27/01/2020

Drivers Granted Exemptions Amid MOT Delays

Motorists facing cancelled MOT tests amid ongoing repair works are to be granted temporary exemptions.

It comes as hundreds of vehicle test appointments have been cancelled after issues with vehicle lifts were identified last week.

As the repairs take longer than expected, Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon said those with expired MOTs will be given temporary exemption certificates (TECs).

The measure will extend a vehicle's MOT by four months, backdated from 20 January. Taxis and 4 year-old cars will not be eligible however appointments for these vehicles will be prioritised.

Minister Mallon said: "The health and safety of staff and customers remains my priority and while the DVA has been working to address issues with its vehicle lifts as quickly as possible, it is clear that the inspections and repairs are taking longer than initially expected and causing disruption to customers.

"The exemptions will allow motorists to continue to go about their daily lives without further disruption. Vehicle owners will be sent a reminder notice for the new expiry date well in advance, so a new free test can be booked.
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"I am aware that some customers are attending for tests and are being turned away. At this time, the DVA is seeking to prioritise tests for those customers whose MOT is about to expire or requiring a retest to get their vehicle back on the road. However, the DVA is continuing to contact customers to cancel tests where necessary and where contact details are available. I have instructed the DVA to ensure that every effort is made to reach customers including by direct contact and through media forums."

Drivers will receive their new test at no extra cost.

Ms Mallon said she plans to put measures in place to prevent the issue from arising again.

Motorists are advised to attend their MOT test as normal unless they have been informed of a cancellation.

The SDLP MLA added: "It is the responsibility of the vehicle owner to ensure their vehicle is in a roadworthy condition to be used on a public road. Tests are ongoing at all test centres and additional slots at weekends are being made available.

"Motorists should continue to book an MOT appointment when they receive their reminder letter. This will ensure they can be issued with a TEC should the DVA need to cancel the appointment. The DVA may call the vehicle for testing earlier than the new expiry date in order to manage demand.

"The DVA sincerely apologises for the impact on its customers. The health and safety of customers and staff remains my top priority, while ensuring every effort is made to minimise disruption."



(JG/CM)

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