Ongoing issues with MOT Centres

To protect the health and safety of staff and customers, and as a precautionary measure, the DVA has suspended MOT testing for most cars and light goods vehicles.

Opening hours extended

Opening hours have been extended to increase capacity to prioritise four-year-old cars, taxis and car dealership vehicles with imminent expiry dates - or whose MOT certificate has recently expired. 

Temporary Exemption Certificate (TEC)

Arrangements are in place to make sure that those vehicles whose MOT certificates have expired or will expire soon, are granted an automatic Temporary Exemption Certificate (TEC).

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.

Book your MOT

All customers whose MOT vehicle test is due, and who have not yet booked an MOT appointment, should do so immediately.

DVA priority vehicle contact line

The Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) has opened a priority vehicle contact phone line:

  •  0300 200 7862

The contact line is for use by three priority vehicle groups:

  1. four-year-old cars that are due their first MOT within the next two weeks
  2. taxis
  3. car dealerships

These groups cannot get a Temporary Exemption Certificate (TEC) which other car and light vehicle owners can.

The line is open Monday to Friday, 9.00 am - 5.00 pm.

Four-year-old cars that are due a first MOT

Owners of a four year old car due its first MOT within the next two weeks should continue to book their test when they get their reminder letter. 

If your MOT appointment falls before the four year registration anniversary, attend the scheduled test.

However, if your MOT appointment has been cancelled by DVA or your appointment falls more than four years after the date of first registration and you have not been contacted by the DVA, call the DVA on 0300 200 7862. State clearly that you have a four-year-old car that needs its first MOT.

You will need your booking reference when making this call. The DVA will then look for earlier dates in an effort to have your car tested before your vehicle reaches four-years-old.

Taxis

The DVA wants to make sure that taxis are tested as soon as possible and is treating them as a priority.

If you have a taxi that is due its annual test and you have not yet booked a test appointment for it, do so immediately, in the normal way.

If your appointment falls before the existing test certificate expires, attend the scheduled test.

However, if your test has been cancelled by the DVA or you have an appointment that falls after the date for annual test and you have not been contacted by the DVA, call the DVA on 0300 200 7862. State clearly that you have a taxi that needs its PSV test.

At that point, the DVA will look for earlier dates in an effort to have your vehicle tested before it is due.

Car dealerships

The DVA is working closely with local car dealerships to prioritise testing of their most urgent vehicles, which require short notice MOT appointments when a sale has been agreed for these.

If you are a car dealer, and you have booked an appointment for a vehicle that you have sold, and you need an urgent appointment, call 0300 200 7862.

You will need a booking reference when making this call. DVA will do its best to accommodate your request.

Motorcycles, buses, heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) and re-tests

These tests are unaffected by the suspension and these vehicles should turn up for scheduled appointments.

Cars five-years-old and over with recently-expired or ‘about-to expire’ MOTs

Where an appointment has been booked and then cancelled by the DVA, a Temporary Exemption Certificate (TEC) will be granted automatically for these vehicles and will give a temporary exemption from the legal requirement to hold an MOT certificate, up to the new date on the TEC.

For any vehicle whose MOT expires before Monday 24 February, but whose MOT appointment falls after that date, customers should call their local test centre number stating clearly both the expiry date and appointment date. DVA will then issue them with a TEC as soon as possible.

This allows the vehicle to be taxed and used on the road. The exemption will be automatically recorded in the DVA system and a hard copy of the temporary exemption certificate will be posted to the address held by the DVA.   

Owners of these vehicles should not attend for test unless contacted by the DVA to do so.

Light goods vehicles

Where an appointment has been booked and then cancelled by the DVA, a Temporary Exemption Certificate (TEC) will be granted automatically for these vehicles (including three year old vehicles due their first test) and will give a temporary exemption from the legal requirement to hold a certificate, up to the new date on the TEC.

For any vehicle whose MOT expires before Monday 24 February, but whose MOT appointment falls after that date, customers should call their local test centre number stating clearly both the expiry date and appointment date. DVA will then issue them with a TEC as soon as possible.

This allows the vehicle to be taxed and used on the road. The exemption will be automatically recorded in the DVA system and a hard copy will be posted to the address held by the DVA.

Owners of these vehicles should not attend for test unless contacted by the DVA to do so.

Agricultural vehicles

Trucks, including cattle trucks, are unaffected by the current disruption and are being tested as normal.

Any farm vehicles under the farm tax scheme are exempt from MOT and therefore there is no change.

Vehicle tax

The Temporary Exemption Certificate will enable owners to tax their cars within a couple of days of the MOT being cancelled. 

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.

Customers can still drive their car before the TEC is received, as DVA records will be automatically updated to enable vehicle tax to be paid, if necessary.

You can check the current status of your vehicle:

PSNI statement on vehicle tax

The PSNI has made a statement clarifying its position on this issue. Driving without vehicle tax is not prosecuted by the PSNI and is the remit of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) based in Swansea.

Where a police officer detects a vehicle without tax and it is outside of the 14 day period provided in the legislation, a referral is made to the DVLA.

Given these exceptional circumstances where PSNI detects a vehicle without a valid MOT certificate, officers would be encouraged to exercise discretion, provided the vehicle is in a roadworthy condition.

Vehicle insurance

The Association of British Insurers has advised that a motor insurance policy requires that the vehicle is kept in roadworthy condition and it is the responsibility of the driver to make sure their vehicle is safe to drive and complies with all applicable laws.

An insurer would not penalise a policyholder for something that is entirely out of their control, such as the suspension of MOT test facilities, and would approach any claims on a pragmatic case-by-case basis provided that the policyholder had booked a test.

Drivers are still advised to make their insurance company aware.

Compensation

If your vehicle test appointment has been cancelled you will not have to pay a further fee.

All customers affected will have a free test plus half their test fee repaid.

MOT appointment booking advice

Vehicle owners will get a MOT reminder six weeks before the expiry of their MOT or the Temporary Exemption Certificate date, and 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.

 

 

 

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