The festive season is traditionally a busy time in the licensed trade, but if you were one of the many personal licence holders who got their personal licence at the start of the current licensing system, then it will be due to expire on 31 August 2019 – so now is the time to plan getting it renewed.
August may seem a long way off, but applications for renewal need to be lodged during a nine month period that expires three months before the expiry date of the licence. So, if your personal licence is one of the many that expires on 31 August 2019, you need to get your completed renewal application and accompanying paperwork lodged with the licensing board no later than 31 May 2019 (and preferably well before).
With the application you will need to submit your current personal licence (showing your current address as on your application form), two photographs (one certified a true likeness by a person of good standing), a declaration of any convictions for relevant offences, the fee of £50 and a copy of your licensing qualification.
It is this last point that has been the subject of much attention. Despite being already a third of the way through the application window there has been much confusion, firstly due to a lack of guidance from the Scottish Government and then, when guidance was given, it was sometimes contradictory so many people held off submitting applications until the position was clearer.
There is now some clarity and the recommendation from the Scottish Government is that the application for renewal should be combined with the second five year half-day refresher training that you must also carry out before 31 August 2019. To complete that training and obtain the training certificate in time to get your application in well before the 31 May 2019 deadline, you will need to get your training booked as soon as possible, as demand will be high.
Licensing Boards will inevitably be under huge pressure from the influx of applications as the deadline approaches, so don’t leave it to the last minute – book your refresher training with an approved provider now, get your renewal application in as soon as you have the certificate and enjoy a less stressful New Year!
For advice on liquor licensing matters, contact John Cassells or Ali Fleming on 01383 721621.