What is it?
A certificate of initial fitness is normally carried out prior to registration of a vehicle and prior to life as a PSV. The test is carried out by a certified VOSA Officer and takes into account glass, brakes, 'E' markings, seatbelt installations, door apertures to name a few. It will allow you to register the vehicle as a minibus and operate under Hire and Reward with an Operators Licence. Also taking all the small benefits like bus lanes etc.
Why can’t I do the work and test the vehicle myself ?
Before you are able to CIF a vehicle you must carry test data to prove the integrity of items fitted to the vehicle and the vehicles GVWR. This involves analysis and testing of each weight bearing component. Seat belt anchorage and Brake testing to EU regulations is also required. Once you have completed testing you must then comply with the individual test requirements from Vosa. Eg, Turning Circle, Glass, seat belt installation etc. Providing you have this test data you can CIF your own vehicle.
Does my COIF expire?
No. Once your vehicle has obtained its COIF it can’t be removed however your vehicle can be prohibited if found to not comply with the coif requirements at any time. Vehicles can be recalled by Vosa at any time if the conversion is not done correctly.
When does COIF stop?
COIF will continue to be available after 2010 for all limousines already registered. New vehicles will stop late 2011.
What are the consequences of not having a COIF and operating under psv regulations with
an operators licence?
You will run a risk of losing your operators licence with immediate suspension. You could be vulnerable to huge fines imposed by VOSA also. It is imperative that you meet all the requirements as once you have an operators licence and COIF, even operating your vehicle over the gvwr twice could see you lose your operators licence for a period of 12 months or longer. This would be decided at an inquiry with your regional traffic commissioner.
How long does it take to CIF my vehicle?
This depends on the vehicle. Some vehicles require more work than others. A Ford Excursion can be completed in less than a week if all booking are made in advance. Once your vehicle is completed it is then taken to a test facility to be inspected by VOSA. Unfortunately to this date we only have one VOSA officer we can use. This often causes a delay as we wait for availability of test slots. Booking in advance is priority.