* Where the vehicle or combination is over 3.5 tonnes and is used for hire or reward (i.e. paid transport), a standard licence will be required - irrespective of the weight of the trailer.1. OverviewYou need a goods vehicle operator’s licence if your business uses goods vehicles above a certain weight.You need a licence to carry goods in a lorry, van or other vehicle with either:a gross plated weight (the maximum weight that the vehicle can have at any one time) of over 3,500 kilograms (kg)an unladen weight of more than 1,525 kg (where there is no plated weight)There are 3 different types of licence - what you need depends on the work you do.You must also make sure that any drivers you use or employ have the correct licence and training. All vehicles that you use should be correctly taxed and kept safe and in good condition at all times.Some goods vehicles don’t need an operator’s licence - read more about the exemptions.Motor vehicles and trailersFor a motor vehicle and trailer combination, you’ll need a goods vehicle operator’s licence if:the motor vehicle and the trailer(s) are plated and the total of their gross plated weights is more than 3,500 kgthe total unladen weight of the vehicle and trailer combination is more than 1,525 kgYou don’t need an operator’s licence if your trailer’s unladen weight is less than 1,020 kg and you only carry your own goods.Carrying goods for hire or rewardIf you’re carrying other people’s goods for hire or reward (e.g. working as a courier or freight transport business) and the vehicle and trailer combination exceeds the weight limits above for a single vehicle, then you’ll need a standard licence.2. Types of licenceThere are 3 different types of operator’s licence for goods vehicles. The licence you need depends on where you transport goods to and from, and who you do it for.Standard licence (national only)This licence means you can carry your own and other people’s goods in Great Britain. You can also take loaded trailers to or from ports within Great Britain as part of an international journey, as long as your vehicles don’t leave the country.Standard licence (national and international)This licence means you can carry your own goods, and other people’s goods, both in Great Britain and on international journeys. When you get a standard international licence, you can also request the issue of Community Licences. These allow:•trips between all EU member countries•transit traffic through EU member countries•cabotage (journeys entirely within another EU member country)Restricted licenceThis licence allows you to carry your own goods, but not other people’s goods.Your licence will continue to be valid as long as you pay your continuation fee every 5 years and operate within the terms of your licence. You’ll be contacted every 5 years to make sure that your licence shows the correct information.