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Road Worthiness

Roadworthiness Checks

Enforcement Officers regularly carry out vehicle roadworthiness checks on Northern Ireland´s roads to ensure that vehicles are roadworthy and comply with relevant Construction & Use requirements. Generally vehicles are stopped and directed into a check site or area designated safe to conduct mechanical inspections. Enforcement Officers can exercise powers to direct vehicles up to 10 miles for such purposes. Once at the check site your vehicle will be examined by a Vehicle Examiner.

Enforcement officer conducting a roadworthiness check

The Examiner will ensure the proper identity of your vehicle by checking its Vehicle Identity Number (VIN) and any other identity features.


Vehicle Checks

Below is a list of component checks likely to be carried out on your vehicle: -

  • Registration Plate
    Condition, security, legibility and format of letters/numbers

  • Lights
    Condition, operation, security and correct colour. The headlamps may also be checked to determine if the aim is correct.

  • Steering and Suspension
    Correct condition and operation.

  • Wipers/Washers
    Operate to give the driver a clear view of the road.

  • Windscreen
    Condition and drivers view of the road. Tests may be carried out to determine the degree of transparency in the glass.

  • Horn
    Correct operation and type.

  • Seatbelts
    All seatbelts installed are checked for type, condition, operation and security. All compulsory seatbelts must be fitted.

  • Fuel System
    No leaks, fuel cap fastens correctly and seals securely. The fuel cap will need to be opened.

  • Exhaust Emissions
    Vehicle meets the requirements for exhaust emissions. These vary on the age and fuel type of the vehicle.

  • Vehicle Structure
    Free from excessive corrosion or damage in specific areas. No sharp edges.

  • Doors
    Opening and closing mechanism, particularly latch security in closed position.

  • Mirrors
    Presence, condition and security.

  • Wheels and Tyres
    Condition, security, tyre size/type and tread depth. Spare tyres are not inspected except in the case of a public service vehicle where a serviceable spare is a legal requirement.

  • Brakes
    Condition, operation and performance (efficiency testing). At the roadside a physical and visual inspection is initially carried out.

Vehicles found to be non-compliant may be subject to either delayed or immediate prohibition action dependant on the nature and severity of the defect/s. Any conditions imposed on a prohibition notice must be complied with, including any requirement to present the vehicle to a vehicle examiner at a later date when repairs have been carried out.