Direct Vision Standard and HGV Safety Permit
We continue to work with vehicle manufacturers to assign star ratings for their vehicles. Check to see if we hold your star rating and apply for a permit. Find information and guidance about the application process.
Direct vision and road safety
The Direct Vision Standard measures how much an HGV driver can see directly through their cab windows. This indicates the level of risk to vulnerable road users, such as people walking and cycling, near the vehicle.
The Direct Vision Standard and HGV safety permit for HGVs is part of the Mayor of London's Vision Zero plan to eliminate all deaths and serious injuries on London's transport network by 2041.
Direct Vision Standard requirements in London are changing. To improve the safety of all road users, heavy goods vehicles over 12 tonnes will need to have a three-star rating or fit a Progressive Safe System to operate in Greater London, from 28 October 2024.
Find out more about the Progressive Safe System and prepare.
HGV safety permit requirements
Whether or not the operator considers the vehicle to meet the standards, all lorries over 12 tonnes (GVW) entering or operating in Greater London need to hold a valid HGV safety permit before using the area to avoid receiving a PCN.
The HGV safety permit scheme covers most of Greater London and is in operation 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
Applying for a permit is free of charge.
For more information about the scheme, you can view a map of where it operates or read the HGV safety permit guidance for operators entering London document.
DVS star rating and Safe System
HGV operators must apply for a permit for their vehicles before travelling through the area. A permit will be granted if the vehicle meets the minimum DVS star rating.
If your vehicle is rated zero stars, you will need to make your vehicle safer by fitting it with Safe System improvements (until October 2024). From 28 October 2024, you will need to make your vehicle safer by fitting it with a Progressive Safe System.
Find out more about DVS star ratings, Safe System improvements and Progressive Safe System
Getting an HGV Safety permit for a newly registered vehicle
If your vehicle has a star rating between zero and two:
Owners of newly registered vehicles should start the permit application process as early as possible even if the new number plate (vehicle's registration mark) is not known to us. To find out if TfL has details of your number plate, please check the star rating of your vehicle. If we can't find any vehicle details that match the number plate, you will get a message saying 'Vehicle details not found' and you will need to send us proof of the vehicle's star rating as provided by the vehicle manufacturer.
If the proof of star rating does not include the number plate, you should submit this together with a copy of your V5C log book (or foreign equivalent), or a document from the DVLA confirming both the vehicle's number plate and VIN. If you do not yet have a V5C, you can send us:
- a copy of the vehicle's record from the DVLA's View Vehicle Record service or
- a copy of your application for registration, or
- an email from the manufacturer confirming the vehicle's star rating
Documents need to be in a JPG, PNG or PDF file format, and no larger than 10MB each.
If you know your vehicle is rated zero star, you can self-certify it as zero star without needing any proof from your manufacturer (see below).
Zero Star Rating Self-Certification
If you are applying for a single vehicle that we do not hold details for, and you know the vehicle has a star rating of zero, you can still submit an HGV Safety Permit application.
To self-certify the vehicle as zero star rated you must upload a written statement as part of your application.
The statement must include the following:
- Your name
- Number plate (vehicle registration mark)
- Vehicle make and/or model
- Statement that you are providing self-certification of the vehicle's zero star rating. Any self-certification statement must be made in English.
Once you receive confirmation that our records have been updated, you can make a zero star HGV Safety Permit application for the vehicle.
Vehicles from outside of the UK
Vehicles registered outside the UK more than 12 tonnes gross vehicle weight entering or operating in most of Greater London will also need to hold a valid permit. You can apply for a permit on this website the same way as UK operators do. Where we ask for your registration documents, such as a V5C log book, we accept foreign equivalents.
Please check the star rating of your vehicle and select 'Non-UK'. If we can't find any vehicle details that match your vehicle number plate, you will get a message saying "Vehicle details not found" and you will need to send us proof of the vehicle's star rating as provided by the manufacturer.
If the proof of Star Rating does not include the number plate, you should submit this together with a copy of your country's equivalent of the V5C log book, that confirms both the vehicle's number plate and Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).
Left-hand drive HGVs over 12 tonnes gross vehicle weight still need to comply with the DVS. Mirrors, cameras and sensors should be fitted appropriately to account for the blind spot on the right-hand side.
Note that for the required blind-spot warning sign on the rear of your trailers, the stickers now legally required for HGVs operating in France ('Angles morts') are acceptable.
Cherished plate transfers
Once granted, an HGV Safety Permit cannot be transferred to another vehicle or number plate. We will therefore need to cancel the safety permit recorded against your original number plate, and once the correct star rating is recorded you will need to make a new safety permit application, as we need to ensure that the vehicle still meets the safety requirements.
If you have made a cherished plate transfer you should therefore notify us by making an online enquiry and submitting proof of the cherished plate transfer. This will enable us to associate the correct star rating with your new vehicle number plate.
A small number of vehicles are entitled to an exemption from the HGV Safety Permit Scheme. These include specialist construction vehicles built for mainly off-road use (for example, telehandlers and mobile cranes).
If your vehicle is registered in the UK it should automatically be exempt and you don't need to register it with us. However, please check the star rating of your vehicle. If your vehicle is not recognised as being exempt, or if your vehicle is registered outside the UK, you will need to contact us. When contacting us, please upload a copy of your vehicle's V5C and photos of the front, rear and side of the vehicle with the number plate clearly visible. We will then review your request and send you written confirmation of the outcome.
To improve the safety of all road users, HGVs rated below three stars will need to install the Progressive Safe System, from October 2024.
The Mayor of London has adopted Vision Zero for road danger in London with the aim of eliminating all deaths and serious injuries from London's streets by 2041. Upgrading the Safe System is key to further reducing road danger, improving the safety of all road users and meeting Vision Zero. targets Find out more about our commitments to improving road safety in the Mayor's Transport Strategy.
Evidence from the first year of enforcement has shown a reduction in collisions where vision was a contributing factor, but improvements can be made. A progressive HGV Safety Standard Permit Scheme is key to reduced collisions and improved safety for all road users.
Summary of Progressive Safe System
Improving indirect vision
Camera Monitoring Systems (CMS) guidance will be updated to allow use of both systems. This will give the driver a wider field of vision and reduce the cognitive workload.
CMS fitted on vehicles must eliminate any remaining blind spots. This provides a visual alert of an approaching vulnerable road user and prevents collisions in the blind spot area.
Sensors must ensure full coverage down the nearside of rigid vehicles to detect vulnerable road users. They must not activate in relation to roadside furniture or stationary vehicles. This aims to prevent left turn collisions. For articulated trailers, sensors must be fitted to the front tractor unit but are recommended for the trailer where possible.
Moving Off Information Systems (MOIS) sensors must be fitted to the front of a vehicle to prevent collisions at the frontal blind spot zone when a vehicle moves off from rest.
Warning vulnerable road users of intended manoeuvres
Audio warnings must be fitted to all vehicles, including those with left-hand drive to ensure all vehicles have the ability to warn of an intended manoeuvre.
Warning signage requirements remain unchanged.
Minimising physical impact of a hazard
Sideguard requirements remain unchanged
Enforcement and penalties
If you drive a HGV within most of Greater London without a valid permit, you may receive a penalty charge notice (PCN) of up to £550 (reduced to £275 if paid within 14 days).
Other road user charges which may apply:
Find out more about Direct Vision Standard research.