Roadside roadworthiness checks
Roadside vehicle checks are carried out by Driver & Vehicle Agency (DVA) enforcement officers. The reason for these checks is to keep unsafe vehicles off the road and to make sure compliance with Construction & Use Regulations.
Enforcement officers can divert you from your route by up to 10 miles to carry out a check. Once at the check site your vehicle will be examined by a DVA vehicle examiner. The examiner will make sure the proper identity of your vehicle by checking its Vehicle Identity Number (VIN) and any other identity features. Below is a list of checks likely to be carried out on your vehicle:
- registration plate - condition, security, legibility and format of letters/numbers
- lights - condition, operation, security , aim and right colour
- steering and suspension - right condition and operation
- wipers/washers - operate to give the driver a clear view of the road
- windscreen - condition, degree of transparency and drivers view of the road
- horn - right operation and type
- seatbelts - checked for type, condition, operation and security
- fuel system - no leaks, fuel cap fastens correctly and seals securely
- exhaust emissions - vehicle meets the requirements for exhaust emissions
- vehicle structure - free from too much corrosion or damage with no sharp edges
- doors - opening and closing mechanism, latch security in closed position
- mirrors - presence, condition and security
- wheels and tyres - condition, security, tyre size/ type and tread depth
- brakes - condition, operation and performance (efficiency testing) by both physical and visual inspection
Notices issued by enforcement officers
Vehicles that are non-compliant can either be delayed or receive an immediate defect/ prohibition notice, depending on the nature and severity of the defects. Any conditions imposed on the notice must be complied with, including the requirement to present the vehicle to a vehicle examiner when repairs have been carried out.
A defect notice (Form VT5) is a legal document issued by a vehicle examiner, which lists the defects found on your vehicle at the time it was inspected. You need to have the listed defects fixed, and the vehicle presented for inspection at a DVA Vehicle testing centre within 14 days for further inspection. You will have to book a special test appointment and pay the right fee for this follow up inspection.
A vehicle examiner will issue an immediate prohibition notice (Form V1/ V2) when the severity of one or more defects on a vehicle is considered to be a significant road safety concern. Under most circumstances this will be accompanied with a V27 suspension notice which gives authority to suspend your licence or vehicle certificate until all defects are rectified.
You must comply immediately with all the written conditions as set out on the notice, for the continued use of your vehicle and the repair of any listed defects. Many defects may need a full test to be made at the test centre.