Driver and Vehicle Agency

Part of: DfI management and structure

The Driver & Vehicle Agency (DVA) is an executive agency of the Department for Infrastructure (DfI). Their aim is to deliver improved road safety and better regulation of the transport sector.  Responsibilities include driver licensing, vehicle and driver testing, responsibility for those who drive for a living and roadside enforcement. 


The DVA is structured into four Directorates:

  • Operations
  • Business improvement
  • Compliance, Enforcement & Licensing
  • Financial Management & Corporate Services 


  • driver testing – ensuring effective systems are in place to check that learner drivers have the competence to drive safely
  • vehicle testing – checking vehicles against statutory roadworthiness standards
  • driving instructor registration – assessing the suitability of applicants and checking tuition standards
  • technical training – delivering initial and periodic refresher training to ensure staff have the necessary skills required to carry out their duties
  • Driver and Vehicle Standards – liaising with the Department to identify and deliver new developments from changes in policy or legislation at local, national or European level

Compliance, Enforcement & Licensing

  • passenger transport licensing – issuing licences to taxi drivers and bus operators
  • roadside enforcement – promoting compliance with licensing, roadworthiness and other legal requirements in respect of goods and passenger carrying operators and vehicles
  • driver licensing – issuing driver licences to drivers
  • quality control and assurance – the application and use of standards such as Customer Service Excellence and International Standards Organisation across the range of Agency activities
  • property management - responsibility for the maintenance and refurbishment of the Agency's estate

Business Improvement

  • programme and project management - managing new developments and legislative requirements in a coordinated way, to ensure that specified benefits and outcomes are delivered
  • Infrastructure Project – designing and overseeing the construction of new DVA buildings and the installation of new vehicle test equipment in new test centres
  • customer services - dealing with enquiries, complaints, monitoring service standards, developing and delivering strategies for continuously improving customer service

Financial Management and Corporate Services

  • contract management and procurement – acquiring goods and services in accordance with NI Public Procurement Policy; and managing adequate and appropriate contractual arrangements to ensure value for money
  • Financial Management and Governance – annual budgets, monitoring expenditure and monitoring the financial performance of the Agency’s trading fund. Business Planning and Governance including the annual Business Plan, Annual Report and Risk Management Process and secretariat support for Audit and Risk Committee
  • health and safety management - responsibility for the development and maintenance of the Agency's health and safety management system
  • customer services - dealing with enquiries, complaints, monitoring service standards, developing and delivering strategies for continuously improving customer service
  • Chief Executive’s Office – providing support to the Chief Executive, the Strategic Management Board and Senior Leadership Team.
  • Communications Team – supporting DVA business areas by developing and delivering communication plans to targeted audiences and maintaining internal and external communication channels for the Agency.


DVA headquarters are at Hydebank House, 4 Hospital Road, Ballydollaghan, Belfast, BT8 8JP.  There are also 15 driver and vehicle testing centres throughout the province, two satellite driving test centres and a licensing centre in Coleraine, where driver and passenger transport licensing is administered. In addition, there are 6 locations across Northern Ireland where customers can sit their driving theory tests.


The Business Plan and Annual Report and Accounts together give a wide range of facts, figures and other information about the work of the Agency. You can also view the latest minutes of the DVA Strategic Management Board meetings.


Vehicle tax and registration is provided by Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, in Swansea.

Driver licensing

If you need a new or updated licence, need to tell us about a medical condition, or to find out information about endorsements, disqualifications, what vehicles you can drive or driving on a foreign licence you can do so on nidirect.

Vehicle testing (MOT)

To book, check or change your MOT appointment or to find out more specific information about the MOT test, visit nidirect.

Driver testing

This includes both the theory test and the practical driving test, you can book, check or change these tests on nidirect.

Driving for a living

If you drive for a living you may need information about tachographs, graduated fixed penalty and deposit scheme, roadside compliance, driver certificate of professional competence or professional conduct. 

Operators compliance

Operators are required to comply with their statutory responsibilities as a transport undertaking, particularly with regard to vehicle maintenance, facilities, driver’s hours and any conditions attached to their Operator’s Licence.  A range of guides have been developed by DVA highlighting industry best practice that operators and  transport managers are encouraged to comply with.

Regulated Service Applications

When DVA receive an application (whether this is for a first licence, for the 'renewal' of a licence or for the addition of regulated services), it is required to take account of:

  • the interests of passengers likely to use the service;
  • the interests of other operators who hold licences and who are already providing similar services;
  • the need to ensure fair competition; and
  • any representations made by the Consumer Council, District Councils and the NI Tourist Board.

In order to facilitate this, a notice outlining every application received will be posted for 14 days and the Agency will take account of any representations made by the relevant bodies during that period or while the application is still under consideration.

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