Apply for or renew a personal alcohol licence

A personal licence allows an individual to supervise or authorise the sale of alcohol from a licensed premises. The sale of alcohol without an appropriate licence is a criminal offence.

A licensed premises must have a designated 'premises manager' and they must hold a personal licence. An individual cannot be the premises manager of more than one licensed premises.

Applicants have to be aged 18 or older and need to have a licensing qualification/training certificate from an accredited trainer. Refresher training must be undertaken every 5 years.

Personal licences are valid for 10 years unless they are revoked earlier.

How to apply

You should complete the application in full and submit this to your relevant Licensing Board.

You'll need to provide:

  • two photographs of yourself (One of the photographs submitted with your application should be endorsed on the back.  This endorsement should, contain the words "I certify that this is a true likeness of (name of applicant)", followed by the full name of the person endorsing the photograph)
  • the certificate showing the appropriate licensing qualification
  • your current licence (if you are renewing a licence)
  • the correct fee (£50)

Fee and payment

Applications cost £50 whether you're granted a licence or not:

  • Send cash or a cheque (payable to Dumfries and Galloway Council) when you submit your application
  • Call 01387 245903 and pay by credit or debit card

What happens next

We consider all applications in line with the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005.  A copy of the application is forwarded to Police Scotland who will confirm whether or not you have been convicted of a relevant or foreign offence and whether or not the Chief Constable recommends that the application should be refused for the purposes of any of the licensing objectives. 

Applications where the applicant does have a relevant or foreign conviction need to be considered by the Dumfries and Galloway Licensing Boards .

A licence will be issued at the earliest possible date after an application has been granted.

Refresher training for Personal Licence Holders

Personal licences are issued for a period of 10 years.  However, in terms of Section 87 of the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005, there is a legal requirement for personal licence holders to undergo refresher training within 5 years of the issue of the Personal licence and to produce, within a specified time period, evidence of this training to the Board which issued their personal licence.

You are required to:

  • Complete the accredited Personal Licence Refresher Training no later than 5 years after the date that your licence was granted; and then
  • Produce within 3 months after the expiry of the above date, evidence to the Licensing Office that you have undertaken this accredited training refresher.

For example, if your licence was granted on 1 June 2020, you would require to undertake the accredited training no later than 31 May 2025.  You would then have to produce evidence of that training to the Licensing Office, no later than 31 August 2025.

If you fail to comply with these legal requirements the legislation requires the Board to revoke the Personal Licence.  The Act does not give the Board any discretion on this matter. There will be no hearing to plead your case, you will receive a letter advising you that your licence has been revoked.

All sales of alcohol within licensed premises require to be authorised by a Personal Licence Holder.  Revocation of a Personal Licence could have serious consequences for employment or employment prospects.  If you are a Designated Premises Manager (DPM) you would not be able to continue in that post if your Personal Licence was revoked.

This could also seriously impact on your employer as it could result in prohibiting sales of alcohol within the premises until such time as a replacement personal licence holder/designated premises manager had been appointed. 

It is strongly recommended that you undertake the accredited Personal Licence Refresher Training as soon as possible and not wait until towards the end of the specified period.  It may be that training providers at educational establishments will not make training available during summer recess.

Although it will be for you to choose the trainer who will provide your training, the Licensing Team has identified the providers but is not in a position to make any recommendations:

Remember that undertaking the training and receiving the Training Certificate does not end the requirements.  You must then produce evidence of the training to the Licensing Office within the specified timescale.   If you completed the training and received your certificate but failed to produce evidence of that fact by the due date, the Board would still have to revoke your Personal Licence.  If you sought to produce the evidence after the specified date, the Board would still have to revoke your Personal Licence. The Act does not give the Board any discretion on this matter.

The Scottish Government's requirements for the evidence to be produced are set out in The Personal Licence (Training) (Scotland) Regulations 2013:

Submission of Training Requirements for Personal Licence Holders

3.-  (1) Evidence, in writing, of compliance with the training requirements to be undertaken by the personal licence holder must—

(a) consist of the original or copy of the Scottish Certificate for Personal Licence Holders (Refresher) at SCQF Level 6; and

(b)  be accompanied by the personal licence holder's—

(i) full name;

(ii) address;

(iii) date of birth; and

(iv) licence number.

(2) For the purposes of this regulation—

(a)  a "licence number" means the licence number contained in the personal licence in accordance with the Personal Licence (Scotland) Regulations 2007(a); and

(b)  "writing" includes electronic communications within the meaning of section 15 (general interpretation) of the Electronic Communications Act 2000."

For convenience of Personal Licence Holders the Licensing Board:

  • will accept a copy of the Scottish Certificate for Personal Licence Holders
  • has produced a form for completion and forwarding to the Licensing Office to accompany the copy Certificate.  

A copy of this form can be downloaded below:

The Board will issue an updated personal licence to the licence holder as soon as possible after receipt of the completed form and copy training Certificate.

If you need further advice or assistance:-

  • You should contact your legal adviser for further information
  • In addition the Licensing Standards Officers will be available to discuss this subject further if required
  • The Scottish Government has issued guidance which is available on
  • Information on the content of the Personal Licence Refresher Training can be found on People 1st SCPLH website at Scottish Certificates for Personal Licence Holders.
Page last updated: 14/03/2024
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