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Road Users

Armoured and custodial vehicles

Definitions, type-approval, seat belts, VIN specific certificates. 

This content is for general information only. It does not, and is not intended to, provide legal or technical advice or to represent a legal interpretation of the matters it addresses.

Frequently asked questions

These vehicles are classed as special purpose vehicles (SPVs) and as such belong to either category M (passenger vehicles), N (goods vehicles) or O (trailers) having specific technical features intended for the protection of conveyed persons or goods with anti-bullet armour plating.

Type-approval is optional under (EU) 2018/858 for vehicles designed and constructed for use by the civil defence, fire services and forces responsible for maintaining public order.

No. The only vehicles which are exempt are vehicles constructed for use by Defence Forces or An Garda Síochána.

All vehicles must still adhere to all Road Traffic Construction, Equipment, Lighting and Use Regulations. It is the owner’s responsibility to ensure their vehicle is always maintained in a roadworthy and safe condition when used on a public road.

Prison vehicles are required to have seat belts fitted to the driver’s seat and any front passenger seat. No other seat belts are required to be fitted, but where they are fitted, they must comply with the relevant technical provisions and will be tested at CVRT.

No. There is an exemption from wearing seat belts for the Gardai and the Defence Forces but only when acting in their course of duty.

Related pages

Drivers of other vehicles

Vehicle standards and FAQs for special purpose vehicles, including motorhomes, ride-on lawnmowers, motorised wheelchairs, hearses.