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Dangerous Goods Driving

Under the Carriage of Dangerous Goods and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment Regulations 2007 (CDG 2007 ), all drivers and vehicle attendants - in fact,  all personnel involved in the carriage of dangerous goods - require training and instruction [see General Training Requirements ].

Additionally, certain drivers of road vehicles carrying dangerous goods may need to hold a vocational training certificate (VTC, or "ADR certificate"). In Great Britain, the VTC is obtained after a driver has attended a training course approved by the DfT as competent authority, and successfully completed an examination set and marked by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA ).

Drivers of vehicles carrying dangerous goods who may fall within this requirement are:

  • a road tanker containing any dangerous goods;
  • a vehicle carrying a tank container loaded with any dangerous goods;
  • a vehicle carrying dangerous goods in bulk;
  • a vehicle carrying radioactive material;
  • a vehicle carrying dangerous goods in packages, if these are over certain thresholds (according to the Transport Category coding) for those particular goods.*

*The driver of a vehicle carrying dangerous goods (other than explosives and radioactive material) in packages, which had a maximum permissible weight of 3.5 tonnes or less, did not formerly need to have undertaken approved training and hold a VTC even if the load was over the ADR Transport Category threshold. (However, the driver still needed to have undertaken general training.)

From 1 January 2007, the VTC requirement was extended to include drivers of vehicles of 3.5 tonnes or less. The VTC is still required for drivers carrying loads of Class 1 dangerous goods (explosives) over the threshold, regardless of vehicle weight. Again, for loads under this amount it is still a requirement that the driver (and anyone else involved with the transport operation) received some kind of suitable training.

There are other exceptions to the requirement for driver training, by virtue of disapplications from the Regulations as listed in CDG 2007 Regulation 8.

A VTC issued by the competent authority of a State contracting to ADR is valid throughout contracting States.

Getting and using a VTC
List of approved training providers and locations (MS Excel, 2.4MB)

To obtain a VTC a driver has to attend an approved training course and pass an approved examination appropriate to the class or classes of goods which are to be carried on the vehicle. Drivers must keep their VTCs with them at all times when carrying dangerous goods, and employers are strongly recommended to keep a copy of the VTCs held by drivers and attendants in case the VTC is lost and a replacement has to be obtained.

Replacing a VTC
An application form should be sought from the appropriate address:

Holders of NI drivers’ licences ONLY
Holders of other types of drivers’ licences *
Driver and Vehicle Licensing Northern Ireland
County Hall
Castlerock Road
BT51 3HS
County Londonderry
Tel: 028 70341469
Scottish Qualifications Authority
Tel: 0845 213 5278
Fax: 0845 213 5000
email: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it
* holders of other types of drivers’ licence should not contact the DVLA.
The completed form should be returned with the appropriate fee and a new certificate will be issued.

Changing Address
If a VTC holder’s address changes, they must notify DVLA or DVL(NI), as appropriate, in order that their driving licence record can be updated, and a replacement VTC issued (re-issue is free of charge). Failure to comply with the requirement to notify DVLA or DVL(NI) can lead to prosecution.

Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency

Telephone: 0870 240 0009
[08:00 - 20:30 Mon - Fri; 08:00 - 17.30 Sat]
Fax: 0870 850 1285
Drivers Customer Services (DCS)
Correspondence Team
Swansea SA6 7JL

Driver and Vehicle Licensing Northern Ireland

County Hall
Castlerock Road
BT51 3HS
County Londonderry
Tel: 028 70341469
E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Renewing a VTC
A VTC must be renewed every five years. This is done by the holder taking another approved training course and examination - both course and examination can be taken in the last year of the VTC’s validity. The new VTC will be valid for 5 years from the date of expiry of the previous certificate. Renewal should not be left until the last minute - training providers and the SQA need six weeks to be certain to process renewal.

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