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Operating a forklift either near a public place / highway or on a public highway

What is the law and best practice surrounding operating a forklift either near a public place / highway or on a public highway?

The FLTA’s TB03 has been removed from circulation because some of the information within it had become out of date.  We are looking to re-draft it to provide Dealers with a simplified guide to road use but the reality is that it is a far from simple process and is surrounded by anything but, complex legislation.  The result of all of this is that it remains a real problem for Dealers, more often than not due to the lack of knowledge amongst the counter staff, at DVLA’s Regional Offices.

We have been in regular communication with the DVLA and they claim that registration for lift trucks is no more complex than it is for other vehicles. We would argue, however, for road vehicles there are secure, automated registration services available online, whereas for NRMM, there are not.

NOVA documentation is one of the issues and, although DVLA stress that this is only required for imported vehicles, most UK Lift Trucks are imported. It is also required for older, second hand trucks being registered for the first time.  For new trucks form V55/4 should be used and, for old trucks, being registered for the first time, form V55/5 should be used : https://www.gov.uk/dvlaforms

NOVA is relatively new and thousands of trucks will have been imported over the past 20 years, very many of which will not have been NOVA registered and so it likely that, sooner or later, you will need to register an older machine. In this case it may not be possible to obtain all of the documentation required in support of the NOVA registration.  HMRC’s advice on this situation is to fill in as many details as possible on a paper NOVA form and send a covering letter explaining everything you know about the truck’s history, for example: date of manufacture, who you purchased it from in the UK, in which country it was manufactured (South Korea or Italy for example). Include your contact details in the letter and ask them to contact you for further information, should they require it.

Whilst sadly this remains an area of confusion within DVLA and HMRC, it is a requirement for all vehicles to be declared under NOVA,  before registration can be completed. 

Below are DVLA documents on licencing requirements and BITA’s GN57, which covers parts of the subject in much greater detail.

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