MOT exemptions extended to a year in Northern Ireland
Drivers in Northern Ireland whose MOTs are due during the pandemic shutdown will enjoy a one-year exemption, a Stormont minister said. It would not be possible to accommodate the backlog as well as conduct normal business at testing centres, infrastructure minister Nichola Mallon said. Drivers will instead apply for MOTs as normal next year. The announcement caps a year of turmoil for MOT testers in the region. In January, all tests were suspended due to faults with vehicle lifts used in MOT centres. Anti-Coronavirus lockdown measures had already led to further extensions for the MOT exemption.
Ms Mallon said: “I have decided the Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) will continue to issue temporary exemption certificates (TECs) to those vehicles, private cars, goods vehicles, trailers or motorcycles until their normal MOT date.
“This means a vehicle will get an exemption for one year which will bring it back into the system when there is capacity to test it.”
The announcement is confined to Northern Ireland.
On 24 March, in the interest of public safety and to tackle the spread of coronavirus, the DVA suspended all vehicle testing for three months, until 22 June.
It remains the responsibility of the vehicle owner to make sure their car is in a roadworthy condition to be used on a road.
From this month reduced red tape will mean “customers will no longer have to book a test that they know they will never attend and pay over money only for it to be returned to them in a refund some weeks later”, Ms Mallon said.
She said the DVA will lose £8.6 million in MOT fees if the restrictions on testing continue for three months.