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. Find information and guidance about the application process.

Enforcement to start in 2021

Enforcement will be introduced from 1 March 2021.

This was postponed to give affected businesses more time to meet the new standards as they face intense demands from the coronavirus pandemic.

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.

HGV safety permit and requirements

All lorries over 12 tonnes (GVW) entering or operating in Greater London will need to hold a valid HGV safety permit.

The HGV safety permit scheme covers Greater London and will be in operation 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

Applying is free of charge.

For more information about the HGV safety permit scheme you can view a map of where it operates or read the HGV safety permit - guidance for operators entering London document below.

DVS star rating and Safe System

HGV operators need to apply for a permit for their vehicles. You will be granted a permit if the vehicle meets the minimum DVS star rating.

If your vehicle does not meet the minimum DVS star rating, you will need to make your vehicle safer by fitting it with Safe System improvements.

What you need to know about DVS star ratings and Safe System improvements.

Enforcement and penalties

Once enforcement starts, if you drive an HGV within 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).

We can also revoke or suspend a permit if a vehicle that has been granted a permit is later found to be in breach of the permit terms.

Read the conditions of the HGV Safety Permit.

Vehicles from outside of the UK

Vehicles registered outside the UK more than 12 tonnes gross vehicle weight entering or operating in London will also need to hold a valid permit. You can apply for a permit as usual. Where we ask for your registration documents, such as a V5C log book, we accept foreign equivalents.

Progressive Safe System

The Safe System will be reviewed and consulted on in 2022 and will take into account any additional technology or safety equipment not currently available.

Any new equipment or technology proposed for the Progressive Safe System must be retrofittable to HGVs, industry recognised and readily available on the market at the time.

From October 2024, HGVs rated below three stars will need to feature the Progressive Safe System.

Changes to LEZ emissions standards from 2021

Tougher LEZ emissions standards for heavy diesel vehicles are coming into force from 1 March 2021.

Heavy diesel vehicles including lorries, buses, coaches and specialist vehicles will need to meet Euro VI (NOx and PM) emissions standards or pay a daily charge to drive within the Greater London area.

Contact HGV Safety Permit

If you have any questions about your application or existing permit, you can make an enquiry.

You'll be able to upload documents to support your enquiry.

Provide as much detailed information as possible to help us provide a prompt response. If you have one, include your permit application number. These can be found at the top of emails we send you.

More information

Find out more about Direct Vision Standard research.