O-licences are obtained by application to the Transport Regulation Unit (TRU) of the Department for Infrastructure (DfI). The Unit will consider whether the statutory requirements under the Goods Vehicles (Licensing of Operators) Act (Northern Ireland) 2010 are met, together with the suitability of the nominated operating centre(s) where vehicles will be parked when they are not in use if the application is for a licence to operate heavy goods vehicles. Applicants for an O-licence are required to place a “notice” in a local newspaper to make people living within the vicinity of the proposed operating centre aware of the application and give them an opportunity to make environmental representations about the use of that place for lorry parking.

This topic explains the details required on the O-licence application form and the process that will follow submission of the application. Although there are some differences between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK in respect of the process for obtaining a licence, the principles of Operator Licensing are the same and this topic should be read alongside the detailed requirements for an operator’s licence in Operator Licensing in the UK.

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