The Direct Vision Standard (DVS) is now in force and applies to all vehicles weighing more than 12 tonnes travelling into Greater London. Whether you are operating a vehicle in the UK, or your drivers are travelling into London from overseas, all vehicles will require a DVS permit.

Our experts at Brigade have put together a step-by-step guide with details of how to apply for a Direct Vision Standard (DVS) permit including all the relevant links and information you’ll need to operate a vehicle in Greater London from March 2021.

1. Find out your star rating

Check your star rating with your manufacturer, or Brigade can do it for you for free. Simply visit our DVS star rating page, fill in your details, and we will get back to you.

Manufacturers can take a maximum of two weeks to respond in busy periods so ensure you allow enough time.

If your HGV is rated 1 to 5 stars, you can apply for a permit without the need to provide any additional evidence (skip to step 4). If you fall short of the star rating requirements and your vehicle is given a 0 star rating, you will need to fit devices for indirect vision that meet the DVS Safe System requirements. See step 2.

Please note that 1 and 2 star-rated vehicles will all need to be fitted with the DVS Safe System from 2024.

2. Install safety devices that meet DVS Safe System requirements

If you fall short of the star rating requirements and your vehicle is given a 0 star rating, you will need to retrospectively fit devices for indirect vision that meet the DVS Safe System requirements. This includes a camera monitor system, Sidescan sensors, an audible warning alarm and a warning sticker.

Once these products have been fitted you will need to take two photographs to provide as evidence to Transport for London.

3. Take photos to accompany your permit application

You will need to upload photographic evidence of the DVS Safe System devices on your vehicle at the point of applying for your permit. This means the products must be fitted prior to making your application.

Here’s our advice on how to take photos for a successful DVS permit application:

 Your photos must:

  • Be a jpeg or PNG file. Most mobile phones will take jpeg format photos
  • Not be larger than 10MB
  • Be clear and in focus
  • Be taken in colour
  • Provide an accurate picture of the vehicle
  • Display a readable numberplate

What should the photos show?

Photo 1

  • The front and nearside of the vehicle
  • Include the front numberplate
  • Include the class V mirror (front and nearside)
  • Include the VI mirror (front and nearside)
  • Side under run protection

Photo 2

  • The rear and nearside of the vehicle
  • The rear numberplate
  • Side under run protection

4. Fill out your application

You are now ready to apply for the DVS permit from Transport for London, which you can do via this web address:

Applying for multiple vehicles?

Operators can apply for between 5 to 3,000 vehicles at one time. You will need all vehicle numberplates and will have to indicate whether the vehicles are UK registered or non-UK. To do this, download and complete the CSV file available on the government website:

Once you have uploaded the completed CSV file, you will receive a confirmation email with a permit application number. Within 28 days you will receive separate emails to advise you of the outcome of the application.

Be warned that the unwritten deadline for applications is 31st January 2021

If you plan to drive into London and do not yet have a DVS permit, or you need to fit safety devices in order to comply with the regulations, you must ensure you allow a minimum of 28 days in order to fit your vehicle with the appropriate DVS Safe System and obtain a DVS permit from TfL. Without a DVS permit, you and the driver will risk receiving a fine. You should also bear in mind that your application may be declined. Therefore, we recommend factoring this possibility in when fitting your vehicle with the DVS Safe System or applying for a DVS permit.

If you have not applied for your star rating remember it can take a few weeks for manufacturers to respond. This is in addition to the time it takes for Tfl to process your application and therefore you should start the process of applying for your DVS permit as soon as possible.

If you have not received confirmation of your permit before travelling into Greater London, then your vehicle will not be recognised by the Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras operating within Greater London and you will receive a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) of £550 plus £130 for the driver.

To find out more about Direct Vision Standard, including a detailed breakdown of the DVS Safe System for vehicles, read our Direct Vision Standard guide.