Transport Regulation Unit

Transport Regulation Unit (TRU) implements the Goods Vehicles Licensing of Operators Act (Northern Ireland) 2010. This legislation was brought in to address the low rate of compliance by Northern Ireland Heavy Goods Vehicle operators.


Transport Regulation Unit (TRU) issue operator licences and hold public hearings on all matters relating to operator licensing. TRU seek to ensure that licence holders meet the standards set for entry into the commercial vehicle operator industry to minimise the environmental and road safety impact around goods vehicles operating centres. They have the power to curtail, suspend and revoke operator licences; and in extreme cases disqualify people from holding an operator’s licence.

What the law requires

The law requires that all vehicles with a gross weight over 3500kg, used to transport goods as part of a business or trade, must be covered by an operator’s licence. The law, which came into effect on 1 July 2012, requires all operators to sign up to a series of undertakings. DOE has the power to impound vehicles if they are discovered on the public road without an operator’s licence when one is required.

Legislative background

The Goods Vehicles (Licensing of Operators) Act, introduced to the NI Assembly in May 2008, completed its passage through the Assembly and became an Act on 22 January 2010. The Act amended the Department’s powers in relation to the regulation of goods vehicles operators, bringing Northern Ireland largely (but not wholly) into line with the current practice in place in Great Britain. The detailed provisions were introduced through a series of sets of regulations.

Applications, guidance and Goods Vehicle Operator self-service

Application forms and guidance for goods vehicles operator licences are available.

Existing licence holders can update details online using the Goods Vehicles Operator self-service tools on the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency website. 

Applications and Decisions

Transport Regulation Unit (TRU) are required to produce a publication titled 'Applications and Decisions' which contains details of all applications for an Operating Licence made to that office (during a given period).

This publication can be sent on request to Statutory Objectors in the region covered in Northern Ireland. The list of Statutory Objectors is kept as up to date as possible. If you would like to receive a copy, please contact TRU to be added to the circulation list.

Objections can be made to any Operator Licence application if the objector can prove that the applicant does not satisfy legal requirements. Additional information on objections can be found by contacting TRU.

Information and template for objections

Published applications and decisions

Copies of 'Applications and Decisions' are available for download below.



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