Frequently Asked Questions

Note: In this section the term Operator Licence can mean either a Road Haulage Operator Licence or a Road Passenger Transport Operator Licence.
1Q. What is the difference between a Certificate of Professional Competence and an Operator Licence?
1A. A Certificate of Professional Competence in Road Transport Management (CPC) is a qualification that allows the holder to act as transport manager in a road transport undertaking. It is NOT a licence to operate in the road transport sector. Every road transport undertaking must hold an Operator Licence in order to operate for hire or reward, and one of the conditions of the licence is that the operator must have a qualified transport manager, i.e. a person who holds a CPC. Operator Licences are issued by Road Transport Operator Licensing Unit. Certificates of Professional Competence are issued by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (see details in the Links section).
2Q. Can an Operator Licence or CPC be loaned by the holder to someone else?
2A. No. Licences and CPCs are specific to the holder and cannot be used by anyone else.
3Q. I have a national Operator Licence. Can I convert it to an international licence?
3A. Yes, provided that the transport manager has an international CPC. Contact us for details of how to apply for the conversion.
4Q. I have an Operator Licence as a sole trader. I now wish to operate my transport business as a limited company or partnership. What effect will this have on my sole trader Operator Licence?
4A. You will need to make an application for a new licence in the name of the limited company or partnership and return the sole trader licence documents to Road Transport Operator Licensing Unit. The same requirements apply when changing from a limited company or partnership to a sole trader. Note that all vehicles must be registered in the name of the new licence applicant.
5Q. Can I hold both a national and international Operator Licence?
5A. Yes, provided that there are different vehicles on each licence.
6Q. Can I act as transport manager on more than one Operator Licence?
6A. Yes. A transport manager can be nominated on up to four licences with a combined maximum of fifty vehicles, subject to the provisions of the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997. Contact us for more details if required.
7Q. I have a Driver CPC. Does this qualify me to act as a transport manager?
7A. No. Driver CPC was introduced by EU regulation to set and maintain high standards of road safety, health and safety and driving among professional drivers of buses and trucks and is administered by the Road Safety Authority. It is not related to the CPC in Road Transport Management administered by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport.
8Q. Can I put a leased or hired vehicle on my Operator Licence?
8A. Yes. You will need to provide a copy of the lease or hire agreement and the vehicle must be insured in the name of the licence holder.
9Q. Can I get an Operator Licence without a vehicle?
9A. No. Licences are vehicle-specific and you must have at least one vehicle (owned, leased or hired) in order to apply for a licence.
10Q. Can I put my vehicle on someone else's Operator Licence?
10A. No.
11Q. I deliver my own goods to customers. Do I need a Road Haulage Operator Licence?
11A. No. A licence is required only where the operator is transporting goods for hire or reward, i.e. being paid specifically to transport the goods.
12Q. Is the transport of goods exempt from licensing regulations in some cases?
12A. Yes, for example the carriage of cattle, pigs, sheep or turf within Ireland, or the carriage of milk to or from a creamery. Refer to the Exemptions section for the full list of exemptions.
13Q. What are the penalties for carrying out unlicensed road transport operations?
13A. Under Section 9 of the Road Transport Act 2011, conviction for this offence can result in a fine of up to €500,000 or a term of imprisonment of up to 3 years, or both.
14Q. What are the penalties for engaging the services of an unlicensed road transport operator?
14A. Under Section 9 of the Road Transport Act 2011, conviction for this offence can result in a fine of up to €500,000 or a term of imprisonment of up to 3 years, or both.
15Q. What is the difference between a Large Public Service Vehicle (LPSV) Licence and a Road Passenger Transport Operator Licence?
15A. The LPSV Licence is issued by the Carriage Office of An Garda Síochána or the relevant local Garda PSV Office and requires a technical examination of the vehicle. The Road Passenger Transport Operator Licence is issued by Road Transport Operator Licensing Unit and allows access to the profession of road passenger transport operator. When applying for a Road Passenger Transport Operator Licence, you must have an LPSV Licence for each vehicle you wish to have authorised. For more information on how to apply for an LPSV Licence refer to the Carriage Office section of the Garda website
16Q. I have a Road Passenger Transport Operator Licence. Can I operate a regular and scheduled service along a specified route with just this licence?
16A. No. You will also need a Route Licence, which is issued by the National Transport Authority. For more details refer to the Bus Licensing section of the Authority's website.
17Q. I have a Road Passenger Transport Operator Licence. I have been told I need a Journey Form for a planned international trip. What is this form and where can I get one?
17A. Journey Form Books (formerly known as Waybills) are issued by the Public Transport Regulation Division of the National Transport Authority. A bus operator is required under EU Regulation 1073/2009 to have completed this form in full before undertaking an occasional service/trip to another EU country. Bus operators are also permitted to undertake local excursions (cabotage) within the country they are visiting, which must also be also recorded on the Journey Form. For more details refer to the Public Transport Regulation section of the Authority's website
18Q. I have a recovery vehicle. Do I need a Road Haulage Operator Licence?
18A. If you use the vehicle only for recovery work, i.e. the transport of impaired or broken-down vehicles, you do not need a licence. However, if you carry out any other work for hire or reward, e.g. removal of illegally parked vehicles for the authorities or transport of vehicles in working condition, then you do need a licence.
19Q. I am adding / removing / substituting a vehicle on my Operator Licence. What documentation is required? Are there any fees?
19A. Please refer to the Adding, Removing or Substituting Vehicles on your Operator Licence in the Transport Licensing Forms section.
20Q. I have been told I need an ADR certificate to transport certain dangerous goods by road. Where can I apply for this certificate?
20A. ADR is an abbreviation for the European Agreement Concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road. Regulations apply to the carriage of dangerous goods by road, including the packing, loading, filling and unloading of these goods. For more details refer to the Transport of Dangerous Goods by Road section of the Health and Safety Authority's website
21Q. I plan to transport an abnormal load. Who should I contact?
21A. Permits for abnormal or special loads are issued by the relevant local authorities (County Councils or Corporations) where the load is to be transported.
22Q. What is cabotage and what regulations apply in that area?
22A. Cabotage means the carrying out of purely domestic haulage within a single country by a foreign operator. EU regulations restrict the amount of cabotage operations that Irish haulage operators can carry out in the UK and the rest of the EU.
23Q. Where can I get a CMR waybill?
23A. The CMR Convention regulates the responsibilities and potential liabilities of the carrier when engaged in international transport for hire or reward. A standard CMR waybill or international consignment note has been developed. For more information contact the Irish Road Haulage Association on 01-8013380.
24Q. I operate a Light Commercial Vehicle (i.e., van), do I require an operator licence?
24A. If you are transporting goods within Ireland, you do not currently require an operator licence. If you are transporting goods internationally (EU and the UK including Northern Ireland) for hire or reward using vehicles with a maximum permitted laden weight exceeding 2.5 tonnes you do require an International Road Haulage Operator Licence.