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Northern Ireland MOT suspended for 12 months


The Driver & Vehicle Agency (DVA) in Northern Ireland has suspended all vehicle testing for 12 months as a result on the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic.

Since vehicle testing was suspended, vehicles with a test appointment have been issued with a Temporary Exemption Certificate (TEC), to ensure that they may continue to be driven legally on the road.  Indeed, TECs have been issued to some vehicles from late January 2020, due to the disruption to vehicle testing caused by lift faults.

Issuing TECs has been an effective way of keeping vehicles on the road and ensuring they can be taxed and insured.  TECs will continue to be issued to all eligible vehicles until vehicle testing services resume again.

Eligible Vehicles

Eligible vehicles include all cars and motorcycles that are four years old or more, goods vehicles and trailers.  Vehicles which need to be treated differently include taxis, buses, vehicles not registered in Northern Ireland and vehicles with MOTs expired by more than 12 months. More advice on these is set out below in the relevant section.

All TECs will be automatically updated on DVA’s system and on the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency’s (DVLA) system so that the vehicle can be taxed.

Before the TEC period ends DVA will issue a reminder notice to the registered keeper to book and present their vehicle for test.

It is important to note that DVA will not be issuing a hard copy of the TEC to customers.

Automation of TECs

From 11 May, TECs will be automatically generated from DVA’s system for all eligible vehicles without any action needed to be taken by the vehicle owner.

Vehicles whose existing MOT certificate expired from 26 March or will expire before testing resumes again will be automatically exempt from testing for a full 12 months.

For vehicles which have previously been issued a TEC, their TEC will be automatically extended to the maximum timeframes set out in legislation, up to a maximum period of 12 months from their last MOT expiry date.

This means all eligible vehicles will be provided with one year’s cover from their MOT expiry date in 2020, meaning their new MOT expiry date will be pushed forward into 2021, when there will be capacity to test them.

Due to legislative requirements TECs are applied by DVA on a phased basis, for different durations based on vehicle type. However, where relevant, the DVA will automatically apply further exemptions to ensure the full 12 months are covered.  The exceptions are 4 year old cars and motorbikes, which for legislative reasons will only receive a 6 month TEC from the date their first test was due.

All TECs will be automatically updated on DVA’s system and on the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency’s (DVLA) system so that the vehicle can be taxed.

Before the TEC period ends DVA will issue a reminder notice to the registered keeper to book and present their vehicle for test.