No fine for drivers with expired licences or NCT certfificates

Drivers whose licences or NCT expire in the coming weeks are to be protected under new emergency measures.
No fine for drivers with expired licences or NCT certfificates

Drivers whose licences or NCT expire in the coming weeks are to be protected under new emergency measures.

These measures are expected to be announced later this week.

Transport Minister Shane Ross announced that NCT and driving test centres would be closed in line with the new government restrictions "for the foreseeable future".

The situation left many drivers in limbo, with licences and NCTs due to expire and now impossible to replace.

However, it has now been clarified that the validity of existing documents will be extended.

Elizabeth Canavan, assistant general secretary at the Department of the Taoiseach, said, "The Department [of Transport, Tourism and Sport] and the Road Safety Authority are now working on measures to address the implications of suspending these services. Specifically, the new measures will extend the period of validity of the relevant official documents.

"These measures are expected to be finalised in the coming days and full details will be publicised at that stage."

When contacted for specifics about expiring licences and NCTs, the Road Safety Authority said there will be clarity when measures are announced later in the week.

It also pointed to comments made by Transport Minister Shane Ross when he confirmed the closure of the NCT and test centres. At the time, he said "people should not and do no need to worry about these things".

"I have asked my officials to immediately engage with the RSA to introduce measures that will address issues arising from the suspension of these services. It is critical that we give drivers as well as operators of commercial vehicles peace of mind in relation to the status of their licence, learner permit, NCT certificate or certificate of roadworthiness, especially if it has expired or is likely to expire during the period of the Covid-19 health crisis," he said.

Meanwhile, Fianna Fáil TD Niall Collins has called for insurers to give assurances that motor policies will not be voided if a claimant has their NCT suspended.

"The insurance industry must play its part too and operate in good faith. Unfortunately, this has not been the case in terms of certain business cover, which is not being honoured. Insurers need to clarify this issue for drivers and I am calling on them to do so as a matter of urgency.

"Insurance companies should honour their policies for the duration of the Covid-19 pandemic."

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