Retailers who are due to renew their licence in early 2015 - before legislation to scrap the 10-year renewal rule is enforced - will enjoy a simplified application process, the Home Office has confirmed.

As part of the Deregulation Bill, the government has committed to scrapping the need for personal licences to be renewed every 10 years. But licensees who were at risk of having to fully renew their licence ahead of the Bill passing through Parliament will now not have to face a lengthy and costly application procedure.

The simplified procedure will mean licence holders will have to fill in an application and submit it to their local authority, along with their existing licence, or a copy.

There are no costs involved unless licensees request changes to their existing licence details, such as an address or picture change. This would cost £10.50.

Welcoming the move, ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “For retailers that have to renew their personal licences in early 2015 it will be a great relief to see the publication of the simplified process for personal licencing renewals.  This process will ensure that retailer can renew their personal licence without having to go through the full application process.  As soon as the Deregulation Bill passes through Parliament there will be no requirement for personal licences to be renewed every 10 years.

“This has been a frustrating and messy process, but at least we now have clarity on what retailers need to do, and none of the costs of CRB checks and application fees that would have caused huge problems for retailers.  We are pleased to have engaged with the Home Office on this issue and it is good that they have listened.”

Licensees can apply to renew their licence up to three months before their personal licence expires but no less than one month before it expires.