Transport Regulation Unit

The Department for Infrastructure implements the Goods Vehicles (Licensing of Operators) Act (Northern Ireland) 2010. This legislation was brought in to address the low rate of compliance by Northern Ireland (NI) Heavy Goods Vehicle Operators, and the statutory function of the Department in relation to the Act is exercised by the Transport Regulation Unit (TRU) and its partners.

What the law requires

The law requires that all vehicles with a gross weight over 3500kg, used to transport goods as part of a business or trade, must be covered by a goods vehicle operator’s licence. The law, which came into effect on 1 July 2012, requires all operators to sign up to a series of undertakings.

Practice Guidance & Instruction

Transport Regulation Unit has published “Practice Guidance and Instruction Documents” to inform how the Department interprets the law in relation to the application of Goods Vehicle Legislation. The documents reflect the different powers of the Department, and seek to explain how those powers impact goods vehicle licence applicants & operators, and provide advice and guidance to those applicants & operators who are regulated by the Department.


The Department issues goods vehicle operator's licences and works to ensure that licence holders meet the standards set for entry into the commercial vehicle operator industry and to minimise the environmental and road safety impact around goods vehicle operating centres.

The Department, through the Driver & Vehicle Agency (DVA) has the power to stop and inspect vehicles, issue fines in respect of maintenance or drivers hours infringements and can impound vehicles if they are discovered on the public road without a goods vehicle operator's licence when one is required.

TRU works with statutory bodies to monitor licence holder compliance and has the authority to call operators to hearings and public inquiries and take regulatory action including the curtailment, suspension and revocation of operator's licences and, in extreme cases, disqualification of people from holding a goods vehicle operator's licence.

The Department also has responsibility for developing and maintaining policy in respect of the relevant legislation. It is around this policy and legislation that the licencing, compliance and regulation functions have been developed. Select the links below for further information on each.

Transport Regulation Unit - Statutory Model
TRU - Statutory Model

Transport Regulation Unit - Newsletter

TRU is actively working on a new approach with regard to communication with our goods vehicles’ operators (GVO).  We are keen to increase our presence in the industry, raising awareness around compliance and regulatory requirements.

This Newsletter will be used to deliver important messages and relevant news related to NI HGV operators with the aim to increase awareness around compliance and regulatory requirements.

Privacy Notice

How the Department for Infrastructure will use your personal data for the administration of goods vehicle operator licensing.

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