Operators are advised to check online for confirmation of test dates changes.

The DVSA will issue Certificates of Temporary Exemption (CTEs) for some low risk fleets to ease the burden on its commercial vehicle testing programme.

Exempt from testing for the next year will be: vehicles or trailers two years old or less, those owned by operators in the Earned Recognition scheme, and those in the top end of the green score in the Operator Compliance Risk Score (OCRS).

The regulator aims to lessen the strain placed on authorised testing facilities (ATFs) following partial closures during the Covid-19 lockdown. DVSA issued three-month certificates of temporary exemption after heavy vehicle testing resumed on 4 July.

Exemptions will be automatically applied, but operators should check online to ensure the date of the vehicle’s test expiry has changed. Eligible operators will not need to take action unless it has vehicles not specified on the licence, such as trailers or PSVs.

DVSA said: “Newer vehicles and trailers, Earned Recognition operators and those demonstrating a higher level of compliance generally have the lowest test failure rates.”

All vehicles with test dates before March 2021 will be issued with a three-month CTE that will apply from the original test date.

DVSA said: “You should continue to manage the regular maintenance and inspection schedule for your vehicles and trailers during the exemption period. This is a legal requirement under your operator’s licence.”

DVSA has been asked to prioritise: vehicles/trailers legally due a test within a month, vehicles/trailers going on international journeys, dangerous goods vehicles, specialist vehicle types (e.g. refuse vehicles, gritters) and prohibition clearances.

Further guidance, including a detailed exemptions planner, can be found on transport law firm Backhouse Jones’s website: backhousejones.co.uk