Specialist tests for lorries

Change the weight you can carry

You can apply to increase the maximum permitted weight your lorry can carry.

This is known as:

  • ‘up-plating’ if no physical changes have been made to the design
  • ‘uprating’ if the design has been modified

You’ll get a new plate to show the change in permitted weight.

You’ll have to pay a higher rate of vehicle tax if up-plating or uprating puts you in a higher vehicle tax band.

Downplating and downrating

You can also ‘downplate’ or ‘downrate’ your lorry. This reduces the maximum weight it can work at and will lower its rate of vehicle tax.

Your vehicle will be inspected by DVSA if it has been uprated or downrated before it’s issued with new plates at the new weights.

Up-plated and downplated lorries are not usually inspected, but downplated vehicles might have to pass an official weight test before DVSA issues a new plate.

Apply to replate your lorry

Fill in form VTG10 and send it with payment for £27 to the address on the form or your nearest DVSA goods vehicle testing station.

You must apply to DVLA using form V70 to re-licence the lorry once it’s replated. Send your new plating certificate VTG7 with your application.

  1. Step 1 Apply for operator licences and permits

    1. Check if you need a vehicle operator licence
    2. Apply for a vehicle operator licence

    You will need other licences and permits, depending on the countries you're driving to or through.

    1. Check which licences and permits you need

    Your vehicle must pass a specialist test before you can transport dangerous goods (ADR test).

    1. Book a specialist vehicle test
  2. Step 2 Make sure your driver is eligible to drive abroad

    Check your driver has:

    The driver must carry these documents with them.

    Your driver will need an IDP to drive in some EU countries if there’s a no-deal Brexit.

  3. Step 3 Check the rules for the goods you're carrying

    1. Find out what you need to do if you're exporting your own goods

    There are rules for transporting certain goods. Your driver may need to follow set routes or stop at specific check points if you’re transporting mixed loads or specific types of goods. Check the rules for:

    1. Find out what you need to apply for if you’re moving goods temporarily out of the UK

    If you're transporting goods outside the EU they must have been cleared by customs (given ‘permission to progress’). The exporter can tell you if this has happened.

    All goods will need to be cleared by customs before leaving the UK if there's a no-deal Brexit.

  4. Step 4 Make sure your driver has the right export documents

    Your driver will need copies of:

    • any export licences
    • the Movement Reference Number (MRN) from the export declaration - if you're moving goods after a no-deal Brexit
    • the MRN and the Local Reference Number (LRN) - if you're moving goods under the Common Transit convention (CTC)
    • the ATA Carnet document - if you're moving goods out of the UK temporarily
    • the TiR Carnet document - if you’re moving goods in a sealed load compartment with a seal number

    The exporter should be able to give all of these to you.

    You'll also need to have a customs seal approval certificate for the vehicle if you’re moving goods in a sealed load compartment. You'll get this when your vehicle passes the TiR test.

  5. Step 5 Find out what vehicle documents your driver needs to carry

  6. Step 6 Check local road rules

    1. Check the road rules for European countries on the AA website
    2. Check travel advice for countries outside Europe

    When you have your documents, insurance and any extra equipment you need, you can transport goods abroad.