Specialist tests for lorries

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ADR test for carrying dangerous goods

The ADR is a specialist test for vehicles carrying dangerous or hazardous goods in bulk by road.

Your vehicle must pass an ADR test if it’s a commercial vehicle or a trailer used to carry explosives, or if it’s used in the UK or abroad:

  • to carry dangerous goods in a fixed tank, demountable tank or fixed battery of pressure vessels of over 1,000 litres capacity
  • for carrying dangerous goods in a container or portable tank or battery of pressure vessels of over 3,000 litres capacity

The test varies depending on the type of goods you want to carry.

How to book a test and what it costs

  1. Complete the application for an ADR test.

  2. Say on the form if the vehicle is to be tested while still carrying dangerous goods (or their residue) - DVSA will make arrangements for this.

  3. Include copies of insurance certificates (originals will need to be seen at the test) for fixed tanks, batteries and pressure vessels.

Send your application at least 10 days before you want to take the test.

You can submit your form online or post it to:

ADR Section
Padley Road

Vehicles and trailers need individual certification, so an articulated or drawbar combination will need 2 ADR applications - one for the vehicle and one for the trailer. You have to pay a fee for each part.

Fees for ADR testing and certification

The fees listed are in addition to the standard annual test fee.

DVSA service Fee
Initial inspection £116
Re-inspection within 14 days £63
Replacement certificate £14
New type approved artic tractor certificate £28

Fees may be different in Northern Ireland.

Taking your vehicle to the test

Vehicles should not normally be loaded or uncleaned when they’re taken for the ADR test, unless special arrangements have been made with the testing station.

The exception is for vehicles loaded with UN1202 diesel, gas or heating oil where there’s also no residue of other flammable materials in tank vapour spaces.

If a dangerous goods vehicle is taken to the test uncleaned or not purged, or is laden with dangerous goods, DVSA will need to see evidence that the vehicle is accompanied by a person with an appropriate ADR driver’s licence.

You’ll need to submit form VTG15 to the testing station to show if your vehicle is carrying or has been carrying dangerous goods.

Getting a re-inspection after a failed test

If you fail the test, phone the testing station you used to arrange another inspection.

New goods vehicle tractor units that have ‘ADR-type approval’

If you buy a new tractor unit, ask your vehicle supplier if it has been built to an ‘ADR-type approval’. This means you can get ADR-type certification for it. The manufacturer should supply a combined Declaration of Conformity and application form ADR IIIA, which you can then send to DVSA.

Get a replacement ADR certificate

You can apply for a replacement ADR certificate if you have lost the original, or need to change the owner or address.

Apply online

Download and complete the form and submit it to DVSA.

Apply by post

Print out and complete the form and post it to:

ADR Section
Padley Road

Change of ADR category

If you want a new certificate because there’s been a change of ADR category contact DVSA for advice.

Telephone: 0300 123 9000
Monday to Friday, 7.30am to 6pm
Find out about call charges

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

    1. Check which licences and permits you need
  2. Step 2 Register and get approval for your vehicle

    You may need to register your trailer to drive through or to the EU if it weighs over 750kg.

    1. Register your trailer to take it abroad

    You’ll need to get specialist vehicle approvals to transport any of the following:

  3. Step 3 Make sure your driver is eligible to drive abroad

    1. Check your driver has the documents they need to drive abroad

    The driver must carry these documents with them.

  4. Step 4 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. 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.

  5. Step 5 Make sure your driver has the right export documents

    Your driver will need copies of:

    • any export licences
    • the road consignment note (‘CMR note’)
    • the Movement Reference Number (MRN) from the export declaration - if you're moving goods out of the EU
    • 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 EU 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.

    You may need to use the Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS) to move goods through some ports.

    1. Check how to move goods through ports that use the GVMS
  6. Step 6 Find out what vehicle documents your driver needs to carry

  7. Step 7 Check you are ready for the Port of Dover, Eurotunnel or Holyhead

    You may need to attend an inland border facility if you're leaving from the Port of Dover, Eurotunnel or Holyhead.

    1. Check whether you need to attend an inland border facility
  8. Step 8 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.