Earned Recognition operators will be given a 12-month MOT exemption on their HGVs and trailers as the DVSA tries to ease a huge bottleneck.

Operators have been making use of three-month exemptions since the start of the Covid-19 crisis, but the enforcement agency said it was expanding the exemption period for certain operators it considered to be safer, in a bid to ease demand for MOTs.

As well as companies who are signed up to the Earned Recognition scheme, the DVSA said operators who are in the green band for OCRS roadworthiness, with 50 or more roadworthiness events and a calculated roadworthiness base score of 1.3 or lower on 27 July 2020, will also get a year’s MOT exemption.

Vehicles or trailers up to two years old are also eligible for the exemption and these do not have to be linked to the operator’s OCRS score or operator licence status.

The DVSA added that three-month exemptions will continue to be issued to operators with vehicles and trailers due for a test up to March 2021 who have not already received one.

All exemptions will be applied automatically, with the 12-month exemptions being processed from 24 August.

A lack of testing slots for operators was already causing problems in July, with one Yorkshire haulier telling that it was in danger of standing half of its trailer fleet up in the yard.

Scott Bell, a solicitor at Backhouse Jones, said the DVSA was aware that there was a testing bottleneck as exemptions ran out: “We already understand a number of operators are having difficulties booking a test in for August into September,” he said.

“They hope by releasing this temporary exemption of 12 months it releases some of the bottleneck.

“Current legislation only allows for a three-month exemption, so it requires a legislative change to get it up to 12 months.”