Public Service Vehicle Accessibility Certificate

Most buses and coaches which can carry more than 22 passengers and which are used as a scheduled service need an accessibility certificate. Operators who run these services need to apply for a one off accessibility test, which checks the accessible features of the vehicle.

Due to the restrictions imposed to prevent the spread of Covid 19, some DVA services are operating at limited capacity. For further details and the most up to date position on DVA service availability visit the Coronavirus (Covid 19) and motoring page.

Vehicles which need an Accessibility Certificate

Most buses and coaches built to carry more than 22 passengers and used on scheduled services must be fitted with accessibility features, and be issued with an Accessibility Certificate.

Scheduled service means a service, using one or more public service vehicles, for the carriage of passengers at separate fares:

  • Along certain routes
  • At certain times with passengers being taken up and set down at predetermined stopping points

Applying for an accessibility certificate

You can apply for a public service vehicle Accessibility Certificate at any Driver & Vehicle Agency (DVA) test centre.  You should apply for a certificate at least six weeks before you need it. Tests are carried out at the DVA Mallusk test centre. You will need to apply using the Application for a Public Service Vehicle Accessibility Certificate (DDA1).  Application forms are available from test centres, and can also be downloaded

You can pay by cheque or postal order made out to the DVA, or by credit/debit card. Credit/debit card payments can be made at any test centre. The test fees are:

Number of schedules

Full Test

Retest

One

£28

£10

Two

£55

£20

You can also use the DDA1 form to apply for a duplicate Accessibility Certificate to replace a lost certificate.  The fee for a duplicate Accessibility Certificate is £10.00.

Accessibility Certificate test

The test is a one-time inspection for some buses and coaches which checks their accessibility features. The features are needed to make sure that public service vehicles are accessible to disabled passengers.  For more information, please see the Public Service Vehicles Accessibility Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003.

Vehicle requirements

Buses and coaches which can carry more than 22 passengers and which are used on scheduled services must be fitted with both wheelchair and general accessibility features.

‘Bus’ means a public service vehicle designed and built for both seated and standing passengers (more than 22 passengers)

‘Coach’ means a public service vehicle designed and built for seated passengers only (more than 22 passengers)

However, certain exemptions apply:

  • Coaches (vehicles built to carry seated passengers only) first used before 31 August 2003 are exempt certification for wheelchair & general accessibility features until 1 September 2022
  • Coaches first used on or after 31 August 2003 and before 1 September 2007 are exempt certification for wheelchair features only until 1 September 2022 however these vehicles must be certified for General Accessibility
  • Buses and coaches providing a ‘tour service’ where passengers are carried to a particular location/s and back to the point of departure may not need an Accessibility Certificate

Review the Public Service Vehicles Accessibility Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003 for full details of exemptions.

Vehicles issued with Accessibility Certificate outside Northern Ireland

Many buses and coaches which have been used on scheduled services in England, Scotland and Wales have already been issued with an Accessibility Certificate by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA). These certificates are accepted in Northern Ireland.

If the certificate has not been transferred with the vehicle, operators may fill in the form VTP6 and send it to DVSA, who will run checks, contact the operator and if a test was carried out, issue a duplicate certificate on receipt of the appropriate fee.

Type approved vehicles

Some buses and coaches have been built and type approved with the accessibility features fitted, whilst others have been type approved without these features.

All type approved buses and coaches need an accessibility test and certificate. However those vehicles that have been type approved with the accessibility features fitted may be subject to a less intensive test, where the test will focus on the approval certificate and the vehicle’s route and destination board displays.

Operators will need to send evidence of type approval along with their application. This will usually be in the form of a Certificate of Conformity, which is provided by the vehicle manufacturer. The document will need to confirm one of the following:

  • The vehicle is a Class I Bus
  • The vehicle is built to EU Directive 2001/85/EC including Annex VII
  • The vehicle is built to ECE regulation 107.02 including Annex VIII

If the required information cannot be located on the Certificate of Conformity, the manufacturer's type approval Technical Report may also be needed. Where type approval to the appropriate standard cannot be confirmed, a full inspection will be required.

Main items inspected in an Accessibility Test

The range of  items tested depends on the type of vehicle, but may include:

  • Wheelchair spaces and restraint systems             
  • Boarding lifts and ramps
  • Kneeling systems
  • Floors and gangways
  • Entrances and exits
  • Steps
  • Handrails
  • Seats
  • Communication devices
  • Signage and markings
  • Lighting
  • Route and destination displays

Review Schedule 1, 2, and 3 of the Public Service Vehicles Accessibility Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003 for full details.

 Appealing the decision

Appeals must be made in writing within 28 days of the original decision. They must include a statement outlining the specific grounds of the appeal. The vehicle will be re-examined and, if successful, an Accessibility Certificate will be issued.

Making a complaint

If you have a complaint, please try and resolve it before leaving the test centre in the first instance.

Summary of requirements

Bus or coach carrying more than 22 passengers on a scheduled service

Schedule 1

Wheelchair
accessibility for buses and coaches

Schedule 2

General accessibility for buses

Schedule 3

General accessibility for coaches

Single deck bus

All

All

N/A

Double deck bus

All

All

 N/A

Single or double deck coach
first used before
31 August 2003

 From 1 September 2022

 N/A

 From 1 September 2022

Single or double deck coach
first used on or after
31 August 2003 and before 1 September 2007

 From 1 September 2022

 N/A

All

Single or double deck coach
first used on or after 1 September 2007

All

 N/A

All

 

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