Standard Testing

Vehicles must be tested after a certain age annually. A test certificate must be displayed. It is an offence to fail to have a test certificate in force in respect of the vehicle.

Contravention is subject on summary conviction to a fine up to e €2000 and imprisonment up to 3 months or both. Failure to display a certificate is subject to 5 penalty points on commencement of legislation.

Where it is shown that a demand has been made for  production of the certificate which was refused or the certificate was not produced or was not permitted to be read by member of an Garda Siochana, it is  presumed until the contrary is shown that the vehicle was being used in contravention of the requirement.

The owner of the vehicle is to apply to the issuing authority for a certificate and pay the prescribed fee. The issuing authority undertakes a car test in the prescribed form and issues a certificate certifying whether or not the vehicle is compliant. Where it is not compliant, the  reason for the refusal is given and there is generally the opportunity to retest. A person who is aggrieved by the refusal of the grounds may appeal to District Court.

There is an offence to use a vehicle without a test certificate. There is a fixed penalty charge of €80 within 28 days with three penalty points and five penalty points on conviction in court.

It is a defence to show that the vehicle was being used without the consent of the owner and that he had taken all reasonable precautions to prevent it being used. This includes used by an employee in contravention of orders. It is a defence for an employee to show that here she was using the vehicle in obedience to the express orders of the vehicle owner /employer


It is an offence to use a vehicle in a public place that does not have and required tests  certificates. The detailed provisions in respect of tests and certificates are made under the Road Traffic (National Car Rest) and related regulations.

It is subject to a fine and summary conviction of up to €2,000 and imprisonment up to three months.  Where a person has been required to produce a test certificate and has failed or refused to do so, it is presumed that there is no certificate and that the vehicle is being used in contravention of the requirement.

The owner of the vehicle is liable unless he can prove that the vehicle was taken without his consent and used all reasonable precautions to prevent it being used or that it was being used by an employee without his consent.

Produce Cert

A member of an Garda Siochana who has reason to believe a vehicle is being used in contravention of the requirement may require the production of the certificate.  They may require it  to be produced to a nominated Garda Station within 10 days, in the same manner as with  insurance certificates and driving licences.  Failure to produce is an offence.

A member of an Garda Siochana may arrest without warrant a person who fails or refuses to produce the required certificate, or fails to permit him to read it, or a person who gives a name and address which the member has reasonable cause for believing may be false and misleading.

Where a member of an Garda Siochana has reasonable grounds for believing a vehicle has been used in a public place on  a particular occasion, he may within one month demand that the owner produce the test certificate within 10 days to a nominated Garda Station.  It is an offence unless the person proves that the vehicle was not used on the occasion concerned or was used without his consent.

If a member of an Garda Siochana has reasonable grounds to believe that a vehicle was in use in a public place on a particular occasion including where he has observed the same he may within one month require the owner of the vehicle to produce a test certificate in force within 10 days to a nominated Garda Siochana station. It is presumed in a prosecution that the certificate was not so produced.

It is an offence to fail to produce or to fail to permit the relevant Garda to read the certificate. A person whose name and addresses so demanded in this context is guilty of an offence if he fails or refuses to provide the same. Where a certificate is produced but  the member of a Garda Siochana is not permitted to read it or the member believes that the name and address given is false and misleading, the person concerned may be arrested without warrant.

Commercial Vehicles

Officers of the Department of Transport may inspect and examine vehicles generally. Failure to comply with requirements made is an offence subject on summary conviction to a fine up to €2500 and/or three months imprisonment.

EU regulations provide for random roadside vehicle inspection of larger commercial vehicles weighing over 3.5 tons by persons appointed by the Department may assist the Gardai in carrying out inspections or may carry out inspections in their own right.

A person driving a commercial vehicle in a public place, on being so required, may maintain the vehicle stationary in order to enable a technical roadside inspection to take place. An appointed inspector may take all the steps required as are necessary for the purpose of carrying out a technical roadside assessment.

The driver may be required to drive the vehicle or a combination of vehicles and trailer  a reasonable distance and at such speed as the inspector directs and to cooperate in carrying out tests as the inspector considers reasonable. The inspector may drive the vehicles or carry out tests.

Roadside Inspection

The technical roadside inspection may comprise a visual assessment of the maintenance, condition, check records, testing roadworthiness and compliance. An inspection is designed to identify certain irregularities mentioned in the regulations.

A technical roadside inspection shall not be carried out in a vehicle if the driver produces

  • a certificate of roadworthiness or its equivalent from another state within three months or
  • a report indicating that a technical roadside inspection has taken place within the previous three months and the vehicle did not fail

Where an the inspector carries out a technical roadside inspection, he may serve personally or by post the driver with an inspection report in a specified form. Where the inspector forms the opinion that there is a defect in the vehicle which constitutes a serious risk to the driver other occupants or road users, he  shall instruct the driver to have it rectified at his cost submit it for roadworthiness inspection and require that he produces a pass statement and inspection report within certain time lines. Failure to comply is an offence.

Breach of  the legislation is subject on summary conviction to a fine up to €3000 and/or three months imprisonment or both.

Fleet Power

There is provision for examination of fleets of vehicles.  A fleet is of a number prescribed by Ministerial order.  A person may be required to participate in a scheme approved by the Minister for inspection and examination of fleet vehicles.


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Draft Articles; The articles on this website are in draft form and are subject to further review for typographical errors and, in some cases, updating and correction. It is intended to include references to the sources of materials and acknowledgements in the final version. The content of articles with [EU] in the title and some of the articles in the section on Agriculture are a reproduction of or are based on European or Irish public sector information.

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