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Coronavirus (COVID-19)


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

In 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.

In England, Wales and Scotland, MOTs are currently being carried out as normal. However, you must not take your car for an MOT if you or someone you live with has coronavirus symptoms, or if you've been told to self-isolate. You can ask someone else to take it instead (if they're insured on your vehicle) or you may be able to get the MOT centre to collect it. Otherwise, you'll need to wait until your self-isolation period is over.

Driving licence extensions

All full UK driving licences that expired between 1 February and 31 December 2020 are 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  • your licence was revoked; or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.

The extension also won't apply to any driving that you do abroad – if you need to drive abroad, you'll need to renew your licence.

What is the law guide

The Desktop Lawyer law guide aims to present the law to you in a comprehensive yet jargon-free and easy-to-read format. Our law guide is constantly kept up to date with changes in business and family law by our team of in house solicitors, and includes information across all the legal jurisdictions in the UK.

Our law guide is free to use. Where we provide documents related to this area of law, or where they may help you with any legal issue in this area, they will be listed to the right of this message.