VOCATIONAL DRIVING LICENCE / MOT TEST


Driver Licensing 

Driving licences expiring between 1st February and 31st August 2020 will be automatically extended for an additional seven months from the expiry date. If your driving licence expires during this period it will automatically be valid for another seven months under EU Regulation which came into force on 4th June 2020. 

For some drivers this will remove the requirement to have a medical assessment conducted at this difficult time. 

Please note if you do not hold a driving licence because an application has been refused or your licence has been revoked by the Driver & Vehicle Agency (DVA), or if you have been disqualified from driving by a court, your licence will not be extended 

 

Provisional Drivers Licences 

The DVA are now accepting provisional driving licence applications. To apply for a provisional driving licence, you must complete at DL1 application form which is available from the Post Office. Guidance on how to complete this application can be found at www.nidirect.gov.uk/publications/guidance-notes-your-dl1-driving-licence-application

Send your completed application with original documents to confirm your identity, a passport style colour photograph and the fee of £62.50 enclosed to:  

Driver & Vehicle Agency 
Driver Licensing 
Coleraine County Hall 
Castlerock Road 
Waterside 
Coleraine 
BT51 3TB 

*Do not send cash, bank notes or blank postal orders with your application as the DVA can’t be held responsible if they go missing.* 

Advice on how to pay:  

  • make cheques or postal orders payable to 'DVA’ 
  • do not post-date your cheque, DVA can't accept it 
  • sign and date your cheque and make it out for the correct amount 
  • the amount written in words must match the amount written in figures 
  • write your full name, address, date of birth and/or driver's number if known on the back 
  • if you underpay, your application will be returned to you for the correct payment 

 

Applying for provisional entitlements for larger vehicles, buses or minibuses 

If you are a key worker and need a driving licence in exceptional circumstances, please email the DVA using the following link – DVADriverLicensing.KeyWorkers@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk

Include the following information in your email:

  • that you are a key worker 
  • your full name, 
  • your address 
  • your date of birth, 
  • your driver number (if you have it), you will find this on your driving licence, it is an eight digit number 
  • details of your employer 

If you currently hold a valid full licence and want to add provisional entitlement to drive large vehicles, minibuses or buses, you must complete the DL2 application form and the DLM1 medical report form. These are available from the Post Office. 

More information on applying for provisional driving licences can be found here.

Should you need to get in touch with the DVA on an urgent matter, please e-mail dva.customerservices@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk. This e-mail address will be monitored but due to ongoing pressures on services and staff, it may take longer than usual for a response to be provided.   

 

Booking a theory driving test 

Driver theory tests restarted from 6 July 2020. 

You can book a driving theory test for after the suspension at: 

The validity of theory test pass certificates for learner drivers during the Covid-19 crisis will be extended. Test certificates which expire between 1 March 2020 and 31 October 2020 will be extended by eight months, and the validity of off-road motorcycle test pass certificates which expire between 1 March 2020 and 31 August 2020 will be extended by six months. This requires a legislative change to the Driving Licence Regulations, which will come into effect in September 2020 but which will apply retrospectively. 

 

Booking a Practical Driving Test 

From 1 September 2020, the DVA intends to resume driving tests for private cars (category B), subject to consultation with staff and Trade Unions on revised risk assessments and protocols. 

As capacity will initially be limited, the DVA will prioritise the following groups: 

  • priority workers who have requested an urgent driving test and are currently on a waiting list
  • customers who had driving tests booked (March-June) and whose tests were cancelled due to the measures imposed to prevent the spread of COVID 19

The DVA will contact these customers to arrange appointments.  More information about this process and how it will be handled will be published in the coming weeks. 

Once requests by customers in these priority groups have been processed, booking will then open for general customers to arrange a date for their driving test. 

From 6 July the DVA resumed off-road and on-road motorcycle tests. Tests for drivers in the bus, tractor, and module 4 DCPC tests for lorry, bus and coach drivers resumed from  20 July. 

Practical tests for the following categories can be booked by phone: 

  • off-road motorcycle 
  • on-road motorcycle 

If your practical test is in one of the categories above, you need to ring the booking line on 0345 247 2471 to arrange an appointment. Bookings are available by phone only. 

This number is only for booking driving test appointments in the categories listed above. 

Practical tests for the following categories can be booked by contacting DVA Customer Services: 

  • bus driving 
  • tractor 
  • Module 4 DCPC test for bus or lorry 

If your practical test is in one of the categories above, you need to e-mail dva.customerservices@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk. 

Please provide your name, telephone number and preferred test centre so that a booking can be arranged. 

 

Driver testing for all other categories remains suspended 

Other driving tests will resume as soon it is practically possible, but currently it is not possible to carry out these tests in a way which complies with guidance from the Public Health Agency.  While driving tests for cars, minibuses and lorries remain suspended you should not attempt to book an appointment. 

 

Vehicle/MOT Testing 

On 24 March 2020 the DVA suspended all vehicle/MOT Testing for a three month period to 22 June 2020.  Vehicles with a test appointment have been issued with a Temporary Exemption Certificate (TEC), to ensure that they may continue to be driven legally on the road.   

The DVA will now be conducting a limited number of Individual Vehicle Approval Tests (IVA) under a priority scheme. Applications for a priority IVA test can submitted from 1st June 2020. More information available at https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/individual-vehicle-approval-iva 

There are plans for vehicle testing to resume on a phased basis from 20 July. As testing will initially resume in a limited capacity, the DVA will prioritise those categories of vehicles which are currently not able to avail of a Temporary Exemption Certificate (TEC). 

Vehicles in the following categories will be able to book a vehicle test appointment from 1 July: 

  • taxis due a first time test 
  • buses due a first time test 
  • vehicles not registered in Northern Ireland and due a test 
  • vehicles with MOT expired by more than 12 months 

If your vehicle is in one of these categories, from 1 July you will need to ring the booking line on 0345 247 2471 to arrange an appointment. Bookings will be available by phone only. Please note that these vehicles are not currently in the DVA system and therefore, the DVA will not pro-actively be contacting customers with reminders. 

This number is exclusively for booking vehicle testing appointments. Other queries should continue to be submitted using the contact details provided in the Contacting the Driving and Vehicle Agency (DVA) section, on this page. 

There will be some changes to the process for taking a vehicle through the test, in order to comply with the guidance on COVID-19 and updated health and safety protocols. Details on this will be provided in your appointment confirmation letter.  

Not all test centres will reopen. Balmoral and Newtownards test centres remain in use by the Department of Health for COVID-19 related testing and are therefore not available. As a result, there will be limited capacity for vehicle testing in the Greater Belfast area.  Craigavon test centre will also have limited capacity due to the car park currently being in use for COVID-19 testing. 

 

Temporary Exemption Certificates (TECs) 

On 24 March 2020 the DVA suspended all vehicle/MOT Testing for a three month period to 22 June 2020.  Vehicles with a test appointment have been issued with a Temporary Exemption Certificate (TEC), to ensure that they may continue to be driven legally on the road.   

Issuing TECs has been an effective way of keeping vehicles on the road and ensuring they can be taxed and insured. TECs will continue to be issued to all eligible vehicles until all vehicle testing services resume. 

All TECs will be automatically updated on DVA’s system and on the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency’s (DVLA) system so that the vehicle can be taxed. The DVA will not issue a hard copy of the TEC to customers. 

 

Priority Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA) 

Priority Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA) tests have now resumed after being suspended due to COVID-19. 

If your vehicle is not provided with a Certificate of Conformity (CoC) from the manufacturer, a vehicle type approval is needed. All vehicle categories need this. 

Further details can be found on the Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA) page

Until 1 September, testing will continue in a limited capacity and the DVA is prioritising those categories of vehicles which are currently not able to avail of a Temporary Exemption Certificate (TEC). 

Vehicles in the following categories are able to book a vehicle test appointment by phone: 

  • vehicles not registered in Northern Ireland and due a test 
  • vehicles with MOT expired by more than 12 months 
  • buses due a first time test (not for ‘hire and reward’ use) 
  • vehicles currently declared SORN 

If your vehicle is in one of these categories you will need to ring the booking line on 0345 247 2471 to arrange an appointment. Bookings are available by phone only. 

This number is exclusively for booking vehicle testing appointments. Other queries should continue to be submitted using the contact details provided in the Contacting the Driving and Vehicle Agency (DVA) section, on this page. 

From 1 September, the DVA plans to extend vehicle testing to further categories of vehicles. These categories include: 

  • four year old private cars 
  • four year old motorcycles 
  • three year old light goods vehicles 
  • buses 
  • heavy goods vehicles: and 
  • trailers 

The DVA will no longer be issuing Temporary Exemption Certificates for the vehicles in the categories listed above, and will instead issue reminder notices to the owners with instructions on how to book a test. Reminders will be sent as the vehicles approach their test due date. Please note that capacity within the test centre network remains limited due to COVID-19. 

There will be some changes to the process for taking a vehicle through the test, in order to comply with the guidance on COVID-19 and updated health and safety protocols. Details on this will be provided in your appointment confirmation letter.  

Not all test centres will reopen. Balmoral and Newtownards test centres remain in use by the Department of Health for COVID-19 related testing and are therefore not available. As a result, there will be limited capacity for vehicle testing in the Greater Belfast area.  Craigavon test centre will also have limited capacity due to the car park currently being in use for COVID-19 testing. 

Vehicle testing will remain unavailable for private cars and motorcycles over five years old, as well as light goods vehicles over four years old. Owners of these vehicles should not attempt to book an appointment. Vehicles in these categories will continue to avail of a Temporary Exemption Certificate (TEC) until testing has fully resumed.