All you need to know about TFL’s Direct Vision Standard and “allow list”

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From the 1 March 2021, all HGVs heavier than 12 tonnes GVW entering or operating in Greater London will need to hold a safety permit called the Direct Vision Standard.

It is free to obtain, but operators can be fined up to 550 pounds per day if a truck doesn’t have such a permit. To be able to benefit from the grace period, operators must start the application for the permit and the grace list before 1 March.

What is Direct Vision Standard?

The Direct Vision Standard (DVS) forms part of The Mayor of London and TfL’s Vision Zero approach to reducing road danger. The scheme requires all HGVs over 12 tonnes to hold a Safety Permit to operate in Greater London from 1 March 2021.

HGVs are given a rating between ‘zero-star’ (lowest) and ‘five-star’ (highest) based on the level of direct vision a driver has through the windows of the cab (and not through cameras and mirrors).

Only vehicles rated ‘one star’ and above will be allowed to operate in London from March. Zero-rated vehicles would only be allowed if they can prove compliance through safe system measures.

According to the plan, by 2024 only ‘three-star’ rated HGVs and above would be granted a Safety Permit with HGVs rated two star and below needing to demonstrate compliance against progressive safe system measures before gaining a permit. The safe system could include specific industry recognised measures such as sensors and visual warnings. The scheme is still under development and subject to consultation.

Who should get a permit?

All lorries – both British and foreign lorries – over 12 tonnes (GVW) entering or operating in Greater London must have a valid HGV safety permit from 1 March.

How much does it cost?

It is free of charge.

How to get a permit?

First, check out whether Transport of London already knows your vehicle’s rating. >>> Click here to see if it is on the list <<<

-> If the star rating is not available

1 Operators should contact the vehicle manufacturer with the VIN number of the HGV. The vehicle manufacturer will advise the star rating.

Operators still can proceed with their application, but TfL may request further evidence from them.

2 When the operator received the star rating from the vehicle manufacturer, they should share this information with TfL.

– > If the star rating is available

If the operator knows the start rating of their vehicle, they may proceed with the application and should submit a copy of the manufacturer’s confirmation together with a copy of their V5C log book (or foreign equivalent).

What documents do you need to apply

  • Operator and contact details
  • A copy of the vehicle’s V5C log book (or foreign equivalent document). in a JPG, PNG or PDF format
  • Where possible, confirmation of the vehicle’s DVS star rating from the manufacturer
  • Agreement to the terms and conditions

What are the requirements?

Image: Transport of London

Depending on the type and quantity of installed additional equipment, the vehicle will receive a rating of 0 to 5 stars. This assessment will also determine when it can be used in areas of London.

Star ratings will be provided by the vehicle’s manufacturer based on the DVS technical protocol written by the Loughborough University with the contribution of Scania, Volvo, DAF, Mercedes, MAN, Renault and IVECO.

What if a vehicle does not meet the minimum DVS star rating?

If a vehicle does not meet the minimum DVS star rating, operators will need to make their vehicle safer by fitting it with Safe System improvement.

If the improvement is carried out, operators can hand in a zero-start rating self-certification.

To self-certify the vehicle operators must upload a written statement as part of their application.

The statement must include the following:

  • Operator’s name
  • Number plate (vehicle registration mark)
  • Vehicle make and/or model
  • Statement that the operator is providing self-certification of the vehicle’s zero star rating

Once the operator receives a confirmation that TfL’s records have been updated, they can make a zero star HGV Safety Permit application for the vehicle.

What are the requirements for a Safety Permit?

  1. Class V mirror fitted to the nearside of the vehicle
  2. Class VI mirror fitted to the front of the vehicle
  3. Side under-run protection fitted to both sides of the vehicle (except where this is impractical or proves to be impossible)
  4. External pictorial stickers and markings displayed on vehicles to warn vulnerable road users of the hazards around the vehicle
  5. A sensor system that alerts the driver to the presence of a vulnerable road user fitted to the nearside of the vehicle
  6. Audible vehicle manoeuvring warning fitted to warn vulnerable road users when a vehicle is turning left
  7. A fully operational camera monitoring system fitted to the nearside of the vehicle

Where is the permit needed?

The permit is needed in the Greater London Zone which is almost the same area as the Low Emission Zone.

All roads within Greater London, those at Heathrow and parts of the M1 and M4 are included. However, the M25 is not included (even where it passes within the GLA boundary)

>>> Download a map of the Greater London Zone HERE <<<

How long is the permit valid?

  • Zero star-rated vehicles with an approved Safe System will be granted a permit until 2024.
  • One and two star-rated vehicles will be granted permits until 2024
  • Three, four and five star-rated vehicles will be granted a 10-year permit


There are some vehicles – such as gritting vehicles, armed forces, recovery/ breakdown vehicles, showman-1s vehicles, mobile cranes – that can fully or partially be exempt from the regulation.

See the full list of exemptions HERE.

How to be eligible for the “allow list”?

Transport for London is introducing a 90-day grace period to support operators who have ordered Safe System components ahead of the 1 March enforcement start date and are now experiencing delays in supply and fitting.

To benefit from the grace period,

  • operators should submit evidence from the fitter/garage on branded documentation with details of your appointment
  • and Vehicle Registration Number, before 1 March, to

TfL will review the request and send written confirmation of the outcome. Once the Safe System equipment has been fitted, operators must follow the DVS Permit Application process.

Operators must take action before 1 March 2021.

Also, operators must inform TfL of a delay before 1 Marc. If they inform TfL later, they won’t be eligible for the grace period.

What happens if a vehicle does not have a permit and is not on the allow list?

If the vehicle is not properly equipped and does not have a valid license, the carrier will be fined 550 pounds (the fine will be reduced to 275 pounds if payment is made within 14 days).

Lorry drivers will also be fined £130 for the same offence.

Image: TfL