Guidance

UK Licence for the Community for international road haulage

Get a UK Licence for the Community to transport goods by road to or through the EU, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, and the rules you have to follow.

You need an UK Licence for the Community if you make journeys for hire or reward within the EU, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

The UK Licence for the Community has replaced the EU Community Licence.

It’s a single permit that covers trips between these countries. It also allows transit traffic through these countries to and from non-EU countries - but you need extra permits for the non-EU countries.

The UK Licence for the Community also allows you to carry out a limited number of haulage jobs inside an EU country (called ‘cabotage’) or between 2 EU countries (called ‘cross-trade’).

There are no limits on the number of available licences.

If you had an EU Community Licence before 2021

You should have received your replacement UK Licence for the Community by 31 December 2020 if you had an EU Community Licence.

Destroy your old EU Community Licence

You should destroy your old EU Community Licence.

If your UK Licence for the Community has not arrived

Email the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) if your replacement licence has not arrived. You need to give your operator licence number.

Eligibility

You must have a standard international vehicle operator licence for Great Britain or standard international vehicle operator licence for Northern Ireland to apply for a UK Licence for the Community.

Where you can use the licences

You can use UK Licences for the Community in the 27 EU countries and 4 other countries:

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.

Apply for licences

Call DVSA get a licence. You need your vehicle operator licence number.

DVSA customer service centre
Telephone: 0300 123 9000
Monday to Friday, 7:30am to 6pm
Find out about call charges

UK Licences for the Community are valid until the 5-yearly renewal date of your operator’s licence.

Fees

There’s no fee for UK Licences for the Community if you have a standard international vehicle operator licence.

Rules for using the licences

You can only use licences that have been issued to you. You cannot transfer them to another operator or company.

The licence includes:

  • an office copy - you must keep this at your main office so that it can be inspected by enforcement agencies
  • certified copies - you can get a certified copy for each of the vehicles authorised by your standard international vehicle operator licence

Certified copies of the licences are not specific to any one vehicle.

What to do when you make journeys

You must carry a certified copy of your UK Licence for the Community in your vehicle when transporting goods in or through EU countries.

You must also carry a certified copy if you’re transporting goods using another type of permit.

The driver must show it to any enforcement officer when asked to.

It’s illegal to not carry the certified copy or show it to enforcement officers when asked to.

Check what other vehicle documents and driver documents the driver needs to carry on international journeys.

Lost, damaged or stolen licences

You must tell DVSA if your documents are lost, damaged or stolen.

DVSA customer service centre
Telephone: 0300 123 9000
Monday to Friday, 7:30am to 6pm
Find out about call charges

If you give up your operator licence

You need to return the office copy and certified copies to DVSA if you apply to give up (‘surrender’) your vehicle operator licence.

Published 31 December 2020