Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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Motoring and coronavirus

In this section you'll find information and updates related to coronavirus that are relevant to the law on motoring.

The UK's response to coronavirus is changing regularly and often very quickly. While we'll continue to make every effort to keep this page up to date, there may be short periods where what you read here is not the latest information available. Where possible we've tried to provide links to official government resources, so you can check the current situation.

MOT extensions

Due to the COVID-19 lockdown, the availability of MOT certificate testing providers has been disrupted.

England, Wales and Scotland

If your vehicle's MOT expired between 30 March and 31 July 2020 (inclusive), you can continue to drive it without a valid MOT certificate for up to 6 months from the original expiry date. The extension should be applied for you, automatically.

This extension does not apply to goods vehicles or public service vehicles.

If the vehicle fails an MOT test during the extension period, you can't drive the vehicle until it is made MOT compliant.

You still need to keep the vehicle roadworthy during the extension period – you can still be punished if you're stopped by police and they find your vehicle is unsafe.

See the GOV.UK guidance for more.

Northern Ireland

Vehicle testing at DVA test centres is currently only available for certain categories of vehicles. See nidirect for more information, which also includes guidance on what you are expected to do when taking your vehicle for testing.

The DVA will continue to automatically issue Temporary Exemption Certificates (TEC) for all vehicles that can't currently be tested, until all test centres are open to all vehicles. These TECs will also be automatically updated to the DVA and DVLA system so that vehicles may be taxed as usual. No hard copy TECs will be issued to owners.

Where your existing MOT certificate expired on or after 26 March 2020, or will expire before testing for your particular vehicle type becomes available, you will get an automatic extension for 12 months so that you'll only need to do one in 2021.

Driving licence extensions

Under EU Regulations, all full UK driving licences that expire between 1 February and 31 December 2020 will be automatically treated as valid for an extra 11 months from the date of expiry. You do not need to do anything.

You must, however, hold a valid driver's licence (a photocard licence in England, Wales and Scotland) to get this extension. It will not apply if:

  • you previously applied for renewal of your licence that was refused;
  • your licence was revoked; or
  • you've been disqualified from driving.

Also, if your entitlement to drive is due to expire, this extension will not apply to you and you'll have to renew your entitlement in the normal way.

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