Guidance for Operators Requiring a Vehicle Special Order (VSO) for Longer Semi-Trailers (LST)

This page was last updated on 12th March 2020

In January 2012, a trial of Longer Semi-Trailers was launched by the Department for Transport (DfT). In Order to participate in the trial a VSO is required to cover each vehicle used in the trial, a VSO will allow vehicles to be operated on roads in Great Britain (i.e. England, Scotland and Wales).

Slightly different arrangements apply to those that exist in the normal VSO application process.

The first difference is that an Operator must sign and submit an ‘Undertaking’, which commits the Operator to do certain things. The Undertaking should be sent to the Vehicle Certification Agency along with the application for the VSO.

Secondly, only a certain number of semi-trailers may be used on the trial by any one Operator. As part of the process VCA will ask the applicant to confirm that the total number of trailers applied for does not exceed the number in a particular Operator’s allocation of semi-trailers.

Certain things will need to be in place before a VSO is granted. The Operator must provide:

  • a signed Undertaking;
  • evidence of a valid NSSTA or LST Model Report
  • operator and vehicle details required by as part of the normal VSO process

Provided all the requirements are met an Order may be granted.

Outline of information required

1. Details of persons / organisations who will be using the vehicles, including Operator’s Licence Number;

2. The number of semi-trailers for which the VSO is required;

3. The vehicle details;

a. make
b. type – including National Small Series Type Approval number (ask your supplier for details of these approvals)
c. model
d. Vehicle Identification Number(s) (VIN)

4. A copy of the signed Undertaking

Applying for a VSO for Longer-Semi Trailers

Applications should be completed using the following form:

Application form for longer semi-trailers

Please note you may send this information to us as an Email;

  • download the form at the link above,
  • complete it and save it on your system,
  • attach it to an e-mail and send it to:

Please be aware that Email is not a secure medium, and as such, VCA cannot be held responsible for any loss of the data or subsequent misuse by a third party.

Applications may also be submitted using surface mail, but this may introduce unnecessary delay.