Renfrewshire Council

Last reviewed: 18:30, 27 May 2020


This webpage explains the changes we are making to our Licensing Services to help minimise the disruption caused to licence holders by the ongoing Coronavirus situation.

This guidance is mainly for current licence holders.

Please remember that everyone has a role to play in limiting the spread of the virus. Licence holders, including taxi and private hire car drivers, are reminded to follow Government advice on measures aimed at reducing the spread of Covid-19 within their premises or vehicles you can read more on the website: Coronavirus in Scotland; Coronavirus support for businesses in Scotland and Business and social distancing guidance.

Information on this page:

Available online services

General guidance on changes to licensing services

Our Customer Service Centre remains closed for in-person services.

We are currently able to accept applications for the following:

  • Occasional Licences for premises able to operate under 14 day occasionals
  • Personal Licences renewals

You can submit an application by email to Licensing and you can make payments on our MyAccount system: Pay a licensing fee

Your application should be fully completed, signed and all necessary documentation should accompany the application. Documentation should be sent in PDF, with the exception of photographs which require to be sent in JPEG format. Please ensure that the certification docket on the back of the photograph is included with your application documentation.

All planned meetings of the Regulatory Functions Board are currently suspended and regular Licensing Board meetings have similarly ceased until further notice.

Guidance for existing licence holders

Extension of licences

The Council recently agreed a policy in relation to licences issued under the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 (this includes various licences, including taxi and private hire car, but does not include liquor) which were originally due to expire on or before 30 June 2020.

The Council has agreed to change the terms of these licences by extending their duration for a period of 3 calendar months. 

This means that the duration of licences due to expire on the dates shown below will be extended as follows:

Date of Expiry Date of Extension
31 March 202030 June 2020
30 April 202031 July 2020
31 May 202031 August 2020
30 June 202030 September 2020

This means that, if your licence was due to expire before the end of June, then you will not apply for renewal before the original expiry date of your licence. However, it is important that you do make sure you apply to renew before the new extended date, as set out above.

Vehicle inspections

The Inspection Centre at Underwood Road, Paisley is closed until further notice so we are unable to test taxis and private hire cars at this time.

Please ensure in the meantime that your vehicle has a valid MOT, a Comprehensive Insurance Certificate and is roadworthy at all times when in use.

Change of vehicle

If your vehicle is due to reach the age limit referred to in your conditions of licence and/or you wish to change your vehicle, please note that we are unable at this time to inspect vehicles or issue vehicle plates.

Before considering acquiring a new vehicle, please make contact with the Civic Licensing Standards Officer in the first instance for advice - send an email to Licensing enforcement.

Temporary Cessation of Taxi and Private Hire Car Operator Licences

The Council has agreed a temporary procedure to assist taxi and private hire car operators who wish to cease using their vehicle as a taxi or private hire car on a temporary basis due to current restrictions related to Coronavirus. This will enable those operators to reduce their current level of insurance from taxi/ private hire, as normally required, while the vehicle is not able to be so used.

Operators who wish to seek a temporary cessation should make a request in writing to Licensing enforcement providing:

  • name of the Licence Holder
  • the Licence Number to which the request relates
  • the date that public hire or private hire is removed from the insurance, and
  • confirmation that the plates and stickers have been removed from the vehicle.

This information will be passed to Police Scotland. 

To reinstate the licence thereafter, the licence holder should email Licensing enforcement enclosing updated insurance which meets the requirements of their licence, and the commencement date of that insurance. 

On confirmation by the Council of receipt of satisfactory insurance, the licence holder can then replace the plates and stickers on their vehicle. Intimation of this update will be sent to Police Scotland.

Guidance for event organisers

Rescheduled events

Application fees are non-refundable. However, if you have already been granted and issued with a licence and the event has subsequently been postponed to a new date, you will require to submit a further application for the rescheduled date - you should contact us in the first instance in relation to what fee may apply.

If your application has not as yet been granted and you wish the event to be changed to another date, please email Licensing with the details and any subsequent permissions.

Notifications for Public Processions or Public Charitable Collections

We are not accepting any notifications for Public Processions or Public Charitable Collections at this time due to the restrictions on social gatherings.

Guidance for liquor licence holders

Food takeaway and delivery services

The Scottish Government has published guidance in relation to the relaxation of planning enforcement action which would result in unnecessarily restricting public houses and restaurants providing takeaway services on a temporary basis. The need for premises offering a food takeaway/ delivery service, and for off-sales premises, is reflected in the essential businesses set out in regulations made by the Scottish Government.

Where premises are licensed to include off-sales of alcohol, the delivery of alcohol with food will be permitted during the period of the current restrictions, subject to compliance with the requirements of the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 and the Licensing Board's alcohol delivery conditions - which can be found at Appendix III of the Board's Statement of Licensing Policy:

Statement of Licensing Policy 2018-2022 [248KB]

Personal Licence holder - training and renewal

Personal Licence holders are required to undergo refresher training every five years and to provide a copy of their training certificate to the Licensing Board.

If any Personal Licence holder is unable to provide evidence of the required refresher training for a reason related to Coronavirus, we will allow licence holders, under the terms of new temporary and emergency legislation, a three-month extension on the timescales to undertake their training and to submit their training certificate to the Licensing Board. This period can be extended further if required while this new legislation remains in force.

The new legislation also allows the Licensing section to accept a personal licence renewal application up until the day before that licence is due to expire, if it cannot be made within the normal time limit for a reason related to Coronavirus.

Licence holders who want more information on these requirements can email Licensing enforcement.

Occasional licences

We are able to continue accepting applications for occasional licences for premises who are allowed to operate, to enable them to do so under 14 day licences.

You can submit an application by email to Licensing and you can make payments on our MyAccount system: Pay a licensing fee

Notification of change of designated premises manager

New legislation has extended the timescales to notify the Licensing team of a change of manager from 7 days to 28 days, and to lodge an application for variation of a manager from 6 weeks to 3 months.

You should contact us at Licensing if you are concerned that you may not be able to meet these extended time limits for a reason related to Coronavirus.

Provisional Premises Licences

Where you have been unable to confirm your provisional premises licence within the statutory 4 year period for a reason related to Coronavirus, you should apply for an extension to this period before it expires. The new legislation says that we must allow you an initial 6 months extension to the 4 year period to confirm your provisional premises licence.

Section 34 Transfer of Premises Licence

Applications for transfer which are made outwith the normal statutory 28 day period can now be accepted, in terms of the new legislation, where this is due to a reason related to Coronavirus.

We will continue to update this guidance as necessary. All other enquiries to the Licensing Section should be made by email to Licensing. Due to the increased volume of enquiries, please be aware that it may take some time to respond.