How I Registered My PLEV as an Invalid Carriage in the UK

How I Registered My PLEV as an Invalid Carriage in the UK

PLEVs such as Electric Scooters, Electric Unicycles (EUCs) are becoming more popular in helping adults with disabilities / injuries get mobile, often at a fraction of the cost of purpose built invalid carriages.

Significant medical treatment in 2017 resulted in me having ongoing pains from my inner pelvis & a weakened abdomen, which is helped via regular core muscle exercise.

Mainly to “do my bit for the environment”, I decided to purchase my first Electric Unicycle (EUC), which has been great in helping me better manage my disability by keeping my core muscles in check. It also helps me get out more!

Two Old People Riding Electric Scooters as Disability Scooters with a Disabled Badge in the Center.

Inspired by a post from an electric scooter rider on 30th January 2020 and given that I have a registered disability, I wanted to comply as much as possible with existing laws, albeit being somewhat outdated.

I decided to see if I could also register my EUCs with the DVLA. To my delight, the DVLA allowed me to register my electric unicycles as electric mobility scooters (“invalid carriages”).

Below are the simple steps I took, covering “invalid carriage” Registration, MOT and Insurance, for those PLEV owners with genuine disabilities or injuries:

How I Registered My PLEVs with the DVLA.

There are different classes of invalid vehicles specified by the government CLICK HERE for more information. Currently PLEVs do not fully meet these requirements, but hopeful regulations will be updated sooner, rather than later.

Given the intended use of my Electric Unicycle (EUC), I decided to do a comparison with the governments description of a “Class 3 Invalid Carriage” anyway:

  • A maximum unladen weight of 150kg.
    Yes. My Electric Unicycles (EUCs) each weigh under 30kg.

  • A maximum width of 0.85 metres.
    Yes. My Electric Unicycles (EUCs) both are under 6 inches in width.

  • A device to limit its speed to 4mph.
    Yes. A smartphone app COULD limit speed to 4mph.

  • A maximum speed of 8mph.
    Yes. A smartphone app COULD limit maximum speed to 8mph.

  • An efficient braking system.
    Yes with an experienced rider. Regenerative braking is efficient for an EUC.

  • Front and rear lights and reflectors.
    Yes. Front and Rear light are fitted as standard. Reflective tape can also be added.

  • Direction indicators able to operate as a hazard warning signal.
    Not Applicable? - I use hand signals (same as cyclists), to indicate intended direction. Most PLEVs can easily be carried to a safe place, not causing a hazard.

  • An audible horn.
    Yes. Two horns, a built in horn and a Hornit 140 decibel horn, on my wrist.

  • A rear view mirror.
    Yes. I have a rear view helmet mirror.

  • An amber flashing light if it’s used on a dual carriageway.
    Not Applicable? - I would never ride my devices on dual carriageways.

In light of the above, I proceeded with applying for a V5C Registration Document.

A “V55/4 for New Vehicles” form is required to register a PLEV as an “Invalid Carriage” with the DVLA. CLICK HERE to download / print the “V55/4” form (CLICK HERE for V55/4 Form Guidance).

Here’s how I completed the “V55/4” form for my electric unicycles (EUCs), in the same manner as the previous electric scooter poster:

DVLA V55/4 Application Form First Page to Apply for a PLEV to be Registered as an Invalid Vehicle.
DVLA V55/4 Application Form Second Page to Apply for a PLEV to be Registered as an Invalid Vehicle.

If you have a disability & choose to apply for registration, here’s how to complete the form:

  1. Duplicate any handwritten text on to your form.

  2. Complete all sections highlighted by a grey box with orange border.

For “Section 31-VIN/Chassis/ FrameNo.”, Enter your vehicle serial number or motor serial number (usually on the shipping package or a label on your device).

Once complete, post to the address stated in the form guidance CLICK HERE.

If approved, you should receive your “V5C Registration Document” in appx. 3-6 weeks.

DVLA V5C Vehicle Registration Document First Page Showing a PLEV Registered as an Invalid Vehicle.
DVLA V5C Vehicle Registration Document Second Page Showing a PLEV Registered as an Invalid Vehicle.

NOTE - The DVLA may contact you for more information about your disability, prior to approval or rejection. This did not happen to me, but heard it can sometimes happen.

MOT for Your PLEV Invalid Carriage

Invalid Vehicles are currently not required to have an MOT. A “Declaration of Exemption from MOT V112” form can be printed and manually completed.

DVLA V112 Declaration of Exemption from MOT Form for Invalid Carriages Page 1 of 2.
DVLA V112 Declaration of Exemption from MOT Form for Invalid Carriages Page 2 of 2.

You can print the above, or CLICK HERE to download.

Once you have received your V5C registration document, simply complete the V112 form yourself and keep it with you.

Vehicle Tax & Insurance for Your PLEV Invalid Carriage

As per below guidance of 21st July 2020, vehicle tax or insurance is not required for a registered “Class 3 Invalid Carriage”.

Given the current legal status of privately owned PLEVs, you can only obtain insurance cover for use on private land, with owners permission.

UK Government Guidance Vehicle Tax Requirements for Mobility Scooters.
UK Government Guidance Insurance Requirements for Disability Scooters.
Custom Licence Plates and Disability Badges

Most Electric Unicycles, Electric Scooters and other PLEVS are too small to fit standard registration plates. Although optional in terms of the DVLA, I designed and applied my own registration plates (not legal size) & disability stickers to fit my electric unicycles.

Custom Registration Plates
CLICK HERE to download (Photoshop format), where you can add your new “Q” registration & adjust the image to fit your PLEV. Alternatively CLICK HERE to order a 163x30mm vinyl number plate sticker from eBay.

Custom Disability Badges
I display these to raise awareness with both the Police & Public. CLICK HERE to download (Photoshop format), which you can edit.

(Both of the above should automatically download to your “Downloads” folder.)

Two Electric Unicycles (EUCs) with Front License Plates Registered with the DVLA as Invalid Vehicles.
Two Electric Unicycles (EUCs) with Rear License Plates and Disabled Stickers, Registered with the DVLA as Invalid Vehicles.

You can print the above using A4 White Vinyl Self Adhesive Inkjet Paper. CLICK HERE.

Registering a PLEVs as invalid carriages in the United Kingdom, does not make PLEVs under private ownership legal. Such vehicles remain illegal except on private land, with the land owners permission.

Due to the current “Grey Area” surrounding legality of PLEVs for people with disabilities, registration is dependant on the DVLA assessor and can be hit or miss.

Carrying out the above steps, will hopefully show both the Police and General Public that PLEVs are more than just about reducing congestion & helping the environment.

 (с) Many thanks to the resource and personally to Rob for an excellent and very useful article!

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