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Individual Vehicle Approval Scheme (IVA)

There are several routes for getting vehicles approved for sales rights in the United Kingdom. But, the Individual Vehicle Approval scheme tends to be less burdensome than others.

IVA SCHEME: Full compliance in this procedure will involve an individual inspection of each vehicle.

The Individual Vehicle Approval scheme applies to specific categories which include:

  • Private passenger cars
  • Towed trailers
  • Heavy and light goods vehicles, buses, and coaches
  • Vehicles built for a special purpose (e.g. fire engines, wheelchair use, dustbin trucks)

The IVA scheme gets used to register either a solitary or a small number of vehicles. IVA rules apply to those that get made up as well as vehicles imported into the United Kingdom.

Note: If the vehicle already had a UK registration you cannot use the Statutory IVA scheme. In this case, you should use the Voluntary Individual Vehicle Approval process instead.

Getting a Vehicle Identification Number

As a rule, these types of vehicles do not have a vehicle identification number. In this case, you must apply for a VIN from the DVLA in Swansea.

All vehicles need a VIN before getting an inspection, such as for Motorcycle Single Vehicle Approval. Apply to:

K and R
SA99 1ZZ

IVA Inspection Levels: Basic and Normal

The two different levels of IVA inspection are either the ‘basic level‘ or the ‘normal level‘.

Basic Individual Vehicle Approval Level

The Basic IVA scheme is to ensure a vehicle meets all the necessary standards. This includes visual inspection and other tests. You may need to provide documentary evidence, but this is not the usual rule.

The following categories apply for personal passenger cars or light vehicles:

  • Those with the steering wheel fitted on the left hand side.
  • Personally imported vehicles.
  • Vehicles built from scratch by amateurs or enthusiasts (e.g. kit cars).
  • Vehicles undergoing a major rebuild (e.g. following a major accident).
  • Fire engines and ambulances.
  • Limited production vehicles.
  • Caravans and hearses.
  • Armoured personnel carriers including passenger vehicles.
  • Those manufactured using parts from a vehicle that is already registered.

Note: Refer to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) ‘guide to the IVA scheme‘ for a complete list of categories.

Normal Individual Vehicle Approval Level

If your vehicle does not meet the above criteria then you need to apply for the normal IVA level.

The vehicle will have an extensive inspection to meet a higher level of standards. You will also need to provide some documentary evidence.

Modified Goods Vehicles

Use the Individual Vehicle Approval scheme to get sales rights for a modified goods vehicle in the United Kingdom.

Proof of Meeting IVA Standards

Part 5 of the ‘DVSA guide on the IVA scheme’ details several different ways the vehicle can show proof that it meets IVA standards.

IVA Model Reports: Master Vehicle

A model report shows that it has the same specifications as a master vehicle. A ‘master vehicle’ should be one that is compliant and has already passed IVA standards.

If your vehicle does not have an existing report you will need to apply for one. You can use a model report to prove the vehicle follows the standards.

In some cases, there will be a fee to use the relevant model report. If there is no model report for your vehicle you will need to pay for the tests to get one. You must have this performed by an authorised provider of ‘designated technical services‘.

How to Apply for Individual Vehicle Approval

You must select and use the correct application form for your vehicle type. You can either use technical application system or print when you apply for Individual Vehicle Approval testing. Send the completed form to the address written on the document.

Note: You will get an inspection appointment date within 20 working days of the DVSA receiving an application. There is a change in the rules when applying for replacement vehicle testing. You will need to phone DVSA before making the payment by credit or debit card.

Note: Check the modifications approval rules in the ‘DVSA guide on IVA for modified goods vehicles‘.

Note: Check the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency list of ‘model reports and their owners‘. Part 11 of the DVSA guide on the IVA scheme also details how to get a vehicle model report.

DVSA Test Station and Fee

All IVA scheme inspections get carried out at Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency test stations. Check the list of DVSA test stations to ensure they have approval to test the category of your vehicle. There are some mandatory fees charged for inspection of your vehicle.

After you choose the DVSA test station they will test your vehicle. They issue an Individual Approval Certificate (IAC) when it passes. You cannot register the vehicle without the IAC certificate.

Appealing a Refusal

If the vehicle fails the test (IVA30 form) you can appeal for a re-test. The appeal must take place within 14 days by completing the IVA appeal application form (IVA17). The re-test must take place at the same original testing station.

Note: There is a charge for second test fee. But, you can apply for a refund if the vehicle passes the re-test. After the failure, and before the appeal inspection, you cannot make any modifications.

Individual Vehicle Approval Manuals

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency produce a series of Individual Vehicle Approval manuals. The manuals include all the technical requirements to meet the required standards including:

  • M1 form for passenger vehicles.
  • M2 and M3 form for coaches and buses.
  • N1 form for light goods vehicles up to 3,500kgs (LVG).
  • N2 and N3 form for heavy goods vehicles over 3,500kgs (HGV).
  • O1, O2, O3 and O4 form for all types of trailers.

Individual Vehicle Approval Application Forms

Individual Vehicle Approval Scheme (IVA)

Download and fill in the relevant IVA application form. Guidance notes in PDF format are also available.

You can use the technical application system or print it out before returning it to the appropriate address.

  • IVA form (IVA 1C/DVA894) for passenger cars.
  • IVA form (IVA 1LG/DVA895) for LGV vehicles.
  • IVA form (IVA 1P/DVA776) for coaches and buses.
  • IVA form (IVA 1H/DVA767) for HGV Lorries and goods vehicles.
  • IVA form (IVA 1T/DVA765) for trailers.
  • IVA form (IVA 52A) for tilt justification report form for coaches and buses.

Seat Belt Anchorage for Passenger Vehicles

All vehicles carrying passengers must follow seat belt anchorage compliance. Check out the seat belt compliance form (IVA 19a and 19b / VOSA 873 and 874).

Amateur Built Vehicles

You also need to complete an amateur built declaration for amateur built vehicles, such as kit cars. Use the form (IVA 4 / VOS 768) along with the other required documentation.

Individual Vehicle Approval Scheme in the United Kingdom