In accordance with EU Directive 2014/45, a number of changes to periodic vehicle inspection are coming into force across all EU Member States over the coming months with the first of these changes taking place from the 20th May 2018. These changes are to unify vehicle inspection across the EU.

Implementation of the new changes will take place from the 20th May 2018 and the changes are as follows

1. Recognition of unexpired term of Roadworthiness Certificates issued by other Member States 

If you import a second hand vehicle from another EU Member State and the vehicle has a current EU Roadworthiness Certificate, you can have the unexpired portion of the certificate recognised by exchanging your out-of-state roadworthiness certificate for an Irish issued EU recognition certificate.

In order to obtain an EU recognition certificate for a private vehicle you must complete an application form (available on the NCTS website) and return the completed application form and required fee of €15.50 (this fee is being waived until further notice) with the original or a certified true copy of the out of state roadworthiness certificate (if the certificate is not in English, please ensure you provide a translation of the certificate in the English language) to the following postal address: Certificate Administrator, Applus Car Testing Service Ltd, Citywest Business Campus, Lakedrive 3026, Naas Road, Dublin 24, D24 RC8V.

The Irish issued EU recognition roadworthiness certificate will be issued by post to the current registered owner of the vehicle.

2. Amendments to treatment of Vintage Vehicles

If your vehicle is aged between 30-39 years (based on the vehicle's date of first registration) and you are not using your vehicle for commercial purposes, it will now have to undergo a roadworthiness test every two years instead of annually.

If you are using your vehicle for commercial purposes, for example as a wedding hire vehicle, there is no change to the test frequency and you must continue to have your vehicle tested annually.

Please note: if your vintage vehicle was inspected during the period 20th May 2017 to 19th May 2018, you will be entitled to a two year certificate. NCTS will endeavour to write to each customer affected detailing the requirements in order to amend their current NCT certificate. All queries regarding this change can be dealt with by the customer service department on (01) 4135994.

3. Categorisation of deficiencies into Minor, Major & Dangerous

Under the new directive, defects will be classified as minor, major or dangerous and will appear in this format on your Vehicle Inspection Report from August 2018. Further information on this change will follow in due course.

4. Amendments to treatment of vehicles which transfer from SPSV to Private

Upon a vehicle ceasing to be a public service vehicle, the test due date for such a vehicle shall be on the basis that the next test due date shall be the date on which the then current test by date expires and each subsequent test due date shall be the anniversary of that date.


From Monday 2nd October 2017, there will be a new look to the NCT certificate and disc.

The NCTS certificate (see image below) will be light green and yellow and enhanced with a number of new additional security features. 

Please note that the yellow/brown certificate will still be valid until they expire which is when the vehicle will be due for its next NCT. Enforcement is the responsibility of An Garda Síochána who can access NCT records and verify certificates.




Applus Car Testing Service was awarded the Go Best Service Award for the operation of the National Car Testing Service (NCTS) at the recent Government Opportunities (GO) Excellence in Public Procurement Awards held in Dublin.

The GO Awards Ireland are open to public, private and third sector organisations across the Republic and Northern Ireland and showcases the very best that public sector procurement has to offer. Spokesperson for Applus, Sinead McKeon said, “We are extremely proud to receive this prestigious award which highlights excellence in our customer service. Winning this award recognises and acknowledges the hard work that all our staff put into constantly improving the service which we provide to over 2 million members of the public every year”



From early December 2014 driving a vehicle without a valid NCT will be a fixed charge offence attracting 3 penalty points.

You can have your vehicle tested ninety days before your test due date without affecting when your NCT would normally expire.

You can also opt for a Voluntary Early Test i.e.  get your vehicle tested more than 90 days in advance of the due date and get a certificate for 1 or 2 years from the date of the successful test (depending on the age of vehicle) .

For more information regarding the penalty points please refer to the Road Safety Authority or Penalty Points.

If your test is overdue then BOOK NOW

From 1 October 2013, if a vehicle is not going to be in use in a public place, a declaration must be made to your local motor tax office in advance of the vehicle being taken off the road if you wish to avoid the requirement to pay motor tax for the period of non-use.

  • The new arrangements will replace the system which allows owners to declare that a vehicle was off the road when seeking to tax a vehicle after a period when it has not been used on the public road.
  • Transitional arrangements are in place between 1 July 2013 and 30 September 2013 during which time both systems will operate.
  • On and from 1 October 2013, the existing arrangements where a person can go to a Garda Station and make a declaration that a vehicle was off the road will cease, and declarations regarding past periods of a vehicle being off the road can no longer be made.


Click here to download the RF150 document on declaring a vehicle off the road

Further details on these changes are available from your local motor tax office or click here for more information

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) would like to clarify a crucial point following RTE Prime Time programme about the NCT and suspension tests. 

See here for more information

Mr. Noel Brett, CEO RSA together with Mr. Pat O' Brien and Mr. Paul Hetherington of INAB formally presented Aisling McGuigan and Eamonn Power of NCTS with ISO 17020 certification.

The ISO 17020 standard is awarded to inspection bodies who demonstrate high levels of competence in the field of inspection, and the National Car Testing Service is the only inspection programme of its kind to be accredited to this standard. All aspects of the NCTS process were audited ranging from the independence, impartiality and integrity of the service to the quality systems in place, the inspection methods and procedures to the handling of inspection reports and certificates. The standard also focused on the efficiency of managing customers including the complaints and appeal process and premises.



From May 2012, failure to produce the required identification (driving licence/public service card) will result in your vehicle not being issued an NCT certificate at the time of testing.


NCT certificates and discs containing the following serial numbers
•3711250 - 3711750
•3830751 -3831250
•D2635236 - D2635500

were stolen during a robbery at an NCT centre.

If you are purchasing a second hand vehicle we would urge that you please check the serial number on the NCT disc to ensure it is not stolen.

If you have any doubts regarding the validity of an NCT Certificate then please contact NCT on 014135994 and we will be quickly able to confirm the validity of the NCT certificate for you




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