Those looking for a goods vehicle licence will now have to complete the new application form for an operator’s licence, which is more stringent. The new VOSA form shows that Traffic Commissioners are getting tough on those who fail to complete the form correctly.
The new form clearly identifies what information is required. It also makes clear what the consequences are of failing to complete the form correctly. Give the Traffic Commissioner the wrong or misleading information, and then the Traffic Commissioner will want an explanation at a public inquiry.
VOSA have revised the section for the applicant’s details. The form now includes separate sections for limited companies, limited liability partnerships, sole traders, partnerships and other organisations, such as public bodies. For the first time, the application form asks details of any other names by which people named on the form have been known since the age of 18. No doubt this is to help identify those who have previously had an operator’s licence revoked or an application refused by the Traffic Commissioner. The application form now specifically asks if any persons named in the application form have ever attended a Public Inquiry before a Traffic Commissioner as well as asking if any named person has ever had an operator’s licence revoked, suspended or curtailed by any EU licensing authority.
The questions on financial history have been revised, requesting more information about previous trading history. Standard national holders now have to confirm that at all times they have access to at least one vehicle and that they have premises at which are kept accounting and personal management documents and data on driving time and rest. This shows the increasing trend that VOSA and the Traffic Commissioners expect a professional approach to operating vehicles.
Particular care should be taken when filling in the section about previous convictions. There is a duty to advise the Traffic Commissioner of any notifiable convictions. Not only does the applicant now have to disclose details relating to the date of the conviction, the offence, court and penalty, but also, for the first time, the Traffic Commissioner wants full details of the background circumstances declared on a separate piece of paper. This needs to be drafted with care and is something on which you may need to take specific legal advice.
No longer will applicants be able to claim that they misread the application form or did not understand what needed to be disclosed. If you require any assistance with completing the form, please contact me on 01756 790631. I currently have a fixed price offer for assistance with licence applications, please see the home page for details.