What Happens if your Driver’s Licence Expires During the Pandemic and You Have an Accident?

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 31 August 2020 to renew their licences. That has now been extended to 31 January 2021 and your licence is deemed to be valid if it expired during the period from 26 March to 31 August.

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.

Car hire

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 26 March to 31 May 2020 are deemed valid until 31 August 2020.

The extension Notice dated 22 July 2020 was published in Government Gazette No. 43539, and is downloadable from the Government Printing Works’ website here.

The article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied upon as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your financial adviser for specific and detailed advice.