Direct Vision Standard and HGV Safety Permit Scheme

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.

Why do I need an HGV safety permit?

The Direct Vision Standard and HGV Safety Permit Scheme are part of the Mayor of London's Vision Zero plan to eliminate all deaths and serious injuries on London's transport network by 2041.

The DVS measures how much an HGV driver can see directly through their cab windows. This is expressed as a star rating from zero (limited) to five (good) direct vision, indicating the level of risk to vulnerable road users, such as people walking and cycling.

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 the Progressive Safe System to operate in Greater London, from 28 October 2024.

Find out more about the DVS star ratings and the Progressive Safe System and prepare today. Our consultation report provides more details about why we have introduced the Progressive Safe System.

Preparing for 28 October 2024

If you hold an existing HGV safety permit for a zero, one or two star rated HGV, it will expire at midnight on 27 October 2024. Your zero one or two star rated vehicle must have the Progressive Safe System fitted to operate in London from 28 October 2024. You can find out what the Progressive Safe System requires in our DVS Guidance for operators available below. 

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.

It is not possible to change the star rating of your vehicle, as this is given at the point of manufacture and cannot be altered through aftermarket equipment. Fitting the Progressive Safe System is required to mitigate for limited direct vision where vehicles are rated below the minimum star rating to operate in London.

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.

Information for applications under the Safe System requirements

The HGV safety permits guidance remains available to help operators who may wish to fit the existing Safe System to zero star rated vehicles. A HGV safety permit issued with a Safe System condition will expire at midnight on 27 October 2024.

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 vehicle's registration mark (VRM) is not known to us. To find out if TfL has details of your VRM, check the star rating of your vehicle. If we can't find any vehicle details that match the VRM, you will receive a message stating '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 VRM, 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 VRM and vehicle identification number (VIN).

If you do not yet have a V5C, you can send us one of: 

  • A copy of the vehicle's record from the DVLA's View Vehicle Record service
  • A copy of your application for registration.
  • 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. Details of this process are set out 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 apply for an HGV safety permit. From 28 October 2024, this process will also incorporate vehicles rated one and two stars. This means that if you are applying for a single vehicle after 28 October 2024 that we do not hold details for, you will need to self- certify that the vehicle is rated either zero, one or two stars.

To self- certify the vehicle as zero, one or two star rated you must upload a written statement as part of your application.

The statement should be in English and must include the following:

  • Your name
  • Vehicle registration mark (VRM)
  • Vehicle make and/or model
  • Confirmation that you are providing self- certification of the vehicle's star rating.
  • The specific star rating that you are self- certifying your vehicle (zero, one or two stars)

Once we have confirmed that our records have been updated, you can make an HGV safety permit application for the vehicle.

Vehicles from outside of the UK

Heavy Goods Vehicles of more than 12 tonnes gross vehicle weight that are registered outside of the UK and operate in Greater London also need to hold a valid safety permit. You can apply for a permit on this website in the same way as for UK operators. 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 registration mark (VRM), 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 vehicle registration mark (VRM), you should submit this together with a copy of your country's equivalent of the V5C log book, that confirms both the VRM and vehicle identification number (VIN).

Left-hand drive vehicles

Left-hand drive HGVs over 12 tonnes gross vehicle weight still need to meet the requirements of the DVS and HGV Safety Permit Scheme. Mirrors, cameras and sensors should be fitted appropriately to account for the blind spot on the right- hand side of the vehicle.

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

A HGV safety permit cannot be transferred to another vehicle or vehicle registration mark (VRM) If you are transferring a cherished plate, we will therefore need to cancel the safety permit recorded against your original VRM . 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 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 VRM.


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). The full list of exemptions under the HGV safety permit scheme is provided in our DVS Operator's Guidance.

Vehicles carrying out operations under the Special Types (General Order) Regulations or that are carrying an abnormal indivisible load may have characteristics that prevent Blind Spot and Moving Off Information Systems (BSIS and MOS systems) from working effectively. If these characteristics of abnormal loads are a permanent feature of the vehicle structure, then the vehicle may be exempt from the requirement to fit whichever system is adversely affected.

Where the obstruction is temporary, for example, when it is the load itself causing the obstruction or if it is only when certain types of trailer or equipment are used, then BSIS and MOIS are still required but the affected system(s) may be deactivated for the time that the temporary obstruction is present. A signal shall inform the driver by visual means and not audible means, that the systems are deactivated.

If your vehicle is registered in the UK and is clearly defined as exempt, it will automatically be exempt and you don't need to register it with us. However, 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, upload a copy of your vehicle's V5C and photos of the front, rear and side of the vehicle with the vehicle registration mark (VRM) clearly visible. We will then review your request and assess whether you need an HGV safety permit for your vehicle.

Progressive Safe System

HGVs rated below three stars will need to install the Progressive Safe System, from 28 October 2024. You can find full details of the Progressive Safe System in our DVS Operator's guidance. A summary of the seven requirements that make up the Progressive Safe System is set out below. Blind Spot and Moving Off Information Systems that are retrofitted to your vehicle must meet the performance requirements in our PSS technical specifications, and not UN regulations directly.

Progressive Safe System summary

Requirement 1: A Camera Monitoring System (CMS) must be fitted to the nearside of the vehicle, to eliminate the remaining blind spot at the nearside. A CMS can also be used as an alternative to fitting Class V and VI mirrors.

Our guidance states that an additional CMS does not need to be fitted where one already exists in the vehicle, or where the vehicle meets the standards set out in UNECE Regulations 151 and 159. This will apply where the same safety benefits are achieved, and may include a CMS fitted to replace mirrors, or as part of a Blind Spot Information System.

We recommend that installers consider where to install cameras based on the size of blind spot that needs to be covered and to avoid causing an external projection that may come into contact with someone adjacent to the vehicle. In many cases, a mounting height above two metres may be appropriate but installers should consider the context of the specific vehicle.

Requirement 2: Class V and VI mirrors, or a CMS that replaces the mirrors, or a combination of both, must be fitted to the front and nearside of the vehicle.

Requirement 3: A Blind Spot Information System 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.

Requirement 4: A Moving Off Information System (MOIS) must be fitted to the front of a vehicle to warn the driver of the presence of a vulnerable road user and prevent collisions at the front blind spot zone when a vehicle moves off from rest.

Requirement 5: Side under- run protection must be fitted to both sides of the vehicle, except where this would not be practicable.

Requirement 6: Audible warnings must be fitted to provide an adequate warning to vulnerable road users when a vehicle is turning left, or right for left-hand drive vehicles. This makes sure that all vehicles can warn of an intended manoeuvre.

Requirement 7: External warning signage must be displayed on vehicles to provide clear visual warning of the hazards around the vehicle. Our operator's guidance sets out that this must be clearly legible.

We recommend larger (at least A3) size signs where possible, recognising that may not be possible for all vehicle designs. Operators where larger signage is not practical should do what works best for their vehicle, while making sure that signage used is clear and legible.

Enforcement and penalties

If you drive a HGV within most of Greater London without a valid permit, you may receive a penalty charge (PCN) of up to £550 (reduced to £275 if paid within 14 days).