Legal update: July 202009 July 2020

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Annual test catch-up to last all summer


Following the resumption of heavy vehicle testing on 4 July, tests may now be booked with DVSA.

The deadline for the test depends on when the MOT was originally due. Vehicles due for an MOT in March and April have been given two three-month extensions, so must pass their MOTs by 30 September and 31 October, respectively. Vehicles due for an MOT in May, June,July and August have or will be given one three-month extension, so they must pass their MOTs by 30 August, 30 September, 31 October and 30 November, respectively. Vehicles due for an MOT from September onwards will receive no extension.

The exemptions for tests due in June, July and August will help DVSA manage demand as it resumes testing, it says.

Exemptions will be applied automatically; DVSA is not issuing paper records, it says. It also adds: “We are working with ATFs to resume testing from 4 July and will be increasing the availability of testers over the coming months, in line with social distancing and the latest government guidance.”

ADR inspections will also be available from 4 July. However, operators who have been issued a three-month MOT exemption for their ADR vehicles that are not tested must apply for a waiver to continue operations.


Photocard renewals extended

DVLA has announced that photocard driving licenses that expire between 1 February and 31 August 2020 will be extended for seven months from the expiry date. The extension will be automatic and drivers will be sent a reminder before their seven-month extension ends. The extension applies only to the photocard renewal date; it does not apply where a driver’s entitlement to drive is due to expire. In a separate announcement, Northern Ireland has invoked the same automatic exemption.


Live tribunals return

In-person tribunal hearings are set to resume from Monday 6 July 2020, having been postponed because of

COVID-19. Each tribunal location has been risk-assessed and appropriate control measures identified.


Tacho calibration intervals extended

All calibration and inspection certificates expiring between 1 March and 31 August 2020 will be extended by six months from the date the calibration was originally due.


D-CPC rule adjusted

Driver CPC cards expiring between 1 February and 31 August 2020 have been or will be automatically extended for seven months. For cards expiring in September 2020, DVSA has withdrawn a previous notice (issued on 31 March 2020) stating that it did not intend to carry out enforcement action against drivers in that month if their D-CPC expired then. However, DVSA has now confirmed that enforcement action will in fact be carried out from September for cards expiring after 31 August. It says that enough virtual D-CPC courses are now available.


The Department for Transport has explained how operators should deal with downloading of driver cards and vehicle unit data during the pandemic.

First, furlough does not count towards working time. Drivers do not need to account for periods of furlough.

Second, drivers can complete training while furloughed, it confirms.

Third, furloughed drivers can work for other, temporary, employers. They should use the tachograph to record EU drivers’ hours time. You (as their normal employer) must obtain a record of this other work from drivers .

Fourth, drivers can take annual leave whilst furloughed, in the usual manner.

Fifth, drivers who are still working and driving for you during the pandemic need to continue to download their driver card within the maximum permitted 28 days.

Sixth, you must continue to download vehicle units within the maximum permitted 90 days; if that is not possible due to COVID-19, a record should be kept explaining the situation.

William Dalrymple

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