If the thought of spending hours or days in a queue to renew your expired driver’s licence fills you with dread, you are not alone. Even before lockdown the testing centres were running behind in renewing licences and testing licence applicants, and the lockdown has naturally caused backlogs to soar. Centre closures as a result of infection scares will continue to compound the problem.
And of course not having a valid licence puts you at risk of having any insurance claims rejected – a prospect to be avoided at all costs. We share details of the recent and very welcome extension in “deemed validity” of driver’s licences, with some advice on contacting your insurer or broker to confirm cover.
Driving licence test centres were closed during the lockdown and even prior to that centres were running behind in renewing driver’s licences and testing first time driver’s licence applicants.
The Minister of Transport recognised these difficulties and gave motorists until August 31 to renew their licences. That has now been extended to January 31 2021 and your licence is deemed to be valid if it expired during the period from March 26 to August 31.
Check your insurance
Insurance policies require you to have a valid driver’s licence and if this is not the case, the insurer is entitled to refuse any claim made. Even if your policy doesn’t specifically require a valid driver’s licence, there could still be difficulties in making a claim without a valid licence.
It is worth contacting your insurance broker or company and getting written clarification of cover if your licence has expired or will expire this year.
On a related topic, car hire companies will not allow car hire without a valid driver’s licence – check upfront that your “deemed valid” licence will be accepted. And as and when international travel becomes available to us again, remember that your destination country may still regard your expired licence as invalid.
Motor vehicle licence discs
All motor vehicle licence discs, temporary permits, and roadworthy certificates that expired during the period from March 26 to May 31 are deemed valid until August 31 2020.
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