Trade licences

This chapter covers the application, possession and permitted uses of trade licences in order to operate an untaxed and unregistered vehicle on public roads.

Download the trade licenses chapter of the Yearbook of Road Transport Law

Updates for 2021:

  • Updated permitted use section.
  • Clarification regarding the use of plates by a motor trader.
  • Updated wording for motor traders who are vehicle manufacturers.
  • Updated wording on the use of plates on unroadworthy vehicles.
  • Added information regarding applications for trade plates.
  • Updated information on displaying a trade plate.
  • Updated penalties section.
  • Inclusion of the address for refunds.


  • Permitted use.
    • Exemptions from vehicles testing.
    • Insurance.
  • Temporary possession.
  • Carriage of goods.
  • Carriage of passengers.
  • Application for trade licences.
  • Licence fees and duration.
  • Trade plates.
  • Replacement plates.
  • Penalties.
  • Change of address.
  • Refunds.

Download the trade licenses chapter of the Yearbook of Road Transport Law

Trade Licences Explained...

Untaxed and unregistered vehicles may operate on the public road under a trade licence in certain circumstances. Trade licences are issued only to motor traders and vehicle testers and can only be used by them in defined situations on vehicles which are in their temporary possession. The licences may be used on vehicles that are registered and taxed provided all conditions of their use are met.

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