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What is an Operator's Licence?

If you hire a removal company for a move bigger than 500 cubic feet (approximately a 1 bed flat) it is likely that they will need an Operator’s Licence or they will only be able to use small vans, and moving home may take longer.

What is an Operator's Licence?

If a removal company uses a vehicle with a total weight over 3.5 tonnes (the size of a Luton van), it is a requirement of EU Directive 74/561 that they must have the correct licence.

The Operator’s Licence, which must be issued in the operator’s name, can be one of three types:

  • Standard National
  • Standard International
  • Restricted

A Restricted Licence does not permit removal companies to transport your possessions, however the other two licences will. Only the Standard International Operator’s Licence will allow for international removals. Each of these types of licence allows the holder to carry out different operations, so you may wish to make sure that the removal firm meets the legal requirements with the vehicle licences they hold.

The country is divided into various traffic areas, each with a different Traffic Commissioner. It is the Traffic Commissioner who issues Operator’s Licences for their designated area and also enforces regulations relating to the operation of goods vehicles.

To hold the type of Operator’s Licence necessary for a removal company, they must also hold a CPC (Certificate of Professional Competence). To gain a CPC, they would need to have completed a relevant course.

Updated March 2020

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