Personal licences

You must apply to the council in whose area you live, not where you work, this may not be Tower Hamlets. You must also include the disclosure of convictions and declaration.

Download the application forms:

What information do I need to include with the application?

The specified fee (£37), two photographs (one endorsed), proof of a recognised qualification, and a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. We can advise you further in relation to this if you need help. Please note that DBS certificates are only valid for one month and we need the original.

Online payments can be made on the payments page. 

You can a make payment by telephone on 020 7364 5008.

The rules for the photographs are very specific, so you need to make sure you have complied with them. The photograph must be:

  • taken against a light background so that the applicants features are distinguishable and contrast against the background
  • sized 45 millimetres by 35 millimetres
  • full face uncovered and without sunglasses or head covering (unless worn due to religious belief)
  • on photographic paper
  • as well as the photographs you will need a qualification approved by the Secretary of State

Please send any applications to us. See the main page for our contact details and information on how to appeal or complain.

The Secretary of State has accredited the following personal licence qualifications:

Basic Disclosure

Basic disclosure checks can be obtained from Disclosure Scotland. For further details call their helpline number 0870 609 6006.

Renewal of personal licence

The requirement to renew personal licences issued under the Licensing Act 2003 has been abolished with effect from 1 April 2015. This means that if you have not already applied to renew your licence and it was due for renewal after the 1 April 2015 you need not do so now as it will no longer have an expiry date. All licences issued after that date will be issued without an expiry date but as a matter of routine we will not be reissuing existing personal licences to show no expiry date. 

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 to their name and address or if they are convicted of any relevant or foreign offences or, are required to pay an immigration penalty. 

'Relevant offence' refers to the offences listed in the Act that could, on conviction, rule out the grant or renewal of a personal licence to the applicant concerned. The offences include:

  • those involving serious crime
  • those involving serious dishonesty
  • those involving controlled drugs
  • certain sexual offences
  • offences created by the Act.

If you are charged with a relevant offence, you must produce your personal licence to the court. If that is not practical, you must tell the court that you have a personal licence, who the issuing authority is, and why you can't produce the licence. Failure to produce, or notify the court about your licence, without reasonable excuse, is an offence under section 128 of the Act. The sentence on conviction of this offence is a fine of up to £500, and could result in the forfeiture or suspension of the licence. 

If you are convicted of any relevant offence, foreign offence, or are required to pay an immigration penalty you must, as soon as reasonably practicable, inform the licensing authority who issued your personal licence of this and give them a notice containing details of the nature and date of the conviction and any sentence  imposed. The licensing authority may, in these circumstances, suspend your licence for a period not exceeding six months or, revoke your licence.

Similarly it is an offence to fail to tell the licensing authority that issued the licence of all changes of name and address of the licence holder.

Please be aware that if your licence was issued after the 6 April 2017 it will lapse if you cease to be entitled to work in the UK.