The Road Traffic (National Car Test) Regulations 2017 (S.I. No. 415 of 2017), provide the legal basis under which proof of identification is required by an NCT Test Centre when a vehicle is presented for roadworthiness testing. The Regulations permit an NCT Test Centre to withhold a vehicle’s test certificate until identification has been produced. The Data Protection Commissioner has deemed a driving licence to be the most appropriate form of identification for this purpose, as a driver is required to produce a driving licence when operating a vehicle in a public place.
The Regulations also permit the details on the form of identification to be recorded by an NCT Test Centre. The data recorded is held for a period of 12 months and then deleted. As the Data Protection Commissioner would not permit the recording and retention of passport details, the use of a passport for identification purposes was stopped.
The recorded identification details allow the Road Safety Authority to trace cars for follow-up quality inspections, particularly where there has been a recent change in ownership. In addition, the application of these measures also acts as a deterrent to fraudulent activity in relation to roadworthiness testing. It is important information to help identify and investigate unusual patterns of activity relating to test quality or outcomes, where a common thread in such unusual patterns may involve the presenter of the vehicle(s).