Who Are The DVSA?

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Your Guide to the DVSA – Finding the Right DVSA Number

The DVSA is a slightly different body to the DVLA in that, while they do still handle much of the paperwork when it comes to UK vehicles and driver safety, they offer something of a different focus.  Their full title is the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, and they are chiefly charged with ensuring that drivers and vehicles are legally entitled to use UK roads.  In fact, if you are aiming to apply for a licence – whether for a vehicle or for another type of machinery – you will need to contact the DVSA helpline – or find the right DVSA contact – to get started.  This isn’t as tricky as it may seem – and we are here to break down a few of the DVSA questions and answers you may have.

What do the DVSA do?

The DVSA are in charge of providing UK drivers and learners with the tools and paperwork through which they can learn to operate vehicles safely, and to ensure that they are ready to take to the road without concern.  This means that they are chiefly in charge of MOT enquiries and training those who deliver such checks, supplying driving tests (both practical and theory), overseeing various faults and recalls that may befall UK vehicles, providing additional training for CPC, enabling vehicle adaptation and more besides.

Essentially, you will need to find a DVSA contact if you wish to start driving, if you are concerned about your MOT, or if you wish to make a change to your vehicle that may affect your road legality.  While the DVLA are more concerned with the licensing side of UK driving, the DVSA handle the nitty gritty – in that they ensure that UK drivers are safe on the road and that they are legally entitled to get behind the wheel.  Knowing the distinction between the DVLA and the DVSA is the first step – and, thankfully, the main DVSA website helps to break it down even further.  Let’s take a brief look at what the DVSA can do for you.

Who to Contact

Knowing the right DVSA number to contact – for example, the DVSA number for booking practical test and other enquiries – is essential.  There are many different DVSA helpline services available, each tailored to specific queries and areas of concern.  The DVSA website’s ‘contact us’ is a great portal to start at, as it will enable you to follow a short guide in finding the right area of contact for you.  It’s a fairly simple step-by-step procedure, and you will generally find contact numbers and addresses for you to follow up depending upon your query.  We will cover some of these in the following sections.

MOTs and other vehicle testing

MOTS and vehicle tests are essential for you to be able to legally stay on the road – and you’ll need to get an MOT check each year.  This is a legal requirement – and it is the DVSA who arranges what goes into MOT checks and even helps to train those who wish to provide them.  MOTs, of course, can be undertaken at many different vehicle testing stations up and down the country – but if you need to get in touch with the DVSA MOT team for any reason, you are more than welcome to do so.

Simply email [email protected], or call 0300 123 9000 – this is the main DVSA phone number to call for all MOT related issues and concerns.  You can also write to the main DVSA address:


The Ellipse

Padley Road



Vehicle Adaptations

To be able to build or adapt a vehicle for any purpose – and in order for it to remain road legal – you are going to need to get in touch with the DVSA.  The DVSA website provides you with information on how to apply for approval, and whether or not you will need to submit for a complete vehicle registration.  If you risk driving an adapted or custom vehicle without DVSA approval, you risk facing reprimand.

CPC Training

Driver CPC training is essential if you intend to drive a bigger road vehicle, or one not considered standard licence.  This means that if you wish to drive a lorry, coach or a bus, you’ll need additional training – and external to standard driving testing.  If you’re interested in applying for CPC training, you’ll need to find the right DVSA contact – simply call 0300 123 9000, or email [email protected].  Alternatively, write to the following specific DVSA address:


PO Box 280


NE99 1FP

Driving Licensing

Possibly the most popular reason for calling the DVSA helpline – or for getting in touch with the agency at all – will be to arrange for driving tests.  Whether you are looking to book practical or theory testing, you will need to call or contact the DVSA accordingly.  While the DVLA will supply you with a provisional licence – and while you will need to book lessons externally yourself – you’ll need to get in touch with the DVSA driving theory and practical test department to be able to get one step closer to that full licence.

General enquiries for theory testing are fielded by the DVSA helpline or the email address [email protected].  You can also use the same contact to book a test, or you can write to this DVSA address:


PO Box 1286



Practical testing is generally covered by the same contact number, but you can also email [email protected] or write to:


PO BOX 280


NE99 1FP

Operator Licensing

This type of licensing covers vehicles such as PSVs, goods vehicles, local buses and even limousines – essentially, if you are operating a vehicle as a public service, you’ll need an operator’s licence.  To enquire about this type of licence, you’ll need to call 0300 123 9000, contact via the DVSA email [email protected], or write to the Padley Road address for MOTs and vehicle testing listed above.

Motorcycles and ADIs

An ADI is an Approved Driving Instructor – and to be able to book tests and arrange licensing with your pupils – on motorcycles or otherwise – you are going to need to seek the support of the DVSA.  There is a helpful guide here to help you get started.

Faults and Recalls

The DVSA also oversees a wealth of support for drivers who are experiencing potentially dangerous faults and defects in their vehicles – and while it is suggested that you approach your vehicle manufacturer with any concerns as a point of urgency, there is a handy step-by-step guide provided by the DVSA to help you find out more information.  The following may be attended to by a manufacturer:

  • General car issues
  • General cycle issues
  • Seat belts and safety
  • Child seats
  • Tyres
  • Internal components
  • General lorry, coach, bus and minibus issues
  • Caravans
  • Agricultural vehicles and equipment
  • Horse boxes

The DVSA advises that it is important to keep up to speed on whether or not your vehicle is deemed safe to use – as it is your legal responsibility to do so.  There is further information available here on how to check for certain manufacturer recalls.

You may also report serious safety defects to the DVSA if you feel that the manufacturer is not handling your concerns satisfactorily.  You can report serious safety defects here – but do note that these types of defect are classed as those which relate to:

  • The way a vehicle is designed
  • Whether or not an issue happens without warning

If the defect you wish to report falls under either of these categories – and if they are likely to either injure or cause death, you must report it to the DVSA after consulting with your manufacturer.  Your manufacturer should keep you informed and up to date on any problems that may face the vehicle you are using, or any parts that are currently fitted.  If this is the case, you will not generally be expected to pay to repair such faults.

DVSA complaints and DVSA head office information

While we have covered much of the contact details available for the DVSA, there may be further reason for you to search for a DVSA contact or DVSA number.  The agency operates a complaints policy openly, and you are able to raise concerns through an escalation process if you are unhappy with the way that your enquiries have been handled by any of their teams.

It is important to read the DVSA complaints procedure in full before submitting your concerns.  It is advised that, should you wish to complain about the way your driving tests – both theory and practical – have been handled, you can do so by contacting the DVSA email, DVSA address and contact number provided above for each area.

Alternatively, if you have exhausted the complaints procedure and have complied with the DVSA’s requirements, you may contact the Head of Corporate Office via the following:

Head of Corporate Office


The Axis Building

112 Upper Parliament Street



[email protected]

Further to this, you can even contact the DVSA Chief Executive – who will respond within 10 working days:

DVSA Chief Executive’s Office


The Axis Building

112 Upper Parliament Street



[email protected]