Renewing a Personal Licence

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Renewing a Personal Licence

What’s the application deadline?

The Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 provides that personal licences last for 10 years from the date of issue. The renewal application window is:

“The period of  9 months beginning 12 months before the expiry date of the licence.”

For example, if a licence was issued on 1 November 2010, the application period would run from 1 November 2019 until 31 July 2020.

Completing the form

An application is submitted to the Licensing Board which issued the licence. The form - which is standard throughout Scotland - is normally available on Council websites and used both for first applications and renewals. You should start by deleting the words “First Application” at the top of the form. Question 3 is ignored.

When you’re inserting your address (where you’re “ordinarily resident”), it should match that shown on the current licence. If you’ve moved home since it was issued, the Licensing Board ought to have been informed no later than one month after the change.

Question 6 asks about any convictions you have incurred for a “relevant or foreign offence”. If you have been convicted of any offence it’s absolutely essential that you take legal advice as to whether it needs to be declared. An offence might be “spent” under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 so that it should be undeclared (but see “Pending changes to the law”, below). The offence might not be relevant. For example, driving or being in charge of a motor vehicle with an alcohol concentration above the prescribed limit is a “relevant offence”; but, surprisingly, a failure to provide police with a roadside breath sample is not.

A “foreign offence” is one committed outwith Scotland which is similar to a “relevant offence”. So, for example, if someone is convicted of an offence under the Licensing Act 2003 (England and Wales) that could well be a “foreign offence”: the sale of alcohol to a person under 18 is an obvious example.

If you’re convicted of a relevant or foreign offence after submitting the application but before the Board has made a decision, you must notify the Board: see also “Ongoing obligations” below.

What’s submitted with the form?

The form needs to be accompanied by:

  • The application fee of £50.
  • Two photographs (of the sort that would be used in a passport application). There must be a statement on the back of one photograph written by a person “of standing in the community” who certifies it’s a “true likeness”, adding his or her full name and address.
  • A copy of the licence being renewed. If you cannot provide it, you must give a reason.
  • A copy of your “licensing qualification”.

That last requirement has generated a huge amount of uncertainty which the Scottish Government attempted to remove through a “recommendation” that renewal applicants should submit evidence of refresher training. Since our last blog on this subject was published Scottish Ministers have now formally accredited the Scottish Certificate for Personal Licence Holders (Refresher) for the purpose of renewal applications.

If you lodge the form at the Council’s offices, make sure you obtain a receipt. Where an application is sent by post, it’s wise to employ the recorded delivery service and track delivery using the Royal Mail reference number.

What happens next?

A copy of the application will be sent to the Chief Constable and a local Licensing Standard’s officer. The vast majority of applications will not a require a hearing before the Licensing Board, in which case the licence will simply be granted. A hearing may, however, take place in a range of circumstances. For example, where:

  • The application discloses a conviction for a relevant or foreign offence, even if the Chief Constable has not recommended the refusal of the application.
  • The Chief Constable or the Licensing Standards Officer has provided the Board with information considered to be relevant to the consideration of the application.

Where a hearing takes place - legal representation is highly advisable - the Licensing Board may refuse the application on one of two grounds:

  1. Having regard to the licensing objectives, the applicant is not a fit and proper person to hold a personal licence.
  2. It’s otherwise necessary to refuse the application for the purposes of any licensing objective,

Ongoing obligations

When the renewed licence is issued, remember to ensure it’s available for production to a  police or standards officer when you’re working on any licensed premises,

There are a number of other obligations to keep in mind:

  • If you change your name or address, you have a month to advise the Licensing Board.
  • If you’re charged with a relevant offence: (a) you must produce your personal licence to the court; and (b) if convicted, you must advise the Licensing Board within one month, specifying the nature of the offence and the date of conviction, as well as providing your personal licence.

Failure to comply with these requirements “without reasonable excuse” amounts to an offence.

Remember, too, that refresher training needs to be completed within five years of the renewed licence being issued. Evidence of that training must be supplied to the Board no later than three months after the expiry of the five-year period. For example, if a licence was issued on 1 November 2019, the training must be accomplished by 31 October 2019 and the deadline for providing evidence is 31 January 2020.

Pending changes to the law

At present, a conviction for a relevant or foreign that is considered “spent” in terms of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 is to be “disregarded” so that it need not be disclosed in an application for a personal (or premises) licence.

This provision is set to be repealed by the Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2015 but no date has yet been fixed for the change.

Regulations made under the Immigration Act 2016, which have yet to be commenced, will subject licence applicants to “right to work” checks with new sanctions on illegal workers and rogue employers.

Contact Our Licensing Solicitors Glasgow, Scotland

View our Personal Licence Renewals 2019 guide – All you need to know and what you need to do.

To find out more, please contact our Licensing team on 0141 221 1919 or fill in our online form.

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