One-year MOT exemption certificates for Northern Ireland cars aged five to seven years

The infrastructure minister has announced temporary MOT exemption certificates (TECs) for cars registered within a certain date range to ease demand on the system.

John O'Dowd said a one-year exemption will apply to five-year-old and seven-year-old cars.

Around 115,000 cars will be eligible and the change will be for a limited period.

It comes as part of measures to tackle the MOT backlog and reduce waiting times for drivers in Northern Ireland.

The temporary exemptions will apply to private cars first registered between 1 June 2019 and 31 May 2020, or between 1 June 2017 and 31 May 2018, which have a valid MOT certificate.

They will come into effect from 1 June 2024 and will allow motorists to continue to legally drive their vehicles as long as they are roadworthy and are taxed and insured.

“By introducing TECs, I have sought to strike the best balance between improving service delivery and minimising any risk to road safety," said John O'Dowd.

"As road users we all have a personal responsibility to behave in a way that keeps ourselves and others safe and, regardless of TECs, it remains our responsibility to ensure our cars are in a roadworthy condition.”

Mr O'Dowd said he will also consider launching a public consultation on biennial MOT testing - testing every two years for private cars, light goods vehicles, and motorcycles.

However he said this would be "subject to resources being available across the department".

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