The Home Office has published its guidance outlining how publicans need to renew personal licences, but has not yet provided the new application form or set a date for when the deregulation of the licences will come into force.

The Government confirmed publicans with personal licences expiring early next year will need to complete and submit a new application form, including only essential information, to their local authority in order to renew.

Licensees will also need to enclose their existing licence or a copy of their existing licence, depending on the rules from their local authority. Licensing authorities have been told to acknowledge receipt of the application, but this is not required in order for the application to be valid. This is because the Licensing Act 2003 outlines that where an application for renewal is pending and has not been determined before the licence expires, the licence continues to have effect.

A Home Office official previously stated that there would be no need to provide the existing licence and the form would only be valid following a receipt from the local authority.

The form must be submitted no earlier than three months and no later than one month before their licence expires. However, it is not yet available as Parliament still needs to approve the changes to the secondary legislation.

The Government also confirmed that there will be no application fee and no need to supply photograph or a criminal record. However, licensing authorities may charge a fee of £10.50 to cover administrative costs if a personal licence holder asks for a new licence as a result of a change of name, change of address or as a result of having lost the licence.

It is still possible for publicans to renew their licence using the existing form, but this will involve paying a fee and enclosing the original personal licence, conviction disclosure and up to date photographs.

The Home Office said the Deregulation Bill, which removes the requirement to renew personal licences, is being considered by Parliament and it cannot give an exact date as to when it will come into effect. However, it has previously stated that it will receive Royal Assent no earlier than Spring 2015.

British Beer & Pub Association chief executive Brigid Simmonds welcomed the guidance.

“It is vital that we have a smooth process to ensure that licences due for renewal do not lapse before new legislation takes effect. I am grateful to the Home Office for finding a solution and I am sure local authorities will co-operate with the spirit and intention behind this until the Deregulation Bill becomes an Act of Parliament,” she said.