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Adaption of New Vehicles for Disabled Drivers

Since the 29th of April 2012 a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) is required to be type approved. This legal requirement comes directly from the European Framework for the type approval of motor vehicles, Directive 2007/46/EC. NSAI, the Irish Type Approval Authority has since been issuing IVA (Individual Vehicle Approval) certificates for passenger vehicles which have been adapted and are now classified as a SPV.

As a result of this, certain adaptions to vehicles for disabled drivers (and passengers) now change the classification from “M1” to “M1 Special Purpose Vehicles”; hence requires an Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA) Certificate from NSAI. 

NSAI has developed a system of approval that will allow Licensed Adaptors to apply for IVA's for adapted vehicles. Vehicles can only be adapted by a Licensed Adaptor and any application from a person/company that is not licensed will be refused. Licensed Adaptors and the vehicles they adapt will be subject to inspection on an on-going basis and must be adapted in line with the NSAI Guidance Document. 

The confirguration sheet that must be used by Licensed Adaptors can be found here in PDF and here in Word format. 

From our experience to date, a typical adaption would be installing hand controls for brake and accelerator function and/or modifying seats to allow them to swivel 90 degrees or other modifications to allow ease of entry/exit of the vehicle for the driver or passenger. However, there have been other adaption’s which also required an IVA. For further details on this, please see the Guidance Document. 

There have been examples of other modifications to the vehicle which NSAI determined did not classify the vehicle as a special purpose vehicle, hence the vehicles original approval was still valid and an IVA was not required.

There has been some communication between NSAI and licensed adapters as regards what changes to the vehicle would require an IVA and which might not. Please see the following guidance document which details adaptions under this scheme and the relevent technical information for these adaptions. 

The Guidance Document can be downloaded from here

NSAI maintains a Register of all Licensed Adaptors

To become a licenced adaptor, please complete and submit the application form to NSAI.

Once the application form has been received you will be contacted to schedule a workshop assessment.
On receipt of the application, an application fee of €150 will be invoiced.

The fee for the assessment will be €950 and this will also cover the annual licence fee for the first year.
In subsequent years an annual licence fee of €950 will be invoiced.

For further information please contact:

Amanda O'Shea

T: 01 807 3832 / 3800
F: 01 807 3844

NSAI, 1 Swift Square, Northwood, Santry, Dublin 9

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