Guidance for the HGV Safety Permit

We are working with vehicle manufacturers to assign star ratings for their vehicles. Check to see if we hold your star rating and apply.

Apply for a single vehicle

If your HGV is rated one to five stars, you can apply for a permit without the need to provide any additional evidence, until 28 October 2024.

If your HGV is rated zero star, you will need to make your vehicle safer by fitting it with Safe System improvements. You will need to prove this when you apply.

If your HGV is not rated, or we do not know its star rating, you will need to contact your manufacturer to tell you its star rating and then send it to us.

The length of your permit will depend on your vehicle's star rating:

  • Zero star permits will be valid until October 2024
  • One and two star permits will be valid until October 2024
  • Three, four and five star permits will be valid for 10 years from the date of issue

Zero, one and two star-rated vehicles will need to be fitted with a Progressive Safe System from 28 October 2024.

All new permits granted from 28 October 2024 will last until 28 October 2030.

Apply for multiple vehicles

Fleet operators can apply for 5 to 3000 vehicles at one time through a multi permit application.

To get started, download the CSV template.

You can open the file in a spreadsheet program, such as Microsoft Excel. You will need to enter the number plates (Vehicle Registration Mark) of all your vehicles and tell us if they are registered as 'UK' or 'non-UK.'

It is important that you only fill the form in the example format provided. Do not alter the template or use a different format when entering data or your application may fail.

After you apply and upload your completed CSV file you will receive a confirmation email with a permit application number. Throughout the next 28 working days, you will receive separate emails that will tell you the outcome of the vehicles in your application.

These emails will usually group your vehicles by their star rating or status (such as if they meet the minimum star rating, are exempt, not subject to the scheme, or not found in our records) and any next steps you need to take.

Safety evidence for multi vehicle applications

If there are vehicles in your multi vehicle application that are rated zero star, you will still need to provide safety evidence to show you've fitted Safe System equipment on these vehicles.

We will choose a percentage of your zero star rated vehicles and ask you to provide safety evidence for them. The exact number will be based on the overall number of zero star rated vehicles in your application.

Once these are approved, we will issue permits for all zero star rated vehicles in your application 'on trust', without the need to provide further evidence.

We reserve the right to withdraw permits if we have evidence that suggests you are abusing the application process.

Rules for safety evidence photos

For applications submitted before 24 June 2024:

If you've been asked to provide safety evidence as part of your application, you will need to upload two photos to show that a Safe System has been fitted to the vehicle. Please read this guidance before uploading photos.

The quality of your photos

Your photos must be:

  • JPG or PNG files, no more than 10MB each
  • Clear and in focus
  • Colour (not black and white)
  • An accurate picture of the vehicle

What your photos must show

Your photos must:

  • Clearly show the front and nearside (passenger side) of the HGV (Photo 1)
  • Clearly show the rear and nearside (passenger side) of the HGV (Photo 2)
  • Ensure the number plate (Vehicle Registration Mark) can be clearly read in both photos at the front (Photo 1) and rear (Photo 2) of the vehicle

Provide evidence that the following safety features have been fitted to the vehicle:

  • Class V mirror (Photo 1: front and nearside)
  • Class VI mirror (Photo 1: front and nearside)
  • Side under-run protection (Photo 1 and 2)
  • Warning signage (Photo 2: rear and nearside)

If your vehicle is partially exempt and not required to have specific safety features fitted, the photo should support the reason for exemption.

If your vehicle is a tractor unit, it is not necessary for a trailer to be fitted to the vehicle for the purpose of photographic evidence. Where a trailer is present, the rear photo must show the rear nearside of the trailer with the vehicle in situ, in-line with the above requirements.

A list of vehicle exemptions and policy can be found in the HGV Safety Permit - guidance for operators entering London (Appendix A).

Good and bad examples of digital photos

Photo 1

Good example for photo 1 of HGV Safety Permit

Vehicle Registration Mark (number plate) clearly legible. Sideguards, Class V and VI mirrors clearly identifiable.

Photo 2

Good example for photo 2 of HGV Safety Permit

Vehicle Registration Mark (number plate) clearly legible, side under-run protection and warning signage clearly identifiable

Not acceptable

Examples of bad photos for HGV Safety Permit application

Image too dark / bright / poor quality / blurry - Safe System features not legible and identifiable

Manage your permit

The HGV Safety Permit is an electronic permit only. You will not receive a certificate or paper copy of the permit. You are not required to display proof of your permit in your vehicle.

We are working to improve the permits application process, using feedback we've had from applicants to make the process better and easier to use.

To stay compliant with the HGV Safety Permit scheme, you must tell us if certain conditions change. You can contact us through the Make an enquiry form.

Changes in configuration

You must tell us if you change the configuration of any of your vehicles.

We reserve the right to withdraw permits if we have evidence that suggests you are abusing the application process or are not maintaining the required Safe System measures.

Selling your vehicle: change in ownership

The owner must tell us if the vehicle has been sold and there is a change in ownership. Permits cannot be transferred between operators and the new owner will need to apply for a new permit.

The new owner can apply for a permit as soon as they've purchased the vehicle and know the vehicle's number plate (Vehicle Registration Mark), make and model.

Withdraw a permit

You may contact us if an HGV Safety Permit is no longer needed for your vehicle. We will respond with a written confirmation.

Change of number plate

You must tell us if you would like to use the number plate on a different vehicle. You will need to apply for a new permit and ensure it meets the permit requirements.