It has been announced that motorists in Northern Ireland whose driving licences are set to expire are set to have an extension for seven months.
The extension applies to those licenses with an expiry date between February and August of this year. Unfortunately, this extension does not apply to taxi drivers as they are not covered by the EU driving licence directive.
It was announced by Infrastructure Minister, Nichola Mallon who said this will come into effect in the coming days under EU rules. The change will be automatic with no action required by the driver.
“I understand that for many people at this time in particular, having a valid licence allowing them to drive for essential journeys or to ensure they can continue to work, is vital.
“This new EU Regulation provides a practical solution to a very real problem and ensures that those in this situation can remain on the road without having to worry about getting a renewal application processed, which for some requires a medical assessment. It will also help any customers who could not access or were finding it difficult to renew their licence online.
“Road safety is my key priority and I would therefore remind all drivers that they have a responsibility to notify the Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) if they have a new or worsening medical condition or disability that may affect their ability to drive.”
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Northern Ireland drivers are set to benefit from a years extension on their MOT exemptions due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic in NI.
Infrastructure minister Nichola Mallon has said today that it would not be possible to accomodate the backlog of MOT tests as well as conduct business as normal at test centres.
Nichola Mallon has stated…
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.
She also stated that drivers will now apply for their MOT as normal next year.
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
Should the current lockdown restrictions continue, Ms Mallon has also stated that the DVA could potentially lose £8.6 million in revenue from MOT testing fees.
Drivers have also been urged to remember that they are responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of their vehicles to keep them in a roadworthy condition.
This comes after an already difficult year for the DVA after cracks discovered in vehicles lifts late last year forced the cancellation of thousands of MOT tests in January.
You can. keep up-to-date on all the latest DVA developments on the NIDirect website.