Last reminder for HGVs driving in London without a Direct Vision Standard permit

Added: 19 January 2021

The Direct Vision Standard (DVS) and safety permit for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) requires operators of lorries over 12 tonnes gross vehicle weight to apply and obtain a permit to enter or operate in Greater London. The Government say that Penalty Charge Notices will be enforced from 1 March 2021.

Need advice on the Direct Vision Standard contact Ian Carlisle on 07824 463573.

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. It 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.

Applying is free of charge.

If a vehicle does not meet the minimum DVS star rating, it will need to be made safer by fitting it with Safe System improvements.

According to data from Transport for London (TfL), there are more than 100,000 HGVs on London’s roads, whose operators have not yet applied for a Direct Vision Standard (DVS) permit.

TfL says it has sent over 150,000 letters to the registered keepers of HGVs without DVS permits observed in Greater London advising of the DVS Scheme and urges operators to apply for permits ahead of the upcoming deadline – including allowing for 28 days for permit applications to be processed.

Star ratings

The permit system assigns vehicles a star rating based on how much the driver can see directly through their cab window. From March 1, 2021, HGVs with a zero-star rating will be required to fit additional vehicle safety features to operate within London. Vehicles with a one-star rating will be allowed to enter London, however, by 2024, a minimum of three stars will be required.

Alina Tuerk, Strategy Planning Manager at TfL, said there are currently no plans to tighten the criteria beyond 2024: “It’s important to keep an eye on where international regulation goes, so another question is whether we will fall in line with that vehicle regulation in future or not.

“Our ideal outcome would be that as schemes get introduced at national and an international level, those schemes eventually converge with the London base scheme so that we won't need our own scheme anymore.”


From March 1, 2021, driving a HGV within Greater London without a valid permit is subject to a penalty charge notice (PCN) of up to £550 (reduced to £275 if paid within 14 days).

The Government say a permit can be revoked or suspended if a vehicle that has been granted a permit is later found to be in breach of the permit terms.

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.

Further information:

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