Personal licence to sell alcohol

A personal licence allows an individual to supervise or authorise the sale of alcohol. It is a mandatory condition of a premises licence that there should be a premises manager, and that they should have a valid personal licence.

Applicants must be 18 years of age, or over, and must hold a licensing qualification/training certificate from an accredited trainer, such as the SQA Scottish Certificate for Personal Licence Holders. The certificate must have been obtained no earlier than December 2020.

No personal licence previously held by the applicant must have been revoked within the period of 5 years ending with the day on which the application was received by the Licensing Board.

You need to notify the Licensing Board if you have been convicted of any relevant or foreign offence during the time between making the application and the application being determined by the Licensing Board. If you are a personal licence holders you must notify their Licensing Board of any convictions for relevant or foreign offences within one month of the conviction.

Telling us about any changes

If you hold a personal licence you must, no later than one month after any change in the licence holder’s name or address, give the Licensing Board which issues the licence notice of the change. It is an offence not to do so.

Application fee

The fee for the grant of a personal licence is £50 and the fee for a replacement personal licence is £20. These fees are non-refundable.

You can pay by either:

Unfortunately we are unable to accept payment by BACs, cheques or cash.

The fee must be paid at the same time the application for the licence is lodged with us otherwise we won't be able to progress it.

How to apply

You can apply for a personal licence online. Please note that you will have to sign in with myAberdeenshire to access the form. You will be able save it and resume later at any stage before submitting it. To access your saved applications login to myAberdeenshire and go to your submissions.

Apply for a personal licence

Renew a personal licence

Alternatively you can apply on paper by completing the personal licence application form (PDF 170KB).

Please send your competed form by email to or by post to, please note physical mail is only checked once a week:

Aberdeenshire Council
Legal and People
Arduthie Road
AB39 2DQ

If you are unable to complete the forms, please call us and we will assist you to apply over the telephone.

Read our guidance for information (PDF 183KB) on the application process. View our identity checks for applicants guidance note (PDF 138KB).

We will need you to include two things with your application:

  • 2 photographs of yourself - one of which is endorsed as a true likeness by a person of standing in the community
  • the original certificate showing the appropriate licensing qualification

Application process

Once submitted, the Licensing Board will provide Police Scotland with a notice of the application. Police Scotland must respond stating that, so far as they are aware, the applicant has not been convicted of a relevant or foreign offence, or provide a list of the applicant’s convictions for any such offences. In the event that there are relevant offences, the application must be considered by the Licensing Board.

In all other cases applications can be granted under ‘delegated powers’. This means that the decision to grant the licence is made by a designated officer of the council.

Licence duration

If granted, this licence lasts for 10 years from the date of issue, unless revoked earlier by the Licensing Board.

Please note refresher training must be undertaken every 5 years.

Personal licence refresher training

Personal licence holders must obtain refresher training every 5 years. The required refresher qualification is 'the Scottish Certificate for Personal Licence Holders (Refresher) at SCQF Level 6'. A copy of this qualification must be presented to the Licensing Board, no later than 3 months after the 5-year period expires.

Once training has been completed please complete Personal Licence Refresher Completion Form (PDF 170KB).

Failure in obtaining the training and presenting the qualification within specified timeframes will result in the licence being immediately revoked. There will be no exceptions or appeals. 

Revoked licences

If your licence is revoked for any other reason than the refresher's training and you are the premises manager, then you can no longer act as such and you must:

If both these things are not done, the premises:

  • will no longer have a premises manager
  • will be breaking a mandatory licence condition
  • are likely to be closed by the Police

You can however, reapply for a personal licence provided you can evidence that you have passed an appropriate course.