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What Is The Direct Vision Standard (DVS)?

It is now just a few short days until Direct Vision Standard (DVS) and HGV Permit Scheme fines come into force. What must hauliers and HGV Operators do to avoid receiving Penalty Charge Notices?

The Direct Vision Standard (DVS) is a new Transport for London (TfL) HGV Safety Permit scheme for Greater London. 

The first phase of the scheme requires every HGV over 12 tonnes (GVW) to have a valid HGV permit to enter the Greater London area (comprising all London boroughs, a much larger area than the Congestion Charge) or receive a £550 fine.

The rules will be in operation 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year.

Based upon a combination of factors, each HGV is given a ‘star rating’ of between zero and five stars. Vehicles with one star and above can apply for an HGV permit free of charge. Zero-starred vehicles need to retrofit elements of an approved mandatory ‘DVS Safe System’ to make them eligible to apply for an HGV Permit. We explained requirements in more detail in our previous blog Direct Vision Standard is Coming!  Back in June 2020 we also conducted research that found less than 25% of HGV Fleet Managers were ready for DVS.

Still time to act

If you have not to date applied for your HGV Safety Permit then all is not lost, but you need to act fast.

Firstly, check your vehicle’s star rating on the TfL website. If your vehicles are compliant (star rating of one or more), and you have applied for (and had issued) a permit, you have a green light and should not receive any fines. However, you may find yourself in one of the following situations:

Your vehicles are compliant (i.e receive a star rating of one to five), but you have not yet applied for a permit.

  • You must apply for a free HGV permit before 1 March or receive a fine (£550) each time your vehicle(s) enter the Greater London area.
  • Applying for the permit for each vehicle (with photographic evidence) will add it to TfL’s allow list, which gives a 90-day grace period while the permit is processed.


Your vehicles are not yet compliant (i.e. receive a zero-star rating on TFL’s website) and therefore you have not applied for a permit.

  • You must take action before 1 March to ensure your vehicles are on the allow list and receive the 90-day grace period
  • Book your vehicle in now with CameraMatics to be fitted with the relevant DVS Safety System
  • We will provide you with confirmation of your appointment which you must submit to TfL via email by 1 March.
  • Once TfL has reviewed and confirmed your request your vehicle(s) will be added to the allow list and be eligible for the 90-day grace period.

Safety first

DVS is primarily driven by improving the safety of all road users. London has a high number of collisions involving HGVs, pedestrians, and cyclists. Between 2018 and 2020, HGVs were involved in 41 per cent of collisions where people cycling were killed and 19 per cent of collisions where a pedestrian was killed.

TfL aims to reduce this as part of the Mayor of London’s Vision Zero plan. We recently wrote about Vision Zero which aims to eliminate all deaths and serious injuries on the world’s roads in our recent blog Vision Zero: towards safer roads, globally.

The DVS scheme was originally due to begin in October 2020, but was delayed owing to the pandemic. From 2024, vehicles will be required to be rated at least three-stars to receive a permit.

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Going beyond the basics

We’re experts in vehicle and driver safety and we have a range of solutions to enable your vehicles to receive an HGV Safety Permit. CameraMatics is not just cameras – we offer complete Fleet Risk Management with fully connected, modular solutions to protect your vehicles, drivers and bottom line. 

Our customers reduce costs, ensure compliance, and improve safety with our industry-leading Fleet Risk Management technology. The introduction of Direct Vision Standard and HGV Permit Scheme gives HGV fleet and vehicle operators a perfect opportunity to review fleet and vehicle safety and future-proof. 

At CameraMatics we go way beyond just box-ticking. Talk to our experts who will advise which of our market-leading solutions are best suited to your vehicles and your budget. We can help whether you need to kit out one vehicle or a whole fleet.

Contact CameraMatics now for help

We have already fitted DVS compliant Safe Systems to hundreds of HGVs across the UK. We are standing by to book your vehicles in. Contact us on or call 0203 740 3562 to discuss your requirements with our experts.