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 do not 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.

After you get a standard international licence, you can also request the issue of a UK Licence for the Community. A UK Licence for the Community allows:

  • trips between all EU member countries
  • transit traffic through EU member countries
  • cabotage (a journey entirely within one EU 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 DVSA International Road Haulage Permits Office for help with applications for transport outside certain EU countries.

DVSA International Road Haulage Permits Office
Telephone: 020 8158 0250
Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm
Find out about call charges

DVSA International Road Haulage Permits Office
Hillcrest House
386 Harehills Lane