Motorcycle Single Vehicle Approval (MSVA) scheme

MSVA provides a cost effective form of type approval for two, three and some small four-wheeled vehicles that do not have European Community Whole Vehicle Type Approval (ECWVTA). The scheme is run by Driver & Vehicle Agency (DVA) at its Lisburn test centre.

Why MSVA exists

It’s a requirement, across the European Community, for motorcycles and associated vehicles to be type approved prior to registration. Type approval is a set of harmonised design, construction and environmental standards that allows manufactures to build to one set of requirements for the European market.

Prior to the introduction of ECWVTA the government ran a consultation on how type approval would affect the motorcycle market in Northern Ireland.

On the basis of this consultation the government decided that the nature of the Northern Ireland motorcycle market warranted a single vehicle type approval scheme to run along side ECWVTA.

Vehicles needing an MSVA test

MSVA applies to the following types of vehicles that are unregistered, under 10 years old and don’t have ECWVTA.

  • two-wheeled mopeds
  • three-wheeled mopeds
  • light quadricycles
  • solo motorcycles
  • motorcycle combinations
  • motor tricycles
  • heavy quadricycles

How to apply

Applications can be made by post or in person to the address on the application form, which should be completed in full and returned with the appropriate fee.

MSVA is also a Driver & Vehicle Agency (DVLA) requirement for certain vehicles that have been radically altered or built using a mixture of components from previously registered vehicles.

Examples include:

  • vehicles rebuilt using a second hand frame
  • vehicles converted to a different wheelplan

Further information on these types of vehicles can be found at the links below:

Partial Motorcycle Single Vehicle Approval (PMSVA)

Vehicles that have ECWVTA are issued with a Certificate of Conformity (CoC). This is a declaration by the manufacturer that the vehicle, identified by its vehicle identification number (VIN), is the same in all respects as the type that gained approval.

This document is usually sufficient evidence that the vehicle can be licensed and registered by DVLA for use on the road. The CoC will contain a statement indicating which rule of the road and which speedometer units the vehicle is approved for.

Some type approved vehicles may not be equipped for use in the UK. If this is the case DVA can conduct a Partial MSVA check to confirm that any modifications required have been carried out correctly.

The items checked are:

  • headlamp dipped beam pattern - this checks that the headlamp is suitable for driving on the left
  • speedometer - checked to ensure the speed is shown in miles per hour or that the speedometer has dual mph and km/h markings
  • mirror location, this only applies to mopeds fitted with a single mirror - the check ensures a single mirror is fitted to offside (right) of the vehicle

More useful links

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