Personal licence

A personal licence allows the holder to sell or authorise the sale of alcohol in any premises covered by a premises licence.

If you are named as a Designated Premises Supervisor on a premises licence application, you will need a personal licence.

You may only hold one Personal Licence at any time, which will be valid for the whole of your lifetime, but may be revoked if you are convicted of a relevant criminal offence, have to pay an immigration penalty, or are found to have given incorrect or misleading information in your application.

A personal licence costs £37.

To apply for a personal licence to sell alcohol, you must:

  • Be over 18
  • Have a legal right to work in the UK
  • Hold an alcohol licensing qualification. To get the qualification you usually have to complete a one-day training course followed by a multiple choice exam. Find a list of course providers here

How to apply

To apply for a new personal licence, you need to complete the following steps:

Return the two signed forms to us along with:

  • Two passport-sized photographs (check the guidance below for full criteria)
  • Your original personal licence qualification
  • An original of a criminal record check issued within the last calendar month from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). Apply for a DBS check
  • Copies of documents that prove your legal right to work in the UK

We will consult Sussex Police if you have any unspent convictions, and the Home Office if you have been required to pay a civil immigration penalty or if your right to work documentation is not clear.

Apply for a personal licence

Change your personal licence details

If you hold a personal licence issued by us you need to notify us in writing of any changes to your personal details, such as a change of your name or address. The charge for this service is £10.50.

If your personal licence has been lost or stolen, we can replace it for a fee of £10.50

Guidance for your application

Passport photos

Applicants must supply two identical photographs of themselves with their application. We would generally expect these photographs to be of a similar standard to that required for applications for passports, and photos must, as a minimum, meet the following requirements:

  • They must be taken against a light background so that the applicant’s features are distinguishable and contrast against the background
  • They must measure 45 millimetres by 35 millimetres
  • The applicant’s face must be fully uncovered in the photo, without sunglasses or any head covering
  • They must be printed on photographic paper
  • One of the photos must be endorsed by a solicitor, notary, a person of standing with the community or an individual with a professional qualification, with a statement verifying the likeness of the photograph to the applicant, such as: ‘I certify that this is a true likeness of [applicant’s name]’ They must then sign and date the statement. It is not enough just to sign and date the photograph.

Criminal record check

All Criminal Record searches are only valid for one month from the date of their issue. If it is not submitted within that timeframe they cannot be accepted and you will be asked to obtain another.

If you have relevant convictions the Police have to be informed of them and they have the right under the act to make a formal objection to you being granted a personal licence. If this happens then the Licensing Committee of the Council will determine your application. Conviction records are only relevant if the police use them to object to your application.

The Licensing Authority must ignore even the most serious conviction if the police do not object to your personal licence application.

After you apply

If you have completed a valid application, submitted the correct fee, have no convictions, are suitable trained and are over 18 your Personal Licence will be granted.

A Personal Licence is granted for life or till such times it may be surrendered or revoked. Where alcohol is sold using a Premises licence, a Designated Premises Supervisor must be nominated for the licence. That person does not have to hold a personal licence in order to be accepted but if they do not, alcohol sales are forbidden until they get one.

Cases where a personal licence is not required

Personal licences are not required at all when alcohol is supplied under the authority of a Club Premises Certificate, when using a Temporary Event Notice or the Mandatory Condition requiring a DPS has been dis-applied (This only applies to community premises in certain circumstances). It is also not necessary to have a Personal licence holder available where a Premises licence does not cover the sale of alcohol. Nevertheless,

Personal licence holders can still use Temporary Event Notices if they want to – in fact they are allowed to use far more of them than other people.