A minibus safety inspection is a thorough check completed by a qualified engineer to ensure that the vehicle is roadworthy. Minibus Safety Inspections are required under both a Section 19 Permit and an Operator’s licence every 10 weeks for vehicles under 12 years old – as recommended by the DVSA, regardless of mileage.

Safety inspection frequency depends on your minibus permit and vehicle

The type of safety inspection you will need depends on the permit or licence you’re operating your minibuses under. The type of permit you need depends mostly on whether you are operating your vehicles commercially, for profit.

If your organisation is a commercial one and takes any form of payment from its passengers – with the intention to make a profit – it will require an operator’s licence. There are two types of operator’s licence PSV ‘O’ or a PHV licence.

If you are not running your minibuses for profit, you could be exempt from needing an operator’s licence and apply for either a Section 19 or a Section 22 permit.

A Section 22 permit. This is a community bus permit for local bus services carrying members of the public.

Safety inspections under a Section 19 Permit

A Section 19 permit can be applied for by schools/colleges and organisations with charitable status that does not operate for profit. Under a Section 19 Permit, you can only carry a max. of 16 passengers and exclusively those who benefit from the organisations’ service; like school pupils, not members of the public. Originally the DVSA recommended minibus safety inspections were completed every 17 weeks for vehicles under 12 years old, but in 2017 they updated the advice to every 10 weeks.

Minibus Safety inspections are a legal requirement, not an advisory and are in addition to services and MOTs.

Section 19 Permits are in the name of the organisation that applied for them, not a specific minibus, so they can be moved from minibus to minibus, but they cannot be shared.  They are displayed in the front windscreen of a vehicle like the old-style tax disk. If a minibus is loaned to a different organisation, they will need their own Section 19 Permit, even if they are borrowing the vehicle for a short time.

Safety Inspection information on the Section 19 Permit application

From May 2021 the application form for the Section 19 Permit requires you to evidence your minibus safety inspections and provide details of who is carrying out the maintenance on your vehicles. You are required to submit supporting evidence that you are having this maintenance carried out. Details from page 11 of the application form with the maintenance questions are below.

Castle Minibus are the UK’s leading provider of minibus safety inspections for schools. We work with two national fleets of mobile engineers that will complete the inspections on your premises. For more information on Section 19 Permit and safety inspections visit the .gov website or give our compliance team a call on 01869 253744 who will help you.