Who needs to apply?
A small bus permit is necessary so that voluntary groups and other bodies can charge or accept a form of remuneration for providing transport for their own members, or other people they serve without having to comply with the full PSV operator licensing or PCV driver licensing requirements.
Permits issued under Section 19 of the Transport Act 1985 allow certain non-profit making organisations to charge for transport services without licence. But the services must be provided for their own members or for groups of people whom the organisation serves. They may not provide services in this way to members of the general public. Permit vehicles cannot be run as part of an activity that is itself carried on with a view to making a profit, and any charges must only cover the running costs.
If no charge is made at all no permit will be required. However a charge covers more than just the payment of a fare. Any payment in cash or in kind, which gives passengers the right to be carried, is considered to be a charge. This could encompass part of a larger payment even if the payment is not directly related to particular journeys. For example, a subscription to a club which entitled you to free transport in the club’s vehicle.
Permits may be used for:
- Minibuses that can carry nine to 16 passengers excluding the driver
- Large buses that can carry 17 or more passengers excluding the driver.
You can download an application form [PDF, 48Kb] and send it, complete with payment, to:
PO Box 42
Church Square House
To help with your application for a small bus permit, we also have guidance notes [PDF, 77Kb] available.
Permits for large buses that can carry 17 or more passengers are issued by the Traffic Commissioner, Hillcrest House, 386 Harehills Lane, Leeds, LS9 6NF.
Fees and charges
You can find the fee for this permit by going to our fee register.
For more information, and to get your free copy of the ‘Guide for Operators PSV 385’, please visit the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) website.