All MOT tests have been suspended for three months with immediate effect.
All HGV and PSV vehicles with an MOT will be issued with a three-month Temporary Exemption Certificate (TEC).
Work is underway to put a solution in place for four year old cars and taxis and at present there is no legal way of issuing TECs for these vehicles.
Urgent work is underway to resolve this issue and the DVA expect to update the public later today.
Vehicles owners are required by law to ensure that their vehicle must be maintained, kept safe to drive (roadworthy) and operate within the terms of operators’ licence conditions.
Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon said: “In this critical week, it is important we do what we can to further prevent the spread of Covid-19. I have taken the decision to suspend all MOT testing to protect our customers and staff and adhere to public health authority guidelines on social distancing.
“Where we can, vehicles will be issued with a three-month Temporary Exemption Certificate (TEC) enabling those who need to make essential journeys to do so.
“At this exact moment I have no legal way of issuing TECs to four year old cars and taxis, but my officials are urgently trying to resolve this. I know this will cause disruption to people but the number one priority has to be protecting people and saving lives. We are grateful for the patience of the public at this time and will continue to keep the public informed as the situation changes.”
In considering the latest health advice DVA has put in place additional measures to “protect our staff and as a result, at this time, we are unable to accept any further first time driver licence applications”.
A DVA spokesperson said: “We are processing a limited number of paper driving license applications for HGVs however, we are now asking anyone requiring a driving licence renewal for a car, tractor or motorbike to apply online. We will not be processing postal renewals for these categories. Requests already in the system will now be returned and should be submitted online.”