Boat hire licence
A boat hire licence is required for the use of a vessel, in the course of trade or business, for the purpose of letting it for hire or carrying for reward 12 or fewer passengers, for pleasure, recreational, educational or sporting purposes. You must comply with any conditions attached to a licence.
You must be a fit and proper person and not be disqualified from holding a licence.
You may be required to produce a certificate issued by a suitably qualified person stating that the vessel is suitably designed, constructed, maintained and equipped and in a safe condition for its intended use.
An application fee is payable (see downloadable forms).
- be in writing (including by electronic means)
- be signed by the applicant (including by electronic means)
- contain the applicant's name and address, and those of any employee who will manage the activity on a day-to-day basis, and the area in which the activity is to be carried out.
The local authority will:
- send a copy of the application to the Chief Constable
- keep a register of applications in which they will enter the details of the receipt of the application, their final decision and reasons for the decision, the details of the terms of each licence granted and a note of any suspension, variation of the terms, or surrender, of a licence
The register must be available for inspection by any member of the public at reasonable times and places and any member of the public must be permitted to make a copy of it.
Yes, where the local authority fails to make a decision within six months of receipt of the application, the licence is deemed to be granted or renewed.
Within 28 days of the date of the decision to refuse their application, the applicant may require the licence authority to give the reasons for their decision.
The applicant may appeal to the sheriff against the decision, within 28 days of the decision, as long as they have already followed any available procedure in terms of stating their case to the local authority.
The appeal will only be successful if the sheriff considers that the local authority, in making their decision, had:
- erred in law
- based their decision on an incorrect material fact
- acted contrary to natural justice
- exercised their discretion in an unreasonable manner
The applicant may then appeal on a point of law from the sheriff's decision to the Court of Session within 28 days from the date of the sheriff's decision.
Objections or representations relating to a licence application may be made in writing to the local authority, within 21 days of notice of the licence application being given, stating:
- the grounds of the objection or nature of the representation
- the name and address of the person making the representation
A chief constable, or anyone who has made a relevant objection or representation regarding the licence, may appeal against a decision within 28 days of the date of the decision, as long as they have already followed any available procedure in terms of stating their case to the local authority.
If the local authority decides to suspend a licence, not to renew a licence, or not to consent to material changes to the premises or vehicle used in the course of a licence holder's work, the licence holder may appeal against the decision within 28 days of being notified, as long as they have already followed any available procedure in terms of stating their case to the local authority.
We would always advise that in the event of a complaint the first contact is made with the licence holder - preferably in the form a letter (with proof of delivery). If that has not worked, if you are located in the UK, the Citizens Advice Bureau will give you advice. From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre.
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