Skip the Northern Ireland Government Bar|

MSVA FAQs



Questions

  1. What is the Motorcycle Single Vehicle Approval Scheme?
  2. Why do we need MSVA?
  3. What vehicles will be affected?
  4. Which vehicles does MSVA not apply to?
  5. What is Tested?
  6. How are the vehicles tested?
  7. How do I apply for a test?
  8. Can a vehicle be driven to the test?
  9. How much is the fee?
  10. Can DVA refuse to carry out the test?
  11. What will happen if a vehicle fails the test?
  12. What happens after the test?
  13. How do I get further Information?


Answers

  1. What is the Motorcycle Single Vehicle Approval Scheme?

The Motorcycle Single Vehicle Approval Scheme [MSVA] is a pre-registration scheme for motorcycles, three-wheeled and light four-wheeled vehicles that have not been type-approved to European standards. The main purpose of the scheme is to ensure that these vehicles have been designed and constructed to modern safety and environmental standards before they can be used on public roads.

[top]


  1. Why do we need MSVA?

From 17th June 2003 new motorcycles, three wheeled and light four wheeled vehicles registered for the first time in Northern Ireland must comply with European Community Whole Vehicle Type Approval (ECWVTA). Without such approval, vehicles cannot be registered for use in the UK. If a certificate of conformity to ECWVTA cannot be produced then the vehicle will be subject to a Motorcycle Single Vehicle Approval examination. MSVA checks that vehicles constructed for non-European Economic Area markets comply with UK law. Even vehicles outwardly similar to European-specification models, but intended for other markets, can often be unsuitable for use in the UK without at least some modification. MSVA also checks that the construction of amateur built vehicles meet modern safety and environmental standards.

[top]


  1. What vehicles will be affected?

Any non-exempt vehicle, which cannot prove conformity to ECWVTA, will require a MSVA test prior to registration. This will include most vehicles imported from outside the EU. Non type-approved vehicles manufactured in very low volumes, amateur built vehicles and vehicles manufactured using parts of other previously registered vehicles. The vehicle classes affected are listed below.

Mopeds and light vehicles

2 wheeled vehicle
  • fitted with an internal combustion engine having a cylinder capacity not exceeding 50cc
  • a maximum design speed of 45km/h (28 mph)
  • not exceeding 270kg unladen weight

3 wheeled vehicle
  • fitted with an internal combustion engine having a cylinder capacity not exceeding 50cc
  • and a maximum design speed of 45km/h (28 mph)
  • not exceeding 270 kg unladen weight
  • if designed to carry goods a payload of no more than 300kg

4 wheeled vehicle (light quadricycle)
  • fitted with an internal combustion engine having a cylinder capacity not exceeding 50cc
  • a maximum design speed of 45km/h (28mph)
  • not exceeding 350kg unladen weight
  • if designed to carry goods a payload of no more than 200kg

If any of the above moped classes are powered by an electric motor or any other internal combustion engine:
  • the continuous power must not exceed 4kW (5 Bhp)
  • the weight of the batteries must not be included in the unladen weight


Motorcycles

2 wheeled vehicle
  • with or without sidecar
  • fitted with an internal combustion engine having a cylinder capacity of more than 50cc and/or a maximum design speed of more than 45km/h (28 mph)


Heavy Motor Tricycles and Quadricycles

3 wheeled vehicle (with 3 symmetrically arranged wheels)
  • fitted with an internal combustion engine having a cylinder capacity of more than 50cc and/or a maximum design speed of more than 45km/h (28mph)
  • not exceeding 1000kg unladen weight
  • if designed to carry goods a payload of a maximum of 1500kg


4 wheeled vehicle (heavy quadricycles)
  • Quadricycles (other than those referred to under light quadricycles above) whose maximum net engine power does not exceed 15 kW (20 Bhp)
  • more than 350kg but not exceeding 400kg (550kg for goods vehicles) unladen weight
  • if designed to carry goods a payload of a maximum of 1000kg
  • if powered by an electric motor the weight of the batteries must not be included in the unladen weight

[top]


  1. Which vehicles does MSVA not apply to?

  1. Vehicles with a maximum design speed not exceeding 6km/h
  2. Cycles with pedal assistance which are equipped with an auxiliary electric motor having a maximum continuous rated power of 0.25kW, of which the output is progressively reduced and finally cut off as the vehicle reaches a speed of 25km/h, or sooner, if the cyclist stops pedaling.
  3. Vehicles intended for pedestrian control
  4. Trial or enduro motorcycles intended for use in competitions, on roads or whatever the terrain.

    Trials motorcycles shall have the following characteristics:
    • maximum seat height of 700mm;
    • minimum ground clearance of 280mm; and
    • maximum fuel tank capacity of 4 litres

    Enduro motorcycles shall have the following characteristics:
    • minimum seat height of 900mm; and
    • minimum ground clearance of 310mm.

  5. Agricultural tractors, off road tractors, agricultural engines or light agricultural vehicle as defined below:

    Agricultural Tractor

    A tractor used on public roads solely for purposes relating to agriculture, horticulture, forestry or activities falling within:
    • cutting verges bordering public roads
    • cutting hedges or trees bordering public roads or bordering verges which border public roads
    Off Road Tractor

    A tractor which is not an agricultural tractor and which is:
    • designed and constructed primarily for use other than on roads, and
    • incapable by reason of its construction of exceeding a speed of 25mph on the level under its own power

    Agricultural Engine

    A machine specially designed /converted to perform an agricultural operation on the land (e.g. a combine harvester).

    Light agricultural vehicle - a vehicle which:
    • Has a revenue weight not exceeding 1000kg,
    • Is designed and constructed so as to seat only the driver,
    • Is designed and constructed for purposes other than roads, and
    • Is used solely for purposes relating to agriculture, horticulture or forestry.
  6. Vehicles designed for off-road leisure use having wheels arranged symmetrically with one wheel at the front and two at the rear.
  7. Vehicles adapted or constructed to enable use by a disabled person (i.e. a person who has a disability as defined in section 1 of the Disability Discrimination Act), whether as a driver or passenger.

[top]


  1. What is Tested?

Most of the items inspected in the MSVA scheme are those that are tested when manufacturers apply for type-approval of mass-produced vehicles.
  • Statutory markings
  • Maximum design speed and power
  • Masses and dimensions
  • Registration plate space
  • Unauthorised use
  • Handholds / footrests (two wheeled vehicles only)
  • Stands (two wheeled vehicles only
  • Speedometer
  • Tyres / wheels
  • Emissions
  • Noise and exhausts
  • Mirrors
  • Design and construction
  • Exterior projections
  • Lighting and signalling
  • Headlamp pattern and aim
  • Brakes
  • Side cars
  • Audible warning
  • Wipers and washers (bodied vehicles only)
  • Glazing
  • Seat belts and anchorages (bodied vehicles only)
  • Radio suppression
  • Defrost and Demist (bodied vehicles only)

[top]


  1. How are the vehicles tested?

All the inspections will be carried out at the:-

Mallusk Driver & Vehicle Test Centre
Commercial Way
Hydepark Industrial Estate
Belfast
BT36 8YY

Although the same items are tested in type-approval they are not tested in the same way. The examiner will conduct an engineering assessment in the form of a visual inspection or a simple test on the vehicle to ensure that it complies with the regulations.

A Minister's Approval Certificate (MAC) under MSVA is issued when the examiner is satisfied that the vehicle would meet the requirements of the regulations in relation to the design and construction of the vehicle. Unlike MOT, the examination is not primarily concerned with vehicle condition although poor condition may make it impossible to assess whether some construction requirements are met.

[top]


  1. How do I apply for a test?

Application forms are available from DVA Test Centres or from DVA Licensing Local Offices or their websites:- www.dvlni.gov.uk (opens in new window).

Completed application forms, together with the appropriate fee, should be returned to Mallusk Driver & Vehicle Testing Centre, unless you wish the test to be conducted in GB. Application forms for tests in GB (available from the VOSA website www.vosa.gov.uk (opens in new window) should be sent to the relevant VOSA testing centre or to VOSA, Welcombe House, 91-92 The Strand, Swansea SA1 2DH.

You will be asked to provide certain technical details in relation to the vehicle, e.g. maximum speed of the vehicle and maximum design weights. This may be obtained by reference to the manufacturer's vehicle handbook or from the manufacturer or his agent. Any documentary evidence of the standards to which the vehicle was originally approved will always be helpful.

Once the completed form has been returned along with the fee, you will be sent an appointment letter stating the time and place of the test. While the application form should be sent to the Mallusk Test Centre, the initial tests may be conducted in Lisburn test centre due to the ongoing refurbishment of the Mallusk centre.

If your vehicle does not have a manufacturer's Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) stamped on the chassis, you will have to apply to your nearest DVLNI Office for a VIN to be assigned before the SVA inspection is conducted. This number should be permanently attached to the vehicle prior to the inspection. Vehicles without a VIN stamped on the chassis or frame, will not be inspected. DVA Licensing officials may wish to inspect the vehicle to check that it is not stolen.

[top]


  1. Can a vehicle be driven to the test?

You will be allowed to travel (within the UK) to and from the test centre for the pre-arranged appointment without the vehicle having been registered and licensed and, if necessary, to and from a pre-arranged appointment at a garage or other place where modifications are done to enable compliance with the requirements. You are responsible for ensuring that you have insurance cover and that the vehicle complies with the requirements of the Motor Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations (NI) 1999 and the Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations (NI) 2000 when driven to and from the test location. Otherwise, driving or keeping an unregistered vehicle on a public road is an offence.

[top]


  1. How much is the fee?

Full Test (low power moped) - £45
A low power moped is defined as a moped with pedals, with auxiliary propulsion not exceeding 1 kw, and a maximum design speed not exceeding 25km/h (16mph)

Full Test (2-wheeled vehicles) - £70
Full Test (3/4-wheeled vehicles) - £85

Out of hours supplement - £20
(Normal working hours are 8.00am- 5.00pm Monday - Friday)
(Out of Hours - 5.00pm - 8.30pm Monday - Friday & 8.00am - 8.30pm Saturday)

Retest - £15
Replacement Certificate - £12

[top]


  1. Can DVA refuse to carry out the test?

Yes, if the vehicle is presented in such a way that it does not meet the requirements for testing, DVA reserves the right to refuse to carry out the test. A full list of reasons for refusal is available on request. DVA will retain the full fee in this situation.

[top]


  1. What will happen if a vehicle fails the test?

On failure of the test the presenter will be issued with a comprehensive list of the reasons for failure. The applicant can then arrange a retest with the centre for a fee of £15. All retests must be carried out within six months of the original test date. After this time a full test must be carried out and the appropriate fee paid.

[top]


  1. What happens after the test?

Once your vehicle has successfully passed the MSVA test you will be given a Minister's Approval Certificate (MAC). With a MAC you will be able to register and license your vehicle at your DVA Licensing Local Office. If your vehicle fails the MSVA test you will be able to take your vehicle away for repairs and modification. You will then have to re-apply to for a re-test.

[top]


  1. How do I get further Information?

You can obtain further information by contacting the DVA Licensing at the following address:-

DVA Licensing
County Hall
Castlerock Road
Coleraine.
BT51 3TA
028 7034 1461

For general enquiries and information on the test procedure and standards, please contact:

DVA Customer Services Enquiry Line
0845 601 4094

[top]