LEARNER drivers who have been waiting anxiously during lockdown will be able to take their practical test from the start of September.
Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon confirmed this week that car and lorry driving tests, along with MOT tests will resume from September 1, however she also warned there is likely to be a lengthy waiting list.
Announcing the resumption of driving tests, Minister Mallon stated, “I very much recognise the frustrations of those customers not able to take driving tests during this time and the inconvenience this has caused. I am pleased to announce that the DVA plans to resume car and lorry driving tests from September 1, initially prioritising over 200 key workers and then those customers who have had tests cancelled to ensure they are not further inconvenienced, with the priority of keeping staff and customers safe.
“It is anticipated that there will be a significant demand for driving tests when all services are reinstated and while the DVA will endeavour to facilitate appointments at the earliest opportunity, it is likely that initial waiting times for driving tests will be longer than usual.
“In order to help mitigate the impact on customers, I recently announced plans to amend the Driving Licence Regulations that will allow an eight month extension to the validity of theory test pass certificates, which expire between March 1 March and October 31 2020 and a six month extension to the validity of off-road motorcycle test pass certificates, which expire between March 1, 2020 and August 31, 2020.”
Turning to MOT tests the minister explained, “Although some testing has resumed I am conscious MOT testing is not available for all vehicle groups and I appreciate this is frustrating. It is planned, from September 1, to resume MOT testing for four-year-old cars and motorcycles, three-year-old light goods vehicles, and buses, lorries and trailers. As restrictions ease, and the DVA’s capacity to test vehicles increases, more services will continue to be reinstated as we move eventually towards full service resumption.”