Alliance Infrastructure spokesperson Andrew Muir MLA has called for the Department for Infrastructure to bring back use of temporary exemption certificates (TECs) to cope with the current backlog of MOT tests currently plaguing the system.
Motorists are presently facing serious delays when booking an MOT appointment after the lift failure and pandemic created a huge backlog of tests for the DVA to work through. TECs were issued to vehicles during the pandemic when testing was halted or greatly reduced due to social distancing requirements.
“The DVA has gone to great lengths to increase testing capacity, including recruiting more vehicle examiners and extending available testing slots at weekends and during bank holidays,” said Mr Muir.
“Unfortunately there is still a huge bottleneck in the system and no light at end of the tunnel as to when normal service level will resume.
“Much more should have been done to avoid the situation we currently find ourselves. The DVA is guaranteeing emergency appointments if someone’s vehicle road tax is within five days of being due and there are short notice appointments currently available. However, it is not always easy to book these, with long distances often required to get to MOT Centres on the other side of Northern Ireland and people struggling to fit in appointments around working hours with very little notice.
“I have asked the Infrastructure Minister for to consider the short-term use of TECs to remove the immediate strain on motorists and allow the system to get back to an even keel in the year ahead. I have also requested an extension of the reminder letter notification period to reflect current waiting times, so motorists are not caught out when they go to book their test slot and left with no other option but to travel ridiculously long distances to the nearest test centre with availability. Action needs taken now to end what is now developing into a complete fiasco.”