Types of licence

There are 3 different types of operator’s licence for goods vehicles. The licence you need depends on where you transport goods to and from, and who you do it for.

Standard national licence

This licence means you can carry:

  • your own goods in the UK and internationally
  • other people’s goods in the UK

You can also take loaded trailers to or from ports within the UK as part of an international journey, as long as your vehicles don’t leave the country.

Standard international licence

This licence means you can carry your own goods, and other people’s goods, both in the UK and on international journeys.

When you get a standard international licence, you can also request the issue of Community Licences. These allow:

  • trips between all EU member countries
  • transit traffic through EU member countries
  • cabotage (journeys entirely within another EU member country)

Restricted licence

This licence allows you to carry your own goods, but not other people’s goods.

Your licence will continue to be valid as long as you pay your continuation fee every 5 years and operate within the terms of your licence. You’ll be contacted every 5 years to make sure that your licence shows the correct information.

Contact the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) if you have any questions about vehicle licences.

Transport outside the EU

Contact the International Road Freight Office for help with applications for transport outside certain EU countries.

International Road Freight Office
Telephone: 01132 026072
Find out about call charges

International Road Freight Office
Hillcrest House
386 Harehills Lane
Leeds
LS9 6NF