Drivers warned about DfT change in law coming this weekend

The Department for Transport rules apply to motorists living in England, Scotland or Wales

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Drivers will face law changes on the transport of goods in Europe which come into force on May 21 from the Department for Transport (DfT).

The Government's new rules mean drivers who wish to deliver goods to Europe will require a standard international goods vehicle operator licence to transport goods for “hire or reward” in Europe.

The guidance applies to companies who use vans and trailers over 2.5 tonnes to transport goods in the EU, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland from May 21, 2022.

Vehicles check in at the Port of Dover in Kent.
Vehicles check in at the Port of Dover in Kent.

The DfT said people living in England, Scotland or Wales who use “vans or other light goods vehicles, vans towing trailers, cars towing trailers" will have to hold a valid licence.

Traffic on a UK motorway.
Traffic on a UK motorway.

Motorists could be fined by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) if they operate without the correct licence and the DfT have also been warned drivers could be prosecuted in European countries if they do not show their licence.

Drivers can apply for a goods vehicle operator licence through a transport manager who is in charge of scheduling delivery times, planning routes and ensuring motorists follow company and industry requirements.

Companies already in possession of a standard international goods vehicle operator licence will need to pay £257 if they need to increase the vehicle limit on their licence.

The vehicles impacted are:

Vans towing a trailer with a gross train weight (GTW) over 2.5 tonnes and up to and including 3.5 tonnes.

Vans with a maximum authorised mass (MAM) over 2,500kg (2.5 tonnes) and up to and including 3,500kg (3.5 tonnes).

Cars towing a trailer with a GTW over 2.5 tonnes and up to and including 3.5 tonnes.