The Goods Vehicles (Licensing of Operators) (Exemptions and Modifications) (Amendment) Regulations 2023

Jurisdiction: England, Wales, Scotland

Commencement: 1st October 2023

Amends: The Goods Vehicles (Licensing of Operators) Regulations 1995

Mini Summary

The Goods Vehicles (Licensing of Operators) Regulations 1995 lay down requirements for the licensing of passenger and goods vehicle operators in Great Britain.

Licences covered under these regulations include:

  • “Standard licences” are needed when vehicles are used for hire or reward (i.e. carrying paying passengers or using a lorry (over 3.5 tonnes) for haulage of other people’s goods – for example, by a removals firm); and
  • “Restricted licences” are needed when a vehicle (over 3.5 tonnes) is used only in conjunction with any trade or business carried on by the licensee (i.e. the vehicle carries the operator’s own goods – for example, a scaffolding lorry that transports scaffolding belonging to the scaffolding company between sites).


These Regulations are made under powers conferred by the Goods Vehicles (Licensing of Operators) Act 1995 (see LUS entry 1995 c.23).

Part 1 General

This Part contains general information including commencement, revocation and interpretation.

Part 2 Applications

This Part prescribes matters relating to applications for licences.

Applications must be made on a form supplied by the Traffic Commissioner and contain all the information specified on that form.  The Traffic Commissioner must receive the application no less than 9 weeks before the licence or variation applied for is to take effect.

Part 3 Objection and Representations

This Part details the procedures relating to objections and representations.

Part 4 Operating Centres

This part details the conditions which may be attached to a licence (including number, type and size of goods vehicles, parking and access arrangements and times of operations).

This Part also prescribes the environmental considerations which the Traffic Commission must have regard to when determining the suitability of a place for use as an operating centre, or attaching, carrying or removing a condition to a licence, or the effect or likely effect that an operating centre might have on the locality.

Part 5 Inquiries

This Part, along with Schedule 4, prescribes various matters relating to inquiries held by a Traffic Commissioner under section 35 of the Goods Vehicles (Licensing of Operators) Act 1995.

Part 6 Other Matter

This part prescribes other matters relating to licences.



In order to ensure a seamless transition between the United Kingdom and European Union countries, changes are made to the requirements for an operators licence when used for the carriage of goods.

Classes of vehicle for which an operator’s licence is not required

Definitions and requirements are given for vehicles used for the carriage of goods that can be brought temporarily into Great Britain from countries with which the United Kingdom has an international agreement without the need for an operators licence*.

Exemptions from the requirements to hold an operators licence are given for persons using vehicles from non-EU countries:

  • that are registered in the Channel Islands, the Faroe Islands, the Isle of Man or Gibraltar; or
  • that are international operators** that have an effective and stable establishment in a country other than the United Kingdom or a Member State of the European Union subject to the conditions found in Part 3 to Schedule 3.

*An operator licence is a licence to allow the operation of goods vehicles in the UK, ensuring the vehicles meet the expected standards of operation.

** An operator is someone who owns an establishment that drives goods vehicles weighing more than 3.5 tonnes, which carry goods as part of a trade or business.

The remainder of the exemptions implement or re-implement obligations under the international road transport agreements with various countries and can be found here.

Schedule 3A is added, which provides conditions for the issuing of temporary operators’ licences to international operators, where the vehicle used is not subject to a relevant international agreement previously mentioned.

References and interpretations are amended to reflect these changes.


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