FAQs - Individual Licensing
How can I pay for my SIA licence?
You can pay for you new licence at the post office using either a credit/debit card or cash.
If you are renewing your licence you will pay for your licence on line using a credit/debit card.
At the point of renewing your licence if your next step notification requests that you visit a post office for a photo refresh you will pay for your licence at the post office using either a credit/debit card or cash.
If you are applying through your business and they are making the application on your behalf using Licence Management or Licence Assist service they will process the payment on your behalf.
What do I do if my licence is lost, stolen or damaged?
You must report it to the SIA. If your licence has been stolen you should report the theft to the police, obtain a crime reference number from them and forward the police report to the SIA with a signed covering letter. If your licence has been lost you should write in explaining the circumstances of the loss - your letter must be signed. If your licence has been damaged you should return the licence to us with a signed covering letter.
We do not normally charge for replacing a licence; however, if we receive repeated requests for replacement cards we may investigate further and/or demand a fee.
Will I get a discount if I need more than one licence?
You may need more than one licence; if you do, the second licence will be discounted by 50%. As an example, if you apply for a Security licence (at a cost of £210) and you also need a Public Space Surveillance (CCTV) licence, the second licence will cost £105.
The discount does not apply to front line vehicle immobiliser licences. If you apply for two licences and one of them is a front line vehicle immobiliser licence, that licence must be paid for in full.
If you already hold the first licence when you apply for the second one, the first licence must have more than four months left to run in order for the second licence to be discounted.
How long will it take to process my SIA licence application?
There is no standard timescale for licence applications.
The time taken to process your application will be affected by many different factors: your nationality (insofar as it affects your right to work in the UK), your address history, your criminal record if you have one, whether you’ve spent time outside the UK, and so on. Every application carries with it its own specific set of circumstances that must be taken into account.
We have developed an online tool that will provide a more useful answer to the question. This tool uses data drawn from the previous 3 months to estimate how long an application will take.
Read more about this
Why has my application been refused?
If we judge it necessary to refuse your licence application we will write to you to explain why; we will also provide details on what you can do to appeal against our decision. More information is available here
Will I be able to pay the application fee over the phone?
The fee must be paid through your personal online account or at a participating UK post office (if we ask you to go to a post office to have your identification documents verified). Alternatively, your employer will be able to pay the application fee on your behalf through their online business account.
Will my employer or another business be able to apply for a licence on my behalf?
Our Licence Assist and Licence Management services will allow approved contractors to apply and pay for licences on behalf of operatives.
Businesses that are not approved contractors will be able to pay the licence application fee on behalf of operatives by registering for our Licence Pay Only service. Sign up to receive more information on these services here.
I am self-employed. Will a business be able to pay the application fee on my behalf?
Yes. Businesses will be able to pay the licence application fee on behalf of operatives, whether the operative is an employee or self-employed.
To do this, both the business and the operative will need to register for online accounts
with us. Once registered, the business should log in and request to 'link' with the operative's account. As soon as the operative has accepted this request and submitted their application, payment can be made online by debit or credit card.
My employer wants me to link with them. What does this mean?
We provide services that allow businesses to manage parts of the licence application process on behalf of their staff. You need to agree to them doing this, because your employer may need to see and edit certain personal information in order to help with your licence application. This process of giving consent involves something called 'linking'.
More information about linking is available here
. We have also produced a video explaining how the linking process works: the video is available here
Who should I contact when I need help?
Much of the information you need to apply, renew and manage your licence can be found here on the SIA website. It is worth spending time on the site to see if your query can be answered.
If you work for an SIA approved contractor your employer should be your first point of contact with regard your query. Only if they are unable to assist should you contact us directly.
If you have set up an online account you can contact us using the 'Contact the SIA' tab in your account. If you do not have an online account you can use the contact us form
on this website.
Why do I need to go to a post office?
You will need to go to the post office if you don't currently hold an active licence and:
- you are applying for your own licence, or;
- your employer is helping you to apply for the licence using our Licence Pay Only or Licence Assist services.
The post office staff will check your documents and take a digital photograph of you. They will also take payment of the application fee if this has not already been paid by your employer.
If you are renewing your licence, you won't need to go to a post office unless we need an updated photograph of you – if that is the case you will be told when you submit your application.
I already hold an online account with you. Will I need to register for a new one?
If you previously had an online account with us, you will need to re-register, as login credentials from our old site will not work.
During the application process you will be asked to enter some personal information that will enable us to match you with your existing account. We will then transfer the information from your existing account into your new account.
What does 'Next Steps' mean?
'Next Steps' is the stage in our application process that comes after you have submitted your initial licence application.
Once you have submitted your application, your status will change to 'Next Steps'. You will get a message in your online account headed "Action required: Instructions to complete your SIA application". This message will also be emailed to you. We call this the 'Next Steps' letter.
This will tell you exactly what we need from you to continue with your application. Please read it carefully and make sure you understand what we require from you. This could include going to the post office to pay the licence fee and have your identity documents checked, or sending physical documents to us for verification.
We cannot process your application until you have followed all the instructions in your Next Steps letter.
Will I pass the criminality checks?
If you have a criminal record, it does not necessarily mean that you will not get a licence. We will make our decision according to:
- Whether we consider your offences relevant to our decision;
- The actual sentence or disposal given to you for the offence; and
- How recent the offences were.
Our criminal record indicator provides a 'no cost' way of determining whether or not you will pass our criminality criteria. The logic of the indicator mirrors that which is used by members of our licensing team when they make their decision.
You can find more information about our criminality checks and the criminal record indicator on this page:
How long does it take to get my documents back?
We know your documents are important to you, and we will return them to you as soon as we can. We have to examine them to confirm their authenticity and check them against the information you provided in your application. We aim to return your documents to you within 20 working days.
You can read more about the documents that we ask for, and why we need them, here: