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Pedlars Licence

The Pedlars Act 1871, drawn up during Queen Victoria's reign, is the legislation that regulates door to door selling. 

Anyone who wishes to sell this way must have a pedlar's certificate.

The certificate allows the holder to doorstep sell throughout the UK, but it must be on foot and the goods need to be carried with them (or in a small trolley).

It is the means by which a pedlar trades that distinguishes a pedlar from a licensed street trader. The means of a pedlar are mobile, whereas the means of a street trader are static (i.e., they have a fixed stall - application for a licence is through the local council).

A pedlar’s certificate is obtained from the local police station of the area where the person lives. 

Eligibility for a pedlar's certificate:

The applicant will require two forms of identification, one with a photograph and the other showing an address where the applicant has lived for at least 28 days. The applicant must be over 17 years of age. This information is used by the police to check the applicants’ identity and that they are of good character. The cost of a certificate varies but is around £12- £15.

The certificate is valid for one year from date of issue.


The following is a sample of a legitimate pedlar's certificate (but they may vary):-

Fines and penalties:

If a pedlar sells from door to door without a certificate, or lets someone else use theirs, they could be fined up to £200.

If false information is provided in order to obtain a pedlar's licence, or if a certificate is forged, a prision sentence of up to 6 months can be imposed.

More about Safe Local Trades

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