Northern Ireland Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon has announced that a one-year MOT temporary exemption certificate (TEC) will be processed automatically from Monday 11 May.

Owners of all eligible cars, goods vehicles, trailers and motorcycles, will no longer have to book and pay for an MOT appointment in order to get a TEC. TECs will be applied to eligible vehicles for up to one year from the date the vehicle was due to be tested. Any appointments in the system will now be cancelled and refunds issued.

Vehicles due an MOT soon will also now have a TEC processed automatically. There is now no longer any need to book and pay for a test in order to get a TEC.

In Northern Ireland, unlike in the rest of the UK, MOT tests are carried out at 15 Government-run centres. Earlier this year, the Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) found ‘signs of cracking’ in 48 out of 55 lifts at Northern Ireland’s MOT centres. As a result, more than 5,000 MOT tests were cancelled.

Commenting on the MOT suspension, Minister Mallon said: “I am very conscious that for the past number of months one of the areas of significant disruption for people has been the provision of MOTs by the DVA, caused initially by faults in the lifts and more recently by the need to suspend all vehicle testing services in order to stop the spread of COVID 19.

“My officials have been working hard to find a number of solutions for the wide range of vehicles they test and a number of exemptions and extensions are currently in place, some of which are soon due for renewal.

“To avoid any further confusion and until MOT services can be safely resumed, from Monday, DVA will process TECs automatically for all eligible cars, goods vehicles, trailers and motorcycles for up to twelve months from the date the vehicle was due to be tested. This will ensure that those needing to make essential journeys can stay on the road. These certificates will be added to the DVA system, not issued in hard copy. As is always the case, DVA will contact customers well in advance of the new MOT due date.”

Assistant Chief Constable Alan Todd highlighted that despite the temporary exemption, it remains “critically important” that vehicle owners take responsibility for the maintenance and condition of their vehicle, and that the police have a range of enforcement powers against owners of offending vehicles.

View the full announcement here