Coronavirus (Covid 19) and motoring

This page provides information on the Driver & Vehicle Agency's (DVA) services that are affected during the COVID-19 pandemic. The information provided will be updated as new processes are put in place - the DVA apologises in advance if it takes some time for information to be posted but continue to check this page frequently for new updates.

All MOT testing suspended 

The Driver & Vehicle Agency (DVA) has suspended all MOT tests for three months, until 22 June 2020, with immediate effect.

All HGVs (including heavy trailers) and PSV vehicles with a vehicle test appointment will be issued with a three month Temporary Exemption Certificate (TEC).

Four year old cars will, from 26 March 2020, be given a Temporary Exemption Certificate (TEC)  for six months from the date that their MOT test should have been due. This will allow the vehicle to be taxed and driven on the road. Issuing the certificates will take some time but the exemption will automatically apply from the due date. 

Urgent work is underway to put a solution in place for taxis. At present there is no legal way of issuing TECs for these vehicles.  

This is the correct and necessary measure to take given the public health advice concerning social distancing and new measures announced by the Government on 23 March.

Vehicles owners are required by law to make sure that their vehicle is maintained, kept safe to drive (roadworthy) and operated within the terms of operators’ licence conditions.

The DVA will contact vehicle owners and operators to cancel their vehicle test and refund their booking fee. 

The DVA is grateful for the patience of the public at this time and will continue to keep the public informed as the situation evolves.

Temporary Exemption Certificate (TEC)

Arrangements are in place to make sure that those vehicles whose MOT certificates have expired or will expire within eight weeks, are granted an automatic Temporary Exemption Certificate (TEC). This TEC will issue well in advance of the expiry date, to provide assurances to customers that they may continue to drive.

This will give a temporary exemption from the legal requirement to hold an MOT certificate up to the new date on the TEC. The paper copy of the certificate, with the new expiry date, will be sent to the registered keeper's address - allow up to 10 days for delivery.

However, this can only be granted for tests already booked by customers and cancelled by the DVA.

It remains the responsibility of the vehicle owner to make sure their car is in a roadworthy condition to be used on a public road.

Book your MOT

All customers whose MOT vehicle test is due, and who have not yet booked an MOT appointment, should do so immediately. The DVA will issue an MOT reminder seven weeks before the expiry of their MOT or the Temporary Exemption Certificate date, and customers will need to book a new MOT before their certificate expires.

It is important that a booking is made and registered on the system so that, if a test has to be cancelled, a temporary exemption may be automatically applied.

Counter services

Further to the government’s decision to introduce measures to delay the spread of coronavirus (COVID- 19), the decision has been taken to limit the use of counter services across DVA.

These are necessary precautionary measures to protect staff and customers, and stick to government guidelines on social distancing.

The measures will affect services at County Hall in Coleraine and across all MOT test centres.

Driver licensing

In considering the latest health advice DVA has put in place additional measures to protect staff and customers. As a result, at this time, the DVA is unable to accept any further first time driver licence applications. 

The DVA is currently processing a limited number of paper driving license applications for HGVs however, if you need a driving licence renewal for a car, tractor or and motorbike, please apply  online.  The DVA will not be processing postal renewals for these categories.  Requests already in the system will now be returned and should be submitted online. 

Please do not submit first time driver licence applications at this time.

The DVA apologises for any inconvenience but protecting the health of staff and customers is the priority at this very difficult time.

Driver testing services

Following the Government’s decision to introduce measures to delay the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19), the DVA has suspended all practical driving tests until 22 June 2020.

Driver theory tests

Due to the unfolding coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, driver theory tests have been suspended from Friday 20 March 2020, for four weeks, until Monday 20 April 2020.

Approved Driving Instructors and Approved Motorcycle Instructors

Following the Government’s decision to introduce measures to delay the spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19) the DVA has suspended delivery of the ADI and AMI qualifying tests – this includes the ADI and AMI theory test, practical test of driving ability and practical test of instructional ability.  Tests are currently suspended until 22 June 2020.

Check tests for fully qualified ADIs and AMIs are also suspended for the same period.

Vehicle approval tests

Vehicle approval tests are suspended for up to 3 months due to the coronavirus measures.

Driver Certificate of Professional Competence

Due to the current challenges posed by Covid-19, no enforcement action will be taken against drivers whose certificate of professional competence (CPC) has expired between 1 March 2020 and 30 September 2020.  This should allow drivers to continue to operate during this period of disruption and reflects the difficulties the freight industry is facing, in the absence of driver training being provided by third parties, for drivers to complete the necessary training to retain their Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (DCPC) renewal.

 

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