DVSA reviews suspension of new ATF applications

DVSA reviews suspension of new ATF applications

As part of the Heavy Vehicle Testing Review, The Department for Transport has recommended that the DVSA should consider allowing more Authorised Testing Facilities (ATFs) to open.

Until now, DVSA had temporarily paused applications for new ATFs. It stopped accepting new applications to set up ATFs in 2017 to help support existing ATFs and meet their needs.

DVSA and industry bodies have reviewed this policy and developed a plan with several steps to allow applications for new ATFs.

As a first step towards this, DVSA will now accept new applications if a proposed ATF:

  1. Is a move of premises for an existing ATF, but it is within the same geographic area
  2. Already has ‘approval in principle’ from DVSA
  3. Is in an area with a substantial shortage of ATFs, currently Orkney and mainland Highlands of Scotland
  4. Is in Southern England and is offering testing of fully laden fuel tankers (this is often known as a full pet. reg. site) or ADR testing
  5. Will significantly improve the service to heavy vehicle operators, by reduced journey times or other efficiency benefits. Applications made under this criteria will be prioritised based on the certainty and scale of improvement in service the proposed ATF can offer


Operators may also be interested in joining the ATF network by opening a testing site. An application can be made under any of the five criteria from now. DVSA has made some minor changes to the application form to include these criteria.

Next steps

Applications will need to be assessed to ensure that requirements are met. Once approved and contracts are in place, staff will be scheduled as soon as possible. However, testing staff will be scheduled some months ahead, so start dates may not be immediate.

DVSA has stated that it knows some businesses will not qualify under this criteria, and there will be further announcements on how the criteria will be widened in the future.

DVSA is working with industry bodies to develop this plan and welcomes feedback on the future priorities through trade organisations.

Further guidance on how to apply to open an ATF, can be found here.

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