How Do I Apply For A Direct Vision Standard (DVS) Permit?

With the delay to the enforcement of the new Direct Vision Standard legislation from October 2020 to 1st March 2021, operators have been given more time to ensure their vehicles comply. However, if this is something you’ve left to the last minute you’re probably wondering where to start.

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. 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 allow enough time.

If your HGV is rated one to five 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 ‘safe system’ requirements. See step 2.

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

2. Install safety devices that meet ‘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 ‘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 ‘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
  • Taken in colour
  • Provide an accurate picture of the vehicle
  • Display a readable number plate

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 number plate
  • 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 number plates 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 of the unwritten deadline for applications of 31st January 2021

If you plan to drive into London in March 2021, and need to fit safety devices for indirect vision, you will need to have the vehicles fitted by 31st January 2021 in order to allow 28 days for TFL to advise you whether or not the application is successful, or risk receiving a fine. Bear in mind this will not give you any time if the application is declined or there is an issue.

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 by 18th January 2021 at the latest.

If you have not received confirmation of your permit by 1st March 2021 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.

Ideally operators should have a plan in place with their vehicle safety supplier by the end of the year to ensure availability of both products, fitters, and to allow time to register with TFL.

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