Simple Mistakes Operator’s Licence Holders make


We come across simple mistakes, same administrative in nature, that licence holders make.  They are, in no particular order, as follows:


  1. An Operator may hire a vehicle, perhaps on a long term contract, but the maintenance on that vehicle is undertaken by the owner of the vehicle. Strictly speaking, the Operator should inform the traffic commissioner that the owner of the vehicle is now an additional maintenance provider.


  1. An Operator will receive a prohibition and then file it away without first investigating the root cause.


  1. An Operator may not look at their 6 weekly inspection sheets to check that defects are signed off as rectified, when they have been rectified. Although the work has been done, Operators need to make sure the paperwork confirms that the work has been done.


  1. Again, with daily defect checks, if a fault is recorded by the driver then make sure the rectification work is recorded on the daily defect sheet. Make sure that it is signed off and dated.  If an external contractor is used to do the repair work then it can be helpful to staple the invoice to the daily defect sheet.


  1. Operators can often fail to notify the Traffic Commissioner about a change in the company’s directors.


  1. On the advice of their accountant, a sole trader becomes a limited company but fails to apply for a new Operator’s Licence in the name of the limited company.


  1. Operators will often fail to notify the Traffic Commissioner about a notifiable conviction. This has to be done within 28 days of the conviction.


  1. Operators may apply to the Traffic Commissioner for an increase in their licence without first checking that their operation is being run compliantly. This application will trigger a DVSA visit and so operators should make sure they are compliant, perhaps through the use of an independent audit, before submitting the application.


  1. Operators shouldn’t rely on their external maintenance contractor to do their job properly. Operators should be permanently monitoring them to make sure paperwork is completed on time and correctly.  PMI sheets should be returned with the vehicles.


  1. If a vehicle is off the road then place a VOR sign in the cab. It can often happen that a driver will take a vehicle out on the road without the company’s authority because no one has told him the vehicle is VOR’d and there is no sign in the cab.



For advice on Operator Licensing, contact Jared Dunbar on 01829 773 105 or