Direct Vision Standard and HGV Safety Permit

Direct Vision Standard and HGV Safety Permit

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Direct Vision Standard and HGV Safety Permit
New safety standards for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) over 12 tonnes gross vehicle weight (GVW) operating within most of Greater London have now come into effect.

A new HGV Safety Permit based on the new Direct Vision Standard (DVS) is required for all HGVs over 12 tonnes driving within Greater London. DVS is a key part of the Mayor of London’s Vision Zero plan to eliminate all deaths and serious injuries on London's streets. Please be aware that:

  • The DVS operates in the same area as the existing Low Emission Zone (LEZ)
  • The DVS uses a star rating system to rate HGVs based on how much a driver can see directly through their HGV cab windows, ranking from zero star (lowest level of direct vision) to five stars (highest level of direct vision)
  • To qualify for a permit, HGVs require a minimum of a one star rating. Vehicles rated zero star will only be granted a permit if they are fitted with ‘safe system’ measures
  • The Permit scheme operates 24 hours a day, every day of the year
  • HGVs not holding a permit, or in contravention of permit conditions, will be issued with a £550 Penalty Charge Notice (reduced to £275 if paid within 14 days) for each day the vehicle is driven within the DVS area.


The permit is free to obtain and available now.


Find out the DVS star rating of your heavy goods vehicle (HGV) over 12 tonnes gross vehicle weight and apply for a permit if required.

Direct Vision Standard (DVS) HGV Safety Permit Application


TfL 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 above. Find information and guidance about the application process.

Direct Vision Standard and HGV Safety Permit


The Direct Vision Standard (DVS) and safety permit for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) requires operators of lorries over 12 tonnes gross vehicle weight to obtain a safety permit before entering and operating in most of Greater London. Otherwise, you may receive a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN).


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


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 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.


HGV Safety Permit - guidance for operators entering London

PDF 2.73MB


DVS - where it operates

PDF 1.77MB


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

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


Zero Star Rating Self-Certification


If you are applying for a single vehicle 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


Once you receive confirmation that our records have been updated, you can make a zero star HGV Safety Permit application for the vehicle.


Grace period


There is a 90-day grace period to support operators who have ordered Safe System components ahead of the 1 March enforcement start date and have experienced delays in supply and fitting.

Requests to benefit from the Grace Period must have been made before 1 March 2021. Operators informing us of a delay after this date will not be eligible for the grace period.

TfL will review all these requests and send written confirmation of the outcome. Once your Safe System equipment has been fitted, you must follow the DVS Permit Application process.




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 VRM plate clearly visible. We will then review your request and send you written confirmation of the outcome.


Enforcement and penalties


If you drive an 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).



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 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 able to be retrofitted 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.


Other charges which may apply:

Congestion Charge (CC)

Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ)

Low Emission Zone (LEZ)


DVS research


Find out more about Direct Vision Standard research.

Source: Transport for London

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