Truck transport

When do you need a road transport license?

In order to carry out transport activities on the road, it is necessary to meet certain legal requirements, including obtaining the appropriate licenses. Having them is crucial to be able to legally provide services in the field of transport of goods and passengers. What are these? What types of licenses are available? What requirements must be met? Read the article to find out when you need a road transport license.

What is a road transport license?

The transport license, which is the authorization to carry out transport activities by land, is a key document for entrepreneurs in the transport industry. Issued by the relevant administrative authorities on the basis of the entrepreneur’s application, it confirms the legality and authority to conduct commercial road transport. It is an administrative decision, which is associated with the appropriate fulfillment of the requirements set out in national and European regulations. Depending on the nature of the transport, the type of vehicles and the scope of the activity, the procedures, costs and conditions for obtaining a license may vary. A road transport license is assigned to a specific entrepreneur and their business activity. It cannot be transferred to another person, except in specific situations, such as a merger, division or transformation of a company.

Types of road transport licenses

Each type of license specifies special requirements, conditions for obtaining and the scope of activities to ensure the safety and legality of the transport activity. There are such licenses as:

  1. The Community license for companies operating across borders, often called an international license.
  2. For companies operating exclusively in one country, it may be necessary to obtain a permit to operate as a road carrier, also known as a national license.
  3. There is also a license for intermediation in the transport of goods, called a forwarding license, which enables the provision of transport organization and planning services for carriers.

When is a license required?

The decision to require a transport license depends on the type of business and the geographic area in which the transport company operates. In the case of road transport carried out within the country, a license for domestic road transport becomes necessary for companies engaged in commercial transport of goods with vehicles with a permissible total weight of more than 3.5 tons or passenger transport using buses. However, companies which carry out non-commercial transport for their own needs and those whose activities include only transport by vehicles with a GVW of less than 3.5 tons are not obliged to obtain a road transport operator’s license.

On the other hand, in the context of the international transport of goods or passengers, a Community license becomes an indispensable document. Companies planning to carry out international transport must have a Community license, even if the previous activity included only transport with vehicles with a GVW of less than 2.5 tons. Since the provisions of the Mobility Package came into effect in May 2022, vehicles with a GVW of 2.5-3.5 tons are also subject to the obligation to hold a Community license. It is worth noting that some forms of transport, such as domestic passenger transport by car, also require a special authorization, such as a national license issued by the competent local authority. In addition, it is possible to obtain a certificate for own-use transport for companies for which transport is only ancillary to the primary activity.


What requirements must be met to obtain a road transport license?

In order to obtain a road transport license, it is necessary to meet a number of conditions regarding professional experience, relevant competences, financial situation and reputation of the entrepreneur. Depending on the country of registration of the company, the specific requirements and costs associated with obtaining a license vary, so you should look for detailed information on the official websites in the countries of registration.

In the case of international transport, it is necessary to have a minimum of three years of experience in domestic transport, a license for domestic transport and a certificate of professional competence. The company must also have an impeccable reputation, provide adequate financial security and be based in the European Union. Along with the application for an international license, documents proving the company’s good legal and financial standing must be submitted. In addition, a license to act as an intermediary in the transport of goods requires meeting additional criteria, such as the lack of a final conviction for fiscal penal offenses or intentional crimes against safety in communication or property. The financial requirements for a company include having cash or assets in an appropriate amount, which can be documented by annual financial statements or other proof of funds. The license is issued for an unlimited period of time, once all requirements have been met.

A road transport license is essential for companies and individuals engaged in transport activities on public roads. Obtaining the appropriate license ensures legality, security and responsibility in the conducted business. Depending on the type of business and the geographic area in which your business operates, you may need to obtain different types of licenses, such as a license to transport passengers, loads, or to provide services internationally. Operating without the required licenses may result in serious legal and financial consequences and threaten the safety of road users. Therefore, it is important to ensure that all legal requirements for conducting transport business are met.

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