Personal alcohol licences

You need a personal licence to authorise or supervise the sale of alcohol in licensed premises anywhere in Scotland. The licence lasts for 10 years and you must apply for a new one at least one month before the date on which the licence will expire.

The application fee is £50.00.

If you want to apply you must:

  • be at least 18 years of age
  • have an accredited licensing qualification
  • not have had a personal licence revoked within a period of 5 years

If you do not live in Scotland then you can apply to any Licensing Board. You can only hold one personal licence at a time.

What information needs to be provided

With your application you must send us a copy of your training qualification, two passport photographs (one has to be certified as a true likeness of you by someone who knows you) and the fee of £50.00. We do not provide training. You will have to get your qualification from a specialist training company such as BIIAB, Servewise, etc.

How the application is dealt with

We will give a copy of your application to the police. The police have 21 days to provide a notice to the Board. If you have been convicted of a relevant or foreign offence the police can ask that your application be refused. If that happens the Board will hold a hearing and you will be asked to attend. If you have a relevant conviction the Board may hold a hearing even if the police have made no comment.

If you are granted a licence:

  • you must undergo refresher training every 5 years
  • you must let us know if you move house
  • you must let us know if you are convicted. It is an offence not to do so. If you are working in another area you must also advise the Licensing Board for the area in which you are working
  • Personal licences issued in England and Wales are not transferable to Scotland and vice versa

Personal Licence holder refresher training

Once you have been granted your personal licence, you ust undergo refresher training within 5 years to ensure your licence remains valid. You must produce evidence that you have done this to us within 5 years (with a three month grace period).

After you have completed your refresher training you must return your licence along with a copy of your refresher training certificate the completed notice form below, to this office.

  • If you do not renew your personal licence within this period, your licence will be revoked.
  • If you are a premises manager and your personal licence is revoked then the sale of alcohol will no longer be permitted in your permises.
  • If you are a personal licence holder who is not a premises manager and your licence is revoked, you will no longer be allowed to authorise sales in the absence of the premises manager.


The Licensing Board will write to all Personal Licence holders to remind them of the requirement to undergo refresher training. It is a legal requirement that you advise us of any changes to your address and name. Please note: if you have not advised us of a change of address you may not receive the reminder.

Any personal licence holder who was trained before 1st September 2009, will be treated as having been trained on 1st September 2009. Anyone in this position must undergo refresher training and subit evidence of this to us before 1st December 2014.

If you were trained after 1st September 2009 you will have until 5 years of the later date. For example, a personal licence issued on 1st June 2012 will need proof that the refresher training was carried out before 1st June 2017.

A reminder letter will be sent 12 months prior of your expiry date to you to remind you of this, so it is essential that you advise the Board if you have changed any of your details i.e. your name or address.

Renewal of a personal licence 

You must apply to renew your personal licence every 10 years. Renewal applications must be made no later than 3 months before the expiry date of the licence. Failure to adhere to this timescale may result in your personal licence being no longer valid.

Please note that if you are a designated premise manager and do not renew three months prior to your expiry date that your personal licence will be revoked and until you have submitted and been issued a new personal licence you will not be authorised for the sale of alcohol.

You need to pass a mandatory refresher training course as it will have been 5 years since your last training.

With your application form, you must send in:

  • new photographs which are endorsed on the reverse
  • mandatory refresher training certificate
  • your current personal licence including the appendices
  • £50 renewal fee

The Scottish Government have published a Personal Licence Holder communications document for information.

If you do not submit details of the refresher course to us before the deadline, your personal licence will be revoked.

Download Personal licence application form

Download Refresher training notification form