So you finally managed to finish building your trike without having an apoplexy or losing your sanity.  The sun is shining and the riding season is nearly upon us. Job done and life is starting to look all rosy again…Err! Perhaps not.

Being a home built vehicle its going to need a thing called an MSVA (Motorcycle Single Vehicle Approval) Easy enough to book and have done if your trike is built to the criteria laid out in the MSVA and it complies with the C&U (construction & use) regulations.

 The list of reasons a perfectly well built but adapted trike would fail the MSVA is a bit long to list here but if your trike would fail because it’s adapted for use by a disabled rider there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Fortunately there is a way to get your registration and inspection sorted out without too much bother. As a disabled person you are entitled to use a dispensation within the legislation that means that you only have to take the trike to your local DVLA office for an inspection before registration and for an MOT so they can issue your tax disk. The MOT station should also be able to stamp your frame number on for you.
I have been through the process and have been taking notes so that I may be able to steer some of you through it without too much hassle. This is sort of how it went.

After several phone calls to Swansea I finally realised the best option is to speak directly to your local office. Our Local office in Trafford sent me form V627/1 a Built Up Vehicle Inspection Report and formV55/5 Application for a first licence for a used motor vehicle and declaration for registration.

Now I have to point out that my trike is home built using components from at least 4 different vehicles and as such is classed as a built up vehicle and not a new one. There may be different forms for other vehicles.
Make sure the person you speak too has all the information about your build and adaptations so they can send the correct forms. There’s nothing worse than having to fill in and post a second set because you were sent the wrong ones the first time.
The DVLA staff at the Manchester office were on the ball and got this sorted without any hassles.

It’s also a good idea to itemise your receipts and include the list and all receipts with the forms when you send them off.  I would also write a letter explaining your reasons for building the trike and highlight any adaptations you have fitted to suit your needs. This makes it easier for the staff at the DVLA to process your application without them having to contact you for additional information.
The more you tell them the first time means they don’t have to waste time writing to you. You will also need to include your DLA 404 to prove you are in receipt of the disabled tax entitlement.

Either post the forms or if you are a bit like me and want stuff done fast, hand deliver your forms to your local office, make sure you get them to the right person. They will post an appointment time to you to confirm the time and place for your inspection.

Contrary to popular urban myth you cannot ride to the inspection, the trike needs to be on a trailer. NOT an “A” frame or spectacle lift but a trailer. As an unregistered vehicle it is not allowed on the road and the DVLA staff  have told me it’s a trailer or nothing.
Another misconception is that the DVLA will inspect your trike at home.
It used to be the case but in an effort to reduce waiting times it’s now an appointment at a DVLA approved site instead.
Apparently it saves time because in the time it would normally take to drive between different peoples home addresses they can do four or five inspections at their site. I’m all for this as I expected to wait for a month or so at least but got in within 2 weeks.

There are some that tell me that they did it differently and rode to tests etc, or in some cases they had home visits. Like I said earlier, things have changed at the DVLA concerning the process with regards trikes and bikes built for use by disabled riders - for the better I hope, as it’s time all DVLA offices came up with a country wide strategy to get this done as simply and as quickly as possible.

So off to the inspection, not a test but an inspection to show that the trike is exactly as you describe it on the built up vehicle report and the registration document. Make sure you arrive in good time, these places run like clockwork and you will not be seen if you are late.

At the inspection the DVLA Inspector took a few photos and took the details of the parts down for comparison with the receipts I had submitted. He then told me he would put the details in the system that afternoon to produce the documents and Identity for the Trike. They would be posted out the next day. Once they arrive you can then take it for a MOT test and stamp the VIN on it. The DVLA will then issue your tax disk for your trike.
Not a difficult process but you need to make sure you have all your paperwork in order and I strongly suggest you do a proper job of the build. Even though our trike is not having an MSVA I am pretty certain it would pass one. Don’t do a half- baked job on your build just because you can get it registered without a MSVA, your safety depends on you building it right.

 There are also some sad people out there who think the dispensation within the MSVA for a disabled rider is a loophole to be exploited. This is well out of order and in fact is a criminal offence. Supplying false information on the declaration you sign is in fact fraud and you will be prosecuted if caught out.

There are also those who encourage other people to claim that the trike is for a disabled rider to circumvent the MSVA. That’s even worse in my book because when nonsense like that is disseminated on websites it opens the system to abuse.
If the abuse continues long enough the government will pull the dispensation for disabled riders and ruin it for hundreds or even thousands of disabled riders all over the country.

The build wasn’t easy, or that hard come to think of it. The process of registering the trike was simplicity itself. It was only easy because I took the time to make the calls and gather all the paperwork I needed. I do think a simple bulleted leaflet with the steps on sent with your application forms from the DVLA would be helpful. It would save people a bit of time having all the information before you apply.

 Like most things in life, It was easy because I planned things out. If I hadn’t I’d still be trying to register the damn thing and would not have a tasty summer ride.

I’m not saying my way is the only way but it worked for me and if you go about it in a similar fashion you will have relatively little bother in getting on the road.

Ride safe

NABD Volunteer