available to you in relation to our use of your personal information, depending on the reason for processing.  Further detail about our use of your personal information can be found in the relevant privacy notice

Start the journey


More info about the journey

  • Credit or debit card details.
  • Your original qualification certificate.
  • A criminal record check certificate or criminal conviction certificate that's less than a month old. 
  • A passport photograph of yourself that has been endorsed on the back by a relevant person. You must upload a copy of the front and back of the photograph.
  • Documents which demonstrate your right to work in the UK. 
  • A photo endorsement form signed by the person who endorsed your photograph.

When we receive your application we'll check it to make sure it's been completed correctly. We'll telephone or email you if there is anything else we need.

As soon as we have the complete application and all the information we need, we'll accept it. 

We are then required to tell the police about any relevant unspent convictions and the Home Office (Immigration Enforcement) about any immigration offences or if you are required to pay an immigration penalty.  We may also check your right to work in the UK with the Home Office.

If there are no unspent convictions, immigration offences or penalties or if the police or Home Office don't object, the licence will be issued and we'll send you your personal alcohol licence and badge in the post.

If the police or Home Office do object to the application you'll be entitled to a hearing.  This will be heard before members of the licensing sub committee unless all parties agree this isn't necessary.  At the hearing both parties can put forward their arguments for consideration.  

After the hearing we'll write to you with the decision and the reasons for it.  

What you can do if your application is unsuccessful

If at least 35 days have passed since you gave us your completed application and you haven't heard from us you can act as though your application is granted. 

If you are submitting your application by post then tacit consent will only apply when you can show proof of delivery from the Post Office or a recognised courier.

Timescales for processing an application do not start until all the necessary information has been received in full

What you can do if your application fails

Please contact us in the first instance.


If an application for a personal licence is refused you can appeal.

All appeals must be made to a magistrates court within 21 days of notice of the decision:

North and East Devon Magistrates Court, Southernhay Gardens, Exeter, EX1 1UH

Tel: 01392 415300