Tuesday 19 January 2021

DVSA gears up to resume annual testing

Image DVSA Crown copyright

Note: this article was correct as of publication on 2 June. Operators should refer to the DVSA website for the latest information.

The Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is issuing annual test exemptions for heavy vehicles that were due to be tested in June, including for vehicles originally made exempt in March of this year.

“Vehicles due for test in June will receive a three month exemption from needing an annual test,” said the agency, in an email bulletin in late May.

“This applies to vehicles which received a three month exemption in March, as well as those with a due date normally in June.”

However, the agency added that it was also aiming for testing to recommence this month.

“We are working towards resuming heavy vehicle testing in June,” said DVSA. “This involves talking to our staff, authorised testing facilities (ATFs), the industry and operators about how we can provide a service which is safe for all involved and helps the return to regular testing.

“Further information about our plans will be provided in due course.”

Shortly before we closed for press, the Road Haulage Association (RHA) said it understood the DVSA intended to resume annual testing from 15 June.

It added that the resumption of testing would prioritise HGVs involved in international journeys, and those at high risk, including those with red operator compliance risk scores (OCRS) and those identified by traffic commissioners as being in need of roadworthiness testing.

An EU-wide derogation with regard to test exemption was possible, said RHA, but had not yet been confirmed or agreed.

The association had also earlier warned of an immediate backlog when annual tests resume, due to an insufficient number of DVSA examiners. RHA continues to advocate the delegation of testing to non- DVSA staff.

RHA chief executive Richard Burnett said: “Our proposal for delegated testing is not new. But despite making many requests to DVSA to authorise qualified people to test trucks and trailers at ATFs, in addition to DVSA’s own employees, we are still at an impasse.

“Clearly our preference would be for this to be a permanent measure, but right now, it provides a good, shortterm solution to get testing up and running quickly.”

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