Checks on your vehicle

As a commercial driver, you might be asked to stop by the police or a Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) examiner. They can stop vans, lorries, buses and coaches.

The police and DVSA have the power to carry out spot checks on your vehicle and issue prohibitions if necessary. A prohibition prevents you from driving until you get a problem with your vehicle fixed.

Police and DVSA examiners can also issue a fine if you commit an offence. Some fines may vary depending on the circumstances and seriousness of the offence.

It’s your responsibility to make sure your vehicle is roadworthy.

How to recognise a DVSA examiner

DVSA examiners wear yellow visibility jackets with the DVSA logo, and they’ll always carry a DVSA warrant card.

Their vehicles are marked with a black and yellow print on the side and a DVSA logo on the bonnet.

What happens when you’re stopped

The checks are carried out either at the roadside or at dedicated testing sites. The checks are used to keep unsafe vehicles off the road.

The examiner checks that the vehicle is not breaking any rules and regulations. This includes:

  • checking authorised load weights and type of load permitted
  • checking vehicles for roadworthiness and mechanical faults
  • looking at your tachograph records
  • making sure you have a valid vocational driving licence

The vehicle you drive could be impounded if your operator does not have a valid licence.

Foreign-registered vehicles are subject to the same rules as vehicles registered in the UK.

If you’re carrying a high-value load you can keep your engine running, doors locked and windows closed until you’re sure you’ve been stopped by a genuine police officer or Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) examiner.

If you do not stop

Not stopping when asked to by a uniformed DVSA examiner or police officer is an offence. The incident will be officially recorded. DVSA or the police will interview you later on.

You may then face court action or be reported to the Traffic Commissioner, who may remove or suspend your operator’s licence.