Statement from the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross, and the Road Safety Authority in relation to the gradual re-opening of some RSA services

The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross and the Road Safety Authority (RSA) have confirmed that the phased reopening of some RSA’s services will begin on Monday 8 June, the start of phase 2 of the Government’s road map for easing of Covid19 restrictions.

The National Driver Licence Service (NDLS), the Driver Theory Test (DTT), and the National Car Testing Service (NCTS) will begin re-opening on a gradual basis from Monday 8 June. The re-opening of these services is being done in line with the National Return to Work Safely Protocol agreed by employer and worker representatives. This follows the resumption of the Commercial Vehicle Roadworthiness Testing Service in Phase 1 from 18 May.

Minister Ross said, “While I am pleased to announce the gradual resumption of these services, people do need to understand that things will be different. This is to ensure we continue to protect the health and wellbeing of both staff and the public. This must remain the overriding priority. Therefore, the delivery of these services will be subject to measures designed to mitigate against the spread of COVID19.”

Some of the conditions that will apply to services re-opening include;

NCTS, NDLS and DTT centres will open on a gradual basis in the coming days and weeks. Check relevant websites for updates on centres opening in your area.

Customers must make an appointment in advance to avail of any service. No walk-in appointments will be accommodated. This will be kept under review.

All services must be paid for with credit / debit cards. No cash will be taken.

Social distancing should always be maintained.

Anyone wishing to use these services are reminded that they are subject to the Government’s current restriction on travel

“As I extended the validity of various certificates and licences relating to these services on 28 March for periods up four months, the greatest demand from the public for these services has been reduced in the short term. However, I believe it is important that as the RSA’s services continue the gradual process of reopening, so we can contribute to the process of reopening Ireland’s economy and society.”

“I am also acutely aware that some people do need to avail of these services now. For example, there are vehicle owners who were affected by the ‘vehicle lift’ issue at the NCTS and who need to complete their test. These customers and anyone else who has been unable to complete their full vehicle inspection are to be prioritised. They are also being urged to check the NCTS website for updates. The reopening of the Driver Theory Test will allow people to sit the theory test. The opening of NDLS centres will then allow these people to apply for a learner permit, it will also enable people to apply for a replacement licence that may have been lost or stolen.”

“While the Driver Testing Service is not re-opening as part of this phase in the Government’s road map, I do wish to provide an update on this service. I appreciate that learner drivers will be anxious to know when driving tests will become available again. There are challenges to overcome in order to re-open this service fully. While I do see the possibility of truck, bus and motorcycle testing resuming, in Phase 3, there are issues to overcome to recommence car driving tests. These challenges include maintaining social distancing as a car driving test means close contact in an enclosed space between the driver tester and the learner driver for periods in excess of 15 minutes. I can assure learner drivers that officials in my Department and the RSA are looking at all available options to get car driving tests started again as soon as possible.”

The National Car Testing Service (NCTS) has confirmed that the phased reopening of the NCT service will begin from the 8 June 2020 with the reopening of 15 centres. The reopening of the centres is being done in line with the Government’s Roadmap for reopening Society and Business, published on 1 May, and in compliance with the National Return to Work Safely Protocol.

In the short term the roadworthiness testing of vehicles will be on a limited basis and restricted only to those vehicles that had a test due date prior to 28 March 2020 (before the 4-month extension to vehicle certificates of roadworthiness came into effect). This will include vehicle owners who were unable to secure a retest date because of the suspension of the service and those affected by the vehicle lifts issue.  Customers should take note of the Government’s travel restrictions before booking a test.

Those who fall into these categories can book an appointment for a test on the NCT website www.ncts.ie in any of the 15 centres re-opening on 8th June. The re-opening of more test centres will be announced in the coming weeks and updates will be posted on ncts.ie.

From Monday 8th June the following NCT centres are reopening:

  • Cork – Little Island
  • Cork – Blarney
  • Northpoint 1 & 2, Dublin
  • Deansgrange, Dublin
  • Fonthill, Dublin
  • Galway
  • Limerick
  • Waterford
  • Letterkenny
  • Athlone
  • Ballina
  • Naas
  • Drogheda
  • Derrybeg

To enable the re-opening of centres the NCTS has put detailed measures in place, in each test centre, to mitigate against the spread of COVID19 and to protect both customers and staff. These measures include, the need to make an appointment (you will not be seen without an appointment), customers are required to prepay their tests when booking online for preauthorisation purposes, the transaction can be completed using the card in the test centre. No cash will be accepted in the centres. Social distancing controls will be in place including notices posted both internally and externally around the test centre and physical distancing floor markers. The safety of the public is paramount, and we continue to be guided by public health officials and relevant national experts. If information or guidance changes, we will reassess and change our procedures and protocols accordingly.

Furthermore, all staff have received mandatory training on COVID 19 safety and hygiene protocols covering social distancing requirements, personal hygiene, and the correct use of PPE equipment.

Any customers who qualified for the 4 month extension to the period of validity of their NCT roadworthiness certificate are encouraged to log onto www.ncts.ie where they can check their new test due date.

Over the coming weeks the remaining NCT centres will reopen on a phased basis, this reopening will be aligned with the Governments Roadmap for reopening Society and Business. As information and guidance from public health officials change, we will reassess and change our procedures and protocols accordingly.

All centres reopening on the 8th June have functioning lifts. During the suspension of service, NCTS has made some progress in repairing and replacing the vehicle inspection lifts in test centres and this will continue in the coming weeks. We expect that all centres will have functioning lifts by the middle of July such that all tests can be completed in full. By way of clarity no further vehicles presenting for a full test will pass through the NCT without completing all stages of the test.

We ask that customers please continue to check www.ncts.ie for further information and updates on the reopening of the remaining test centres.

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