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NCT Four Month Extension FAQ

May 26, 2020

  • The NCTS has now updated the new test due date for all vehicles that qualify for the 4 month extension as announced by Minister Shane Ross.

1. Why are NCT certificates being extended?

The measure is in place because of the suspension of car testing from 28 March due to COVID-19 restrictions.  The measures are part of the State’s coordinated response to the COVID-19 virus and recognise that car owners have not been able to undertake NCTs as a consequence of the suspension of car testing from 28 March 2020.


2. Why are cars with a due date prior to 28 March 2020 not being extended?
The NCT testing system was suspended on 28 March 2020 as part of the Government response to COVID 19. All cars with a test due date on or after 28 March 2020 are being extended by 4 months.  The RSA has been advised that, legally, the Regulations extending the due dates could only be applied from the date of suspension of testing i.e. 28 March 2020 and could not be applied retrospectively.  Therefore, due dates prior to this date could not be extended.


3. Will I get a new NCT Certificate?
No, a new certificate will not be issued.  An Garda Síochána will be aware that all NCT certificates with an expiry date on or after 28 March 2020 are valid for 4 months after the expiry date printed on the windscreen disc.


4. Do I need to apply for the extension?
No, the extension will be applied automatically to all cars that are eligible for the extension.

5. Does the extension apply for all subsequent test due dates? 
Yes, the date is being permanently reset and will be your car’s new test due date in the future.


6. My test due date was in the middle of March.  I booked a test but there was no availability until April and then the NCTS closed on March 28 2020.  What is my position?
The extension of NCT due dates applies only to vehicles with a test due date of 28 March 2020 or later and therefore does not apply to your case. The Minister has advised that An Garda Síochána are aware of the issues and a pragmatic approach will be taken at this time, given that it is not possible to have these vehicle tests done.  Please retain the confirmation of booking received to produce to a member of An Garda Síochána, if required. Please continue to check the NCTS and RSA websites for updates in relation to resumption of services.  RSA is exploring with the NCTS contractor, possible options for emergency tests based on HSE guidance and instructions on social distancing and other requirements. Remember that it is the owner’s obligation to ensure that a vehicle is roadworthy at all times when used on a public road.


7. My NCT due date was in early March.  I had the car tested in mid-March but it failed.  I had the retest booked for 2 April.  What is my position?
The extension of NCT due dates applies only to vehicles with a test due date of 28 March 2020 or later and therefore does not apply to your case. The Minister has advised that An Garda Síochána are aware of the issues and a pragmatic approach will be taken at this time, given that it is not possible to have these vehicle tests done. Please retain the confirmation of booking received to produce to a member of An Garda Síochána, if required. You should also continue to carry the Vehicle Inspection Report (VIR) you received on the day of the test. Please continue to check the NCTS and RSA websites for updates in relation to resumption of services. Remember that it is the owner’s obligation to ensure that a vehicle is roadworthy at all times when used on a public road.

8. My NCT certificate is due to expire.  Will it be extended now that I cannot get my car tested?

The NCT for all cars with a due date on or after 28 March 2020 is being extended by 4 months i.e. a vehicle with a test due date of 2 April will be extended to 2 August. If a vehicle held a valid NCT on 28 March 2020, the test due date will be extended.


9. My test due date has moved from May 2020 to September 2020 – when should I present my car for testing?
Your new test due date is now in September and your car should be presented for NCT based on that date. Please refer to NCTS for all booking information.


10. My NCT expired in the middle of March and is not being extended, I need my car to get to work, can I use it?
There is no change to the rules regarding the obligation to have a vehicle tested by the test due date. RSA is exploring with the NCTS, possible options for emergency tests having regard to Government and HSE guidance.  Please continue to check the NCTS and RSA websites for updates. 

11. My NCT certificate is out of date 6 months and I cannot get my car tested in order to become compliant; what do I do?
The extension of NCT due dates applies only to vehicles with a test due date of 28 March or later and therefore does not apply to your case. Please continue to check the NCTS and RSA websites for updates in relation to resumption of services. RSA is exploring with the NCTS contractor, possible options for emergency tests based on HSE guidance and instructions on social distancing and other requirements.

12. My vehicle was first registered on 1 August 2016 and will be due its first NCT on 1 August 2020, am I eligible for the extension?
No, the date of first registration generally sets the initial test due date for cars and subsequent tests are due on the anniversary of that date. Cars first registered on or after 1 August 2016 are not eligible for the 4 month extension. It is expected that the NCT service will have resumed testing by July and therefore tests will be available from that date.

13. My NCT certificate expired in December 2019.  Will it be extended? 

No, only those cars with a test due date on or after 28 March 2020 will be extended.

14. My NCT certificate has expired since February but because of the lifts issue, I had a partial test only, no underbody inspection was carried out.  What is my position?
You should continue to carry the Vehicle Inspection Report showing an incomplete test, with you in the car to present to a member of An Garda Síochána, if required.  This Report has been amended to show clearly that the NCT is incomplete due to the lifts issue.


15. Will the failure to conduct NCT inspections result in dangerous vehicles on our roads?
All vehicle owners are reminded that the roadworthiness of their vehicle is always their responsibility


16. Should I retain my expired NCT disc and continue to display it on the windscreen? 
Yes.


17. Will all lifts be working when NCTS resumes?
While the lifts in the larger centres have been repaired, due to the travel restrictions the repair programme has been suspended.  However, NCTS will keep this under review and any updates will be published on the website. 


18. I didn’t attend for my NCT in March due to concerns about COVID 19 as I am in a vulnerable category.  My test due date was prior to 28 March.  What is my position?
There is no change to the rules regarding the obligation to have a vehicle tested by the test due date. RSA is exploring with the NCTS, possible options for emergency tests having regard to Government and HSE guidance. Please continue to check the NCTS and RSA websites for updates.

19. I drive a Taxi, that needs a current NCT to renew my licence, what should I do? 
The National Transport Association has advised that all licences due for renewal will be extended. Please refer to the NTA for further information.


20. I have completed my initial inspection and was due to return for a retest that requires the use of equipment. If I go outside the 30 days retest deadline will I have to undergo a full NCT inspection again? 
Yes, where it is more than 30 days since the initial test it will be necessary to undergo the full NCT again.  This is considered necessary in the interests of road safety as additional fail items may have developed in the car in the intervening period.


21. I have completed my initial inspection and was due to return for a visual retest. If I go outside the 30 days retest deadline will I have to undergo a full NCT inspection again?
Yes, where it is more than 30 days since the initial test it will be necessary to undergo the full NCT again.  This is considered necessary in the interests of road safety as additional fail items may have developed in the car in the intervening period.


22. I was due an underbody inspection as I only had a partial inspection due to the lifts issue, and now have to undergo a full test again, will I have to pay a full test fee?
No.  No fee will be payable for the full test, however, if a retest is required using other test equipment (outside of a lift inspection), a retest fee of €28 will be payable.


23. Where can I check my new test due date? 
For eligible cars, you will be able to check your new test due date on the NCTS website.

The extension of NCT due dates applies only to vehicles with a test due date of 28 March 2020 or later . 


24. Will not having a completed NCT impact on my car insurance? 
As the public restrictions prevent customers from undergoing an NCT, we understand the insurance industry has taken a pragmatic position.  In respect of vehicles that have their NCT certs extended, Insurance Ireland has said that “Insurance Ireland members are happy to be supportive and treat such licence and NCT/CRWs as valid when people are renewing their motor insurance or taking out new motor insurance policies.”  However, insurance companies are private firms and the Government has no power to issue directions to them regarding this matter.  You should therefore contact your insurance provider or broker for further details.


25. Will I receive fines and penalty points for not having a valid NCT disc?.
An Garda Síochána are aware that the expiry dates for NCTs due on or after 28 March 2020 are being extended by 4 months and that new NCT certificates and discs are not being issued.  You should continue to display your current disc on your windscreen.


26. Will the NCTS contact centre be open to answer any queries I have? 
The entire NCTS service is suspended. The full service will reopen when permitted to do so by the Government and NCTS customers should continue to check the NCTS website for updates. 


27. I am a garage owner and need to have an NCT on the vehicle to sell it, what should I do?
NCT testing is suspended until further notice in order to comply with the COVID 19 restrictions.  Please continue to check the NCTS and RSA websites for updates.


28. My NCT certificate is being extended from April 2020 to August 2020, what happens in August if the NCTS is still not operational?
The position will continue to be monitored in light of Government and HSE advice relating to COVID 19.


29. My car was declared off the road for tax purposes and the NCT certificate expired when it was off the road. Does the 4-month extension apply?  If so, is the 4 months added to the end of the period which applied to the off the road declaration or the expiry date of the NCT certificate? 
No, it does not apply – assuming that the test due date of the car was before 28 March 2020.

30. When does the extension cease?
Based on Regulations adopted by the Minister this is a single extension of 4 months for cars that were registered before 1 August 2016 (1 August 2019 for SPSVs) and have a test due date on or after 28 March 2020.


31. Does the extension apply to the current testing cycle only and will future test due dates revert to the anniversary of first registration?  
The date is being permanently reset and anniversaries of the new date will be your car’s test due date going forward e.g. a vehicle with a test due date of 2 April 2020 will change to a test due date of 2 August 2020 and 2 August will be the car’s test due date in future.

32. Is there a possibility that the period of 4 months could be extended?
This will be kept under review in light of Government and HSE advice relating to COVID 19.

33. I have purchased a car with an expired NCT. Can I drive it?
The law requiring cars to have a valid NCT certificate has not changed. NCT testing is suspended until further notice in order to comply with the COVID 19 restrictions.  Please check the NCTS and RSA websites for updates.


34. My car is due its first test in April 2020, do I present the vehicle for its test due date in April or is the test due date extended to August 2020?  
For a car falling due its first test in the period April – July 2020, the due date has been extended by 4 months i.e. a car previously due its first NCT in April will now have a test due date in August 2020.

35. I have misplaced my NCT certificate, can I apply for a replacement?  
The NCTS service is closed and is not in a position to process applications at present. Please continue to check the NCTS and RSA websites for updates.


36. My NCT certificate is currently on hold as I did not have ID with me on the day of the test.  As the test centre concerned closed I am unable to present my ID how do I get the NCT certificate released? 
The NCTS service is closed and is not in a position to issue certificates.  Your certificate may be issued at any test centre when the service resumes by presenting the vehicle with the ID.  Please continue to check the NCTS and RSA websites for updates.


37. My vehicle was issued with a pass pending recheck before testing was suspended but has not been issued with a NCT certificate. Can I arrange to have the recheck completed?
The NCTS service is closed and is not in a position to issue certificates.  Your certificate may be issued at any test centre when the service resumes by presenting the vehicle with the relevant items repaired. Please continue to check the NCTS and RSA websites for updates.

38. I have imported a vehicle and it requires an NCT, what should I do?
NCT and VRT testing is suspended until further notice in order to comply with the COVID 19 restrictions. Please refer to item 7 on the Revenue website in relation to importing a vehicle. Please check the NCTS and RSA websites for updates.


39. I have an NCT appointment currently scheduled what should I do? 
NCTS has cancelled your appointment; you don’t need to do anything at this point. When the service resumes you will need to book a new appointment.


40. I have tried to book an NCT online but there is no availability.
The NCTS booking system is closed and will remain so until the service resumes.


41. How will I know my NCT is cancelled and that I will not incur a cancellation fee?
NCTS has issued an SMS to all vehicle owners scheduled for an NCT, confirming that their appointment is cancelled. All cancellation fees have been removed.  However, if for any reason a cancellation fee still applies please contact NCTS when the service resumes and the fee will be removed/refunded. 


42. I didn’t receive a SMS from NCTS cancelling my appointment, do I still turn up for the test?
No, all NCT test centres are closed.  All appointments have been cancelled.  NCTS endeavoured to contact all vehicle owners for whom they have contact details. If you did not receive an SMS this may be because NCTS do not have a mobile number for you.  


43. If I already had an appointment, do I need to rebook my NCT?
Yes, when the service resumes, you will need to rebook a test.  The booking system is currently closed so it is not possible to book now. Please check the NCTS and RSA websites for updates.


44. Will NCT contact me with an appointment when the service resumes?
NCTS will issue notifications to as many customers as possible to advise them when to book a test but it would be advisable to check the NCTS and RSA websites for updates.

The full service will reopen when instructed to do so by the Irish Government

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