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Scottish Personal Licence Renewals – trade urged to act now

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Scottish Personal Licence Renewals – trade urged to act now 10th March 2019

The first Personal Licences that were issued under the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 will expire on 31 August 2019. The last date to apply for renewal of these Personal Licences is 31 May 2019. This is a statutory deadline and Licensing Boards in Scotland have no discretion to accept any application for renewal made after that date. 


Many Scottish licensing boards have issued reminder letters to all personal licence holders whose licences are due to expire on 31 August 2019. However, information to date is that very few applications have been lodged, with the May deadline looming. The Institute of Licensing is therefore urging Scottish personal licence holders to make sure they apply to renew their licences on time. The renewal application should be lodged with the licensing board which issued the licence in the first place, a £50 fee, and some boards are asking for 2x certified updated passport photographs. 


In addition to this the application must be supported by evidence of training. In most cases, the trade are being advised to book themselves on a half day refresher course as soon as possible and submit that certificate as evidence of training. This is because there is a separate requirement to submit evidence of refresher training which has been obtained by 31 August 2019, and sent to the board by 30 November 2019. The Scottish Government has indicated that the preferred route is for licence holders to sit the refresher course now, and lodge this certificate as part of the renewal application, and in doing so this would also “tick the box” of the separate refresher notification later in the year.


The key message is that personal licence holders must get booked on a course as soon as possible to allow time for the certificate to be issued so that they can lodge the renewal application accompanied by that certificate by the 31 May 2019 deadline. 


Those whose personal licences are not due to expire on 31 August but perhaps soon after will have their own deadlines to observe – so every personal licence holder in Scotland should be checking their licence dates, speaking with their licensing board, or taking specialist legal advice to make sure they understand what they need to do. 


Chairman of the Institute of Licensing in Scotland, Stephen McGowan said: “As the above deadlines approach, there is likely to be considerable demand for refresher training courses. Personal licence holders should therefore not delay in getting booked on a course and lodging their renewals before the deadline. Whilst important for all personal licence holders, it is particularly important that personal licence holders who are also designated premises managers (DPMs) make sure this is dealt with, for if their licence is not renewed, they would no longer be able to be a DPM which could in turn prevent alcohol sales from a premises”.

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