What is an operator’s licence and do we need one?

  • An operator’s licence allows a person or an organisation to operate passenger carrying vehicles in return for any kind of ‘hire or reward’.  You are likely to require an operator’s licence of some type because “hire or reward” will exist in the majority, if not all, transport operations. 

    Public Service Vehicle (PSV) Operator Licence (O license) 

    Private or commercial companies that operate transport will need to apply for a PSV operator’s licence, also known as an O license.  Where only one or two minibuses are run a restricted operator’s licence may be sufficient.  These are issued by the Traffic Commissioner through their Central Office in Leeds and the contact number is 0300 123 9000. 

    If your organisation is a not-for-profit organisation you may be eligible to operate passenger transport using section 19, section 22 or section 10B permits and to charge for transport, but at a not-for-profit rate. 

    For more information on whether you need an operators’ license or if you can claim an exemption, CTA members can access our suite of resources here.