Operator licenses are something that are required if you want to drive a heavy goods vehicle. The reason that operator licenses were introduced was to help ensure the safety of all road users when goods vehicles are being operated.
If you are operating a goods vehicle that weighs over 3.5 tonnes gross plated weight or it weighs more than 1,525kg when unladen, when the vehicle is being used for commercial means – whether you are transporting goods or hiring out the vehicle. Operator licences are not just restricted to heavy goods vehicles. If you are driving a vehicle and trailer that have the same combined weight as stated above, then you need to have an operator license.
It is illegal to operate a heavy goods vehicle without having a valid operator license and not only can you be prosecuted, but your vehicle can also be impounded. Even if you are only using a vehicle for a single day or a few hours or as part of a one-off hire and the weights are as stated above, then you will still need to have an operator license.
There are some exemptions that can be found, along with further information about operator licenses in this PDF.
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