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 £220) and you also need a Public Space Surveillance (CCTV) licence, the second licence will cost £110.
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 'Checks in Progress' mean?
'Checks in Progress' is the stage in our application process that comes after 'Next Steps'.
Once you have provided everything that we've asked for in the 'Next Steps' stage, you will get a message in your online account headed "Your application is complete and will now be processed". This message will also be emailed to you. Your status will now be shown as 'Checks in Progress'; this is the stage at which we start to process your application.
We check your criminal record, right to work and photographs, amongst other things. In some cases we will ask you to send further documents related to these checks. These will show in your online account as 'further information requests'.
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.
My licence has been granted, but I haven’t received my badge
If your licence has been granted and you’re waiting for it to arrive in the post, you are legally allowed to undertake licensable activity. This is because you are licensed from the point at which we make our decision.
Our licence conditions stipulate that front line licence holders must "wear the licence where it can be seen at all times when engaging in designated licensable activity unless you have reported it lost or stolen, or it is in our possession." We consider the licence to be "in our possession" until it is delivered to you.
If you’d like to start working before your licence arrives, print out your entry from our register of licence holders and carry it with you along with some form of photographic ID. This will enable you to prove that you are licensed if you are asked to do so by an SIA investigator or one of our enforcement partners (for example, a police officer or a local authority licensing officer).
If you don’t receive your badge within two weeks of your licence being granted, please contact us.
I have a new passport, but the SIA still has my old passport number on their system
We ask for your passport number in two different places, for two very different purposes:
- Account matching. The first time you login to our licensing site we ask you if you've previously held or applied for a licence. We then ask for specific information, which in many cases will include your passport number. Your answers are used by us to match up your new user account with your existing records. Because of this, the information you provide here needs to be the same as the information you gave us previously, even if you have been issued with a new passport and a new number.
- Licence application. When you apply for a licence we ask if you hold a passport and (if you do) we ask for the number. Your answers are used by us to confirm your identity. Because of this, the information you provide here needs to be about the current, valid passport.
Once we have matched your new account with your old records, you can and should update the passport number for any licence applications you submit. Please do not apply for a licence using your old passport number.
If you have already submitted an application using your old passport number, you will need to contact us via the 'Contact the SIA' tab in your online SIA account or via our 'Contact Us' page. You will not be able to change your passport details yourself in this situation.
If you need to change your other personal details, please watch this video for instructions:
I haven't received the validation e-mail for my new online account
If you have not received the validation email you should:
- Confirm that the email address you provided during registration is correct. You can do this by trying to register again and looking to see if your email address is recognised.
- Check your trash/spam folders for the email, in case it has been mistaken for spam.
If the email address you gave us is correct and it hasn't been caught in your trash/spam folders, you should use the contact us form on this site to ask us to look into the problem for you.
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:
I’m having problems creating an account
If you’re having difficulty creating an online account, it may be a password issue. Your password must contain between 8 and 30 characters, at least 1 number, at least 1 special character, and at least 1 capital letter. If that doesn’t help you, this video may provide the answer; it guides you through the process of creating an online account on our new licensing site: