Personal Functional Licence (PFL) guide
It can take up to 6 weeks to process a Personal Functional Licence if there are no issues with the application.
You need a PFL before you start work as:
- a dealer or croupier
- a cashier
- an inspector
- a pit boss or gaming supervisor
- security staff or monitoring surveillance related to gambling activities.
You must be 18 or over to apply for a licence.
When you apply for a licence it is your responsibility to follow the relevant rules and regulations, it is not the responsibility of your employer.
To renew or manage a personal licence you already have, use the Manage and maintain your personal licence service. If you need to change the type of personal licence you have, read our guidance on making changes to your personal licence.
Apply for a Personal Functional Licence or update your applicationStart now
It costs £185 to apply for a licence, the fee must be paid by credit or debit card online. We are unable to accept payments made by American Express or Visa Electrion.
This fee is non-refundable, this includes if your application is unsuccessful or you choose to withdraw from the application process.
Who can make the payment
You must pay the fee yourself, using your own credit or debit card.
The card you use must be:
- in your name
- registered at your home address.
When to pay
You'll need to pay the fee before you submit your application.
What information you need when applying
To apply for a licence you'll need:
- an email address to start or continue your application
- all your addresses for the last 5 years and the dates you lived there
- a credit or debit card to pay the application fee
- proof of your identity
- certified copies of your overseas police report translated into English, if you were born abroad or have lived outside the UK in the last 5 years (not required if you left your country of birth as a child)
- certified overseas credit report or letter of good standing from your overseas bank translated into English, if you were born abroad or have lived outside the UK in the last 5 years (not required if you left your country of birth as a child).
Criminal record checks
As part of the application process we'll need to ask if you've received any criminal convictions, warnings or reprimands.
It is important that you declare any offences. We undertake checks, including Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks, to confirm the accuracy of your declarations.
Why we do criminality checks
We do this to assess if a person is suitable to hold a personal licence or Annex A. We are also required to carry out these checks by law, under Part 5 of the Gambling Act 2005 (opens in new tab).
Not all convictions will prevent you from getting a licence or Annex A. When considering the suitability of someone to hold a personal licence or Annex A, we review details of the offence on a case by case basis.
Relevant offences which may result in a licence application being refused, or a licence to be revoked, are listed under Schedule 7 of the Gambling Act (opens in new tab).
Do not send us any documents unless we ask for them
You may have a certificate from a previous DBS or Disclosure Scotland by an employer. Do not send us these certificates, even if the check was done recently. We will always request new checks as part of the application process.
Types of criminality checks
During the application process, we will let you know what checks will be completed and if we need anything further from you.
If you lived or worked in England or Wales
We will carry out a Basic Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check (opens in new tab), which is done electronically. We will ask you some questions in the application to enable us to carry out this check.
If you declare any criminal history in your application, we reserve the right to carry out a Standard DBS check, instead of a Basic DBS check. You will be notified if we intend to do this. We cannot do this Standard check electronically, instead, we'll send you a form which you'll need to complete, sign, and return to us.
Electronic checks can take 1 to 7 days to complete. Standard checks can take up to 3 weeks.
DBS will issue a certificate which details any relevant convictions, warnings or offences against you.
Once you get your certificate, we may ask you to send this to us. Do not send us your certificate unless we ask for it. We will tell you how and where to send it.
Electronic Disclosure and Barring Service (eDBS) checks
To carry out electronic DBS (eDBS) checks, we must have your consent.
If consent is given to share the result of the eDBS check
If you consent to sharing the result of the eDBS, you can progress the application online and when submitted, the application will be processed in the via the automated service.
If you do not give consent to share the result of the eDBS check
If you do not consent to sharing the eDBS result with us, we cannot progress the application using the automated service.
Instead, you must:
- Use our online form to contact us about your application for a licence. Select the ‘I want to discuss other ways to submit my application for a licence’ option. A member of our Licensing team will contact you with an application form for you to complete.
- If you are applying for a personal licence, you must pay for your application using GOV.UK Pay. The Licensing team will send you a payment link.
- Pay for your own basic DBS check (opens in new tab).
- Send us your DBS certificate, completed application form and any other supporting evidence required for the application. Submit these by email to Licensing@gamblingcommission.gov.uk.
Once we receive all of your documentation and payment, your application will be processed manually by a Licensing caseworker. The caseworker will provide an estimate on how long the application is likely to take to be determined.
When the application has been processed and determined, you will receive an email notification from us as confirmation.
As part of our compliance processes, the Commission will be asked to provide evidence that the required consent has been freely obtained.
Further information is available in the DBS Consent policy (opens in new tab).
If you were born or have lived in Scotland
We will request a Disclosure Scotland check (opens in new tab)
We will send you a form which you need to complete, sign and return to us.
Disclosure Scotland checks can take up to 3 weeks.
Disclosure Scotland will issue a certificate which details any relevant convictions, warning or offences against you.
Once you get your certificate, we require you to send this to us and we will tell you how and where to send it.
If you were born outside of England, Wales or Scotland or lived overseas in the last 5 years
We will ask you to obtain certified copies of your overseas police report from your local police force translated into English. (This is not required if you left your country of birth as a child.)
This is at your own cost and is not covered by the application fee. We will not pay any fees for obtaining or translating these documents.
These documents need to be uploaded as part of your application. We may refuse your application if they are not provided, as your application is incomplete.
You can find more information about certifying a document on GOV.UK (opens in new tab).
Uploading your documents
We will let you know if you need to send us any additional documents as part of your application.
If we ask for any additional information or supporting documents, you can submit these online. Upload your documents using the Apply for a personal licence service.
Do not send documents to us by post unless we have specifically stated to do so.
If you get your licence
You will not receive a physical copy of your licence from us but you can download a copy through our Manage and maintain your personal licence service.
You need to be able to produce your licence on demand within a specified period of time if an enforcement officer or relevant person of authority asks to see it. Your licence will last indefinitely unless:
- it is revoked
- it is suspended
- you choose to surrender it
- it lapses due to bankruptcy
- it is forfeited, for example if a court orders it when you are convicted of a relevant offence.
However, you will need to renew your personal licence every 5 years.
For information on what happens after you have your licence, including how to renew, manage or surrender your licence, read our Managing your personal licence guide.
If your application is refused
If we refuse your application we'll let you know the reasons why and the steps you can take to appeal if you are unhappy with our decision.
If we have given you a final decision and you are not satisfied with it, you can appeal to an independent tribunal (opens in new tab) within 28 days of receiving our refusal letter.
Last updated: 26 April 2023
Show updates to this content
25 April 2023 - Added eDBS consent information.
11 January 2023 - Following user feedback and an audit, we have edited this page for consistency. No substantive changes to requirements have been made.