Posted: Monday, 8 December 2014 @ 12:07
Not for the first time the government, much like its predecessor, has got itself in a muddle due to delay in introducing otherwise worthy legislation.
This time it is all to do with the renewal of Personal Licences. You may recall that the current licensing regime came into force in November 2005, and that licensing authorities were in a position to accept applications under the new regime from 7 February 2005. Many holders of the old Justices Licences got their act together early and applied for their new Personal Licences under so-called Grandfather rights. As you know, as it stands Personal Licences last for 10 years and must then be renewed. Application for renewal must be made not more than 3 months and not less than one month before the expiry date to ensure continuity.
With all this looming the government decided to cut red tape and abolish the need for renewal, so that existing Personal Licenses will remain in force. The problem is that it did not move fast enough. The enabling legislation may not get on the statute book until April 2015 at the earliest. This means that those worthy licence holders who applied early and received their Personal Licences before April 2005, (and may be after that month depending on when the legislation is passed) could still have to make a formal application for renewal, submit a new photograph, and pay the renewal fee of £37.00.
With this in mind the government has rushed through a stop gap measure, but it is far from crystal clear!
The government has issued a “Factsheet”. This explains that a simplified process with no fee payable can be followed for those who have a Personal Licence expiring before the new legislation is in force. But given the uncertainty of the exact date, clearly it will be advisable for anyone with a Personal Licence expiring before June 2015 to use the method.
• The application form (which has yet to be published!) must be sent to the licensing authority who issued the original Personal Licence no earlier than 3 months and no later than one month before its expiry date.
• The original licence must be enclosed (presumably the paper full licence rather than the card-this is unclear), unless the licensing authority is willing to accept a copy.
• Any relevant offences must be listed on the renewal form
• All the licensing authority will be required to do is to then return the original Personal Licence, unless there has been a police objection.
Given there is no requirement for the licensing authority to acknowledge receipt, I strongly advise that any application is sent by Special Delivery so that you have proof of the date of receipt.
Licensing Law Specialist
Tel: 0845 003 5639
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