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Becoming an Approved Tachograph Centre

You need DVSA approval to set up and run a technical workshop that installs and calibrates digital and analogue tachographs to record driving time (also called Approved Tachograph Centres).

This help guide explains the process of setting up an Approved Tachograph Centre (ATC). Check the current cost of registration, what equipment you need, and the rules on employing 'nominated technicians'.

Approved Tachograph Centre Application

The ATC manual is required reading to become a DVSA Approved Tachograph Centre. You must also fill in the application for approval form GV207 (details below).

The handbook explains the procedures for setting up a tachograph testing centre. It also sets out the conditions of approval and it lists what equipment you can use.

ATCs can employ nominated technicians to install, inspect, calibrate, and repair tachograph equipment. But, they must fulfill their legal responsibilities.

Note: Breaching the requirements means the ATC or nominated technician may be subject to disciplinary action.

The DVSA Approved Tachograph Centre (ATC) manual is available online and applies to England, Scotland, and to Wales. You can also download form GV207 (application for approval as a workshop for recording equipment) from the GOV.UK website.

Alternatively, you can request a copy of the handbook and the application form by telephone from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).

Telephone: 0300 123 9000
Monday to Friday: 7:30am to 6pm
Details of phone charges.

Approved Tachograph Centre Registration Cost

  • The cost of registering as an Approved Tachograph Centre with the DVSA is £361.
  • The cost of renewing the annual registration is £148 (each year).

During the registration process you will be able to choose between working only on analogue tachographs or only on digital tachographs. You can also register to work on both types of Vehicle Units (VU).

Equipment Requirements for Setting Up an ATC

The Approved Tachograph Centre manual PDF version lists all the equipment needed for setting up an approved ATC, such as:

  • Required equipment for an analogue approved tachograph centre.
  • Additional equipment needed for digital tachograph centre approval.
  • Supplemental equipment required for ALL tachograph centres (i.e. analogue and digital ATCs).

Note: A different approved tachograph centre manual sets out the conditions of approval and requirements for correct operation in Northern Ireland.

Employing Nominated Technicians

If you hire ‘nominated technicians’ to carry out work at an Approved Tachograph Centre they must be competent and skilled in what they do (e.g. working on tachographs).

In some cases, the staff may need to road test the vehicles they are working on. Thus, their driving licence must meet the relevant categories for the vehicles they test.

Besides that, they would also need to hold a ‘certificate of competence’ for testing tachographs (e.g. for digital, analogue, or for both).

Note: The ATC manual explains how nominated technicians can attain their ‘certificates of competence’ through DVSA-approved training courses.

Digital Tachograph Workshop Card

How to Set Up a DVSA Approved Tachograph Centre (ATC)Technicians use tachograph workshop smart cards to calibrate digital tachographs in commercial vehicles (e.g. HGVs).

The eligibility criteria for working with a tachograph workshop smart card includes:

  • Being a nominated technician who works at an Approved Tachograph Centre (and holds ‘digital status’).
  • Having successfully completed the digital training certificate.

Note: There is no charge for the tachograph workshop cards and they renew by automatic process every year on the 31st of March. gb

The DVSA issues the workshop cards to nominated technicians (not to ATC centres). So, only a trained technician can keep the card in their possession and use it.

Note: Any nominated technician that works at two (2) workshops would need a card for each business unit.

Applying for a Tachograph Workshop Card

You must use form D778B to apply for a digital tachograph workshop card. Print off form D778B, fill in the details, and then send it to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).

PO Box 343

Note: Remember to add a copy of a current and valid analogue and digital training certificate. The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency produce further guidance (INF178B) to help you complete a digital tachograph card application form.

The DVSA would need to check and approve an application for a digital tachograph workshop card. Once it gets approved, the DVLA would issue the card to the ATC where the nominated technician works.

The technician gets a unique PIN code to use a workshop smart card. The DVSA would send the PIN code to the their home address. It must not be used by anyone other than the nominated technician.

Important: Entering an incorrect PIN code five (5) times in a row will lock the card. If it happens you will need to apply for a new card using the D778B form. The DVSA would also issue a new PIN code.

Working with a Tachograph Workshop Card

The data that workshop smart cards can hold, includes:

  • Stored details of 88 different calibrations.
  • A limited amount of events and faults data.

You must not use a workshop card in place of a company card. Likewise, you can only use a card used by the calibration centre in accordance with the duties of the tachograph centre. It must not be used as a substitute company card.

Note: The vehicle unit and the card will record all insertions of the card. Read more about tachograph rules for drivers and operators in another section.

Workshop Tachograph Card Renewals

The DVSA will receive a renewal list from the DVLA two months before the expiry of a card. They will check it and return it to the DVLA along with the details of all technicians who will get their cards renewed.

One of the responsibilities of operating a transport and driving business is reporting any lost or stolen tachograph cards to the police and to the DVSA without delay.

You should use form D778B to apply for a replacement lost or stolen workshop tachograph smart card. Remember to provide a police incident reference number if the card was stolen.

If a Workshop Card Malfunctions

Try using the workshop card in a different vehicle unit (VU) if yours stops working. If the fault remains, fill in form D778B and send it with the faulty card to the DVSA to request a replacement.

Note: Misuse of workshop cards can result in the withdrawal of a nominated technician and loss of ATC approval.

Setting Up an Approved Tachograph Centre (ATC) in United Kingdom