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Consumer Skills

16th June 2021

Coronavirus: Impact to Services in Northern Ireland

Information about the impact of COVID-19 (coronavirus) to general services in Northern Ireland, such as MOT centres.

The information on this page was last updated on 16 June 2021.

Consumer Advice

Belfast City Council's Consumer Advice Service is closed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

If you have any consumer queries or complaints relating to water, electricity, transport (including flights), post and parking please contact The Consumer Council on 0800 121 6022 or

Driving Tests and MOT test centres

Driving Tests and Theory Tests 

Theory tests and driving tests resumed on 23 April 2021.

The online booking system for all practical driving tests resumed on Monday 10 May 2021.

To book your theory test or driving test click here to go to the nidirect website


The Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) is planning to resume full vehicle testing services from 26 July 2021.

To manage the transition to full service delivery on 26 July 2021, Temporary Exemption Certificates (TECs) for all qualifying vehicles will be extended by one further month. Existing TECs applied to eligible private cars, light goods vehicles and motorcycles aged 4-9 years will be extended by a further month from the date the existing exemption ends. Four year old cars and motorcycles and three year old light goods vehicles due a first time test will have a five month TEC applied from the date their first MOT is due.

Book your MOT appointment/vehicle test as soon as you get your reminder letter but you should note that due to a backlog as a result of Covid-19 the DVA is experiencing high demand.

Click here to check if your MOT test is due

Click here to book your MOT

Driving Licensing

In accordance with EU Regulations, all driving licences with an expiry date between 1 February 2020 and 31 December 2020 will be treated as valid for a further 11 months. 

All driving licences with an expiry date from 1 January 2021 must be renewed. Click here to renew your driving licence

This extension will be automatically applied, the driver record will not be updated and renewal licences may not be issued during this period. 

Drivers whose licence expiry falls within these dates are not required to take any action on the expiry of their licence.

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

Note the extension does not apply to provisional driving licences that expire in this period.  A provisional driving licence can be renewed online by clicking this link

[Source: NI Direct]

Please note: The extension of driving licences does not apply to Taxi Drivers. Taxi Drivers should continue to apply the recommended 16 weeks in advance of their licence expiry date at the DVA online portal. You can access the portal by clicking this link.

Royal National Institute for Deaf People

Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID) are unable to offer face-to-face services. They are available to offer you support on email, over the phone and through video calls.

Visit the RNID website for more information.

Communication problems due to face masks  

COVID-19 poses unique challenges for communicating, as many of those with hearing loss rely on visual cues, such as lip-reading and facial expression, for communication. This visual information is lost when someone is on a telephone or wearing a mask.

In order to adapt to overcome this barrier we may need to adapt to new ways of communicating and using additional resources in order to communicate effectively. 

The RNID website has more information and tips on communication with face masks.