The Vehicle Safety and Standards Division of the Transport Department seeks to ensure the safety of vehicles through controlling design requirements and encouraging proper maintenance. Every type of vehicle to be registered in Hong Kong is required to go through an initial type approval examination. All commercial vehicles including goods vehicles, buses, light buses, taxis, and trailers are required to undergo a pre-registration examination, and roadworthiness examinations annually thereafter. Private cars are required to be examined every year when they are over 6 years old.
There are four Government owned Vehicle Examination Centres providing examination services for motorcycles, motor tricycles, private cars, buses, light buses, taxis, goods vehicles, trailers and special purpose vehicles. Three of them are operated by the Vehicle Safety and Standards Division and one is operated by a contractor. There are also 22 privately owned designated Car Testing Centres, conducting annual examination for private cars and light goods vehicles not exceeding 1.9 tonnes. In 2004, 395035 vehicle inspections were carried out at the above centres.
The Vehicle Safety and Standards Division monitors the maintenance of franchised buses and conducts Certificate of Fitness and Certificate of Roadworthiness examinations and spot checks on in-service franchised buses to ensure their safety and roadworthiness.