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Explanatory Memorandum to Vehicle Testing (Temporary Exemptions) (Northern Ireland) Order 2004

Background and Policy Objectives

3.It is an offence to use a motor car aged four years or more on a road without a current vehicle test certificate. It is also a requirement to produce a current vehicle test certificate when applying for a vehicle excise licence (motor tax). However, there is no provision in law for any alternative to the requirement for a vehicle test certificate when exceptional circumstances, such as a failure in the supply of essential services or other unexpected event such as a fire, an accident or the effects of industrial action, prevent such certificates from being issued. If testing facilities at the Driver & Vehicle Testing Agency in Northern Ireland were to be reduced or become completely unavailable, motorists would be forced either to keep their vehicles off the road or to risk prosecution by using their vehicles without current test certificates and vehicle excise licences.

4.The Order will provide for certificates of temporary exemption (CTE) to be issued in respect of certain motor vehicles. A CTE would temporarily exempt the vehicle from the requirement to hold a current vehicle test certificate and would be classed as an acceptable document for the purposes of applying for a vehicle excise licence.

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