Paper applications for new licences no longer accepted from August

Lorry driver behind the wheel

Paper applications for a vehicle operator licence (VOL), and for major changes to existing licences, will no longer be accepted from August 1.

The Traffic Commissioners for Great Britain and the Department for Infrastructure in Northern Ireland, say that many applications made on paper forms are on old, outdated forms that they can’t accept, and this delays applications.

There are almost 82,000 operator licence holders in the UK and 89% of all these licence holders now have a VOL digital account.

More than 94% of major applications are now being made online.

In a blog on, they say they are constantly looking to improve the VOL system.

“We’ve grown it and developed it so that compliant businesses can apply for a licence, make major changes to it, continue (renew) the licence and if they need to, surrender the licence online,” they said.

“We have recently introduced an application checker so that those making an online application for a new licence can see the important things needed to get their application right first time.

“They then receive in line guidance as they complete the application."

Guidance will be changed on and all existing operators and trade associations are being contacted to make them aware of changes, giving them at least four weeks’ notice.

Those making a new application should register to use VOL before they need to make their application.

Those already operating should also register for VOL if they don’t already have an online account.

All operators should now use the digital service to make major changes to their licence.

Register now or make changes to your licence at

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