Lochside Garage

MOT centres set to reopen in July

WHILE most of us have been given an extension on our MOTs for the year, many motorists who were unable to avail of that extension have been forced to keep their vehicles off road during the lockdown. Thankfully that is now about to change.
On Monday Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon announced plans for a phased return of MOT and driver testing services in the coming weeks, adding to the limited Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA) that helped keep vehicles involved in supply chains and the health service on the road.
From July 20, other priority vehicles will now also be able to get tested, particularly for those who had been unable to get a temporary extension. This includes taxis and buses due a first time test, vehicles not previously registered in the North, vehicles with MOTs that have expired by more than 12 months, such as those sold by car dealerships.
It is hoped testing will also be able to be resumed in August for four year old cars and motorbikes, three year old light goods vehicles and testing of heavy goods vehicles, trailers and buses, however an exact date is to be confirmed.
There are also plans for some driver testing services to resume in July, but only where they can be done safely. This includes motorbike testing, which is resuming on July 6, and bus, tractor, and coach drivers test, which will resume on July 20.
Unfortunately, those waiting to take their driver theory test will have another while longer to wait, with those tests remaining suspended.
“DVA officials continue to engage with colleagues in the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency in GB and it is anticipated a date for the resumption of this service will be confirmed shortly,” said a spokesman for the Department of Infrastructure. 
“The Department is also exploring options for an extension to valid theory test pass certificates for those customers whose certificate has, or will expire, during this crisis.”
Finally, Minister Mallon has confirmed the MOT test lift safety issue, which saw the tests suspended even before the Covid crisis, will be resolved in the near future, with new lifts installed at 10 centres and the remaining expected to be installed by the end of July.

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