Personal Licence (APLH)

The Personal Licence, issued by local councils, allows holders to legally authorise the sale of alcohol in the United Kingdom.


Personal Licence (PLH)


Local Council

COST £37
VALID FOR No expiry
ELIGIBILITY 18 years, Right to work in UK
QUALIFICATION(S) NEEDED Level 2 Award for Personal Licence Holders

Pass the APLH Course

Multiple choice exam

Download application from local council website

DBS Criminal Background Check
Passport Photographs
Cost: £37
Send by post

Receive your licence in the post

Get Licenced

What is the Personal Licence ?

Example of the APLH Personal LicenceThe PLH  Licence,  Personal Licence, allows you to authorise the sale of alcohol at licensed premises. It is commonly referred to as Personal Licence and is issued by the local council. There is no expiration date for the Licence. The Personal Licence is typically for those who work in the hospitality industry like bar staff and event managers. The Personal Licence ensures holders have the necessary skills and qualifications to operate legally, whilst also maintaining a safe environment for their customers, employees and coworkers.

Do I need an Personal Licence?

As per the 2003 Licensing Act, it is a legal requirement for premises that serve alcohol, also known as licensed premises, to have a named Personal Licence holder.


Selling alcohol without an PLH Licence can result in a fine of up to £20,000 and a 6 months prison sentence. 

If you are based in Scotland you will need to apply for a Scottish Certificate for Personal Licence Holder (SCPLH).


To be eligible for an Personal Licence, you must be 18 years of age, have the right to work in the UK and have passed the APLH Course. You also must not have forfeited a Personal Licence in the previous 5 years or have been convicted of any relevant offences.

How to apply for a Personal Licence

Here are the steps for getting your PLH Licence:

Pass the APLH Course

The APLH Course takes 1 day and is assessed by a multiple choice exam. You will receive a certificate for the following qualification: Level 2 Award for Personal Licence Holders. Keep it safe as you will need to submit this as part of your application.

Visit your local council's website

To start the application form, visit your local council's website and refer to the licence section. This should be the council where you live, not work.

DBS Check

You will need a recent Disclosure and Barring Service check as part of your application. It costs £25 for a basic check. For further information, click here

Passport Photographs

You require 2 countersigned passport photographs for your APLH application. This means that the photos must be signed on the rear by: 'someone of good standing in the community', who is also a UK resident with a British Passport. It cannot be signed by someone that is related to you.

Finalise your application

For your Personal Licence Application, you will need the following:

  • Original qualification certificate (Level 2 Award for Personal Licence Holders)

  • Recent DBS check

  • 2 countersigned photographs 

  • Pay £37 fee

  • Disclosure of convictions form (if applicable)

Submit application by post

Find your local council's postal address online and send your application by post. The council should get back to you within a month with their decision.

Receive your licence in the post

You are finally licensed! Your Personal Licence is valid indefinitely.

The Personal Licence (or APLH) Training Course

To apply for your Personal Licence, you will need the Level 2 Award for Personal Licence Holders qualification. You can obtain this by completing the APLH Training Course, which takes 1 day. Some of the units include:

  • Unauthorised licensable activities
  • Police powers and rights of entry
  • Legal and social responsibilities of the personal licence holder
  • Illegal drugs, the effects of alcohol and disorderly conduct

The APLH Training Course is assessed by a multiple choice exam which contains 40 multiple-choice questions. When you pass, you will you will receive a certificate. Keep this safe, as it is part of your application. 

Cost of the Personal Licence

Your Personal Licence Application costs £37, which is payable to your local council. You may also incur extra costs (around £25) when obtaining your basic DBS Check. Your Personal Licence does not have an expiry date. 

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The application for a Personal Licence costs £37, this is non-refundable once paid. This is paid directly to your local council. You may also need to pay £25 for a DBS Check if your haven't already got one that is recent.
Your PLH Licence has no expiry date and is valid indefinitely. This is as long as it is not forfeited or revoked.
To be eligible for a personal licence you will need to pass an APLH course, be at least 18 years old and have the right to live and work in the UK. You will also need to have not forfeited a personal licence in the previous 5 years.
The APLH Course introduces you to the fundamentals of working in the industry. It runs over 1 day and is a requirement for obtaining your personal licence. You will need to pass a multiple choice exam to obtain the Level 2 Award for Personal Licence Holders qualification.
A designated premises supervisor has the day-to-day responsibility for the running of a business and is responsible for the authorisation of all alcohol sales. It is a legal requirement that licensed premises have a Designated Premises Supervisor.
Yes, you can. A premises only needs one personal licence holder to authorise the sale of alcohol. Just working behind a bar doesn’t need a personal licence.
Having a criminal record does not rule you out from applying for an Personal Licence. The licensing authority will make a decision on whether your conviction is relevant to your licence application.
If convicted of a relevant offence a court may order a personal licence to be cancelled, also know as it being forfeited. Courts can also order a personal licence to be suspended for up to six months.
Most identity checks can be completed online. You will also need to have your supplied passport photos signed by a solicitor or notary, a person of standing in the community or any individual with a professional qualification.