Coronavirus: specialist vehicle approval tests

Approval tests for newly-built, rebuilt, radically-altered and imported vehicles are suspended due to coronavirus - but critical vehicles can still be tested.

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This page tells you about the suspension of vehicle approval tests due to coronavirus (COVID-19). It will be updated if anything changes.

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COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It’s caused by a virus called coronavirus.

All vehicle approval tests have been suspended to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. The suspension lasts for up to 3 months.

You need a vehicle approval test if you’ve:

  • built a vehicle
  • rebuilt a vehicle
  • radically altered a vehicle
  • imported a vehicle

The suspension applies to all types of vehicle approval tests, including:

If your approval test was cancelled

You’ll get an email to tell you that your test has been rebooked. It will tell you the new date and time of your test.

You will not get this email immediately - it should arrive around 2 weeks before your new test date.

It’s likely that your new test date will be around 3 months after your original date.

Book an emergency IVA test for vehicles critical to the COVID-19 response

You can still get an emergency test during the suspension period if your vehicle is critical to the COVID-19 response.

This includes:

  • vehicles being tested for the first time
  • vehicles being retested because they’ve failed before

Eligible vehicles

A vehicle is critical to the COVID-19 response if it is:

  • an ambulance, hearse or emergency services vehicle
  • a vehicle specifically designed and built to transport patients that need medical treatment (it cannot have more than 8 seats in addition to the driver’s seat)

These types of vehicles are also eligible if you can prove they will be used to support the COVID-19 response (for example, transporting food products, household essentials, clinical or medical supplies):

  • a light goods vehicle with a gross vehicle weight of no more than 3.5 tonnes
  • a vehicle designed and built to carry goods with a gross vehicle weight over 3.5 tonnes
  • a trailer with a total axle weight over 3.5 tonnes

‘Gross vehicle weight’ is the weight of a vehicle or trailer including the maximum load that can be carried safely when it’s being used on the road.

No other vehicle types or uses are eligible for an emergency IVA test. Do not apply for a test if your vehicle does not meet the eligibility criteria.

How to apply

  1. Apply for vehicle approval in the normal way if you have not already done this.

  2. Email the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) to request an emergency test.

What to include in the email

You need to include:

  • your name
  • your phone number
  • your application reference number (sometimes called a ‘TAS reference number’) for each vehicle you want to be tested
  • proof of why each vehicle is critical to the COVID-19 response - for example, a contract to deliver food, household essentials or medical supplies
  • the names of 3 DVSA test stations you could go to - you cannot get your vehicle tested at a non-DVSA site
  • the earliest date the vehicles are available for a test
  • how many vehicles you want to get tested and if you can get them tested on the same day

Emergency IVA tests

Do not resend your request if you’ve already sent an email. DVSA will contact you as soon as they can.

Published 23 March 2020
Last updated 27 March 2020 + show all updates
  1. Made the eligibility criteria for critical vehicles clearer. Added an example of the proof you need to include with your application that the vehicle is critical to the COVID-19 response. Changed the email address that applications should be sent to - you do not need to resend any previous emergency applications.

  2. Updated the section about vehicle approval tests to make it clear that they're not the same as MOT tests.

  3. First published.