Section 19 permits – apply for a standard or large bus permit
A permit under section 19 of the Transport Act 1985 can only be granted to a body concerned with education, religion, social welfare, recreation or other activities of benefit to the community.
These permits are either:
- standard permits – for vehicles which are adapted to carry no more than 16 passengers (excluding the driver)
- large bus permits – for vehicles adapted to carry 17 passengers or more.
A section 19 permit allows the holder to operate transport services for hire or reward without the need for a full public service vehicle (PSV) operator’s licence, provided the services are neither carried out with a view to profit nor incidentally to an activity that is itself carried on with a view to profit.
A permit enables an organisation to transport their members, or people for whom the organisation exists to help. Vehicles cannot be used to carry members of the general public.
As a permit holder, you have a responsibility to make sure that your services are operated within the law, with vehicles properly maintained and using drivers with the appropriate qualifications.
Only organisations which meet at least one of the following exemptions can apply for a section 19 permit:
- non-commercial purposes – an applicant should be satisfied that its overall purpose in providing road passenger transport and all of those services are exclusively non-commercial
- main occupation – an applicant’s road passenger transport operation is ancillary or complementary to another activity, which must demonstrably be their main occupation
- short distance – applicant is engaged exclusively in national transport operations, and has only a minor impact on the transport market because of the short distances involved. Short distance is generally regarded as those services within a 10-mile radius or length, although longer distances can be considered in certain circumstances.
A single legal entity cannot hold both a permit under the Transport Act 1985 and an operator’s licence under the Public Passenger Vehicles Act 1981.