Vehicle documents expired during the state of emergency. What remain valid? What is extended?
The state of emergency declared as a result of the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemics required urgent measures in terms of public order, economy, health, labour and social protection, justice, foreign affairs, as well as other sectors, in order to prevent virus spreading.
Thus, the measures imposed led to the limitation of certain rights without which, until recently, we could not have imagined our lives. For example, freedom of movement – a right which today is being limited, based on a self-declaration and/or a certificate issued by the employer.
However, besides the documents mentioned and imposed in the current social context, there is a question: what happens to the other documents that we would normally have with us until recently? More exactly, what happens to those documents related to the vehicle we are driving if they expire during the state of emergency?
According to art. 14 in the Decree of the President of Romania no. 195/16.03.2020 on the establishment of the state of emergency on the territory of Romania: “the validity of the documents issued by the public authorities that expires during the state of emergency is extended.”
In this respect, it is essential that we clarify what “public authorities” means. According to art. 2 point (1) letter b) in the Law no. 554/2004 concerning administrative contentious matters: “any state of administrative-territorial units body acing as a public power to satisfy a legitimate public interest; in the sense of this law, the legal entities of private law which, according to the regulations, have a public utility status or are authorized to provide public service, as public power, are assimilated to public authorities”.
Therefore, we are speaking of documents issued by the Directorate and Public Community Services for Driving Licenses and Car Registration, such as driving license, temporary traffic permit, proof of registration certificate and driving licences, documents maintaining their validity during the entire period of the state of emergency, even if their validity expires during the state of emergency.
At the same time, according to the communication released by the Directorate for Driving Licenses and Car Registration, the same provisions apply to the registration/examination/replacement of driving license operations, such as: certificate of authenticity, document issued by the authorized medical institution– medical record, etc.
Besides, art. 12 point (1) in the Military Ordinance no. 3/24.03.2020 completes the provisions of art. 14 in the Decree of the President of Romania no. 195/16.03.2020, in the sense that it stipulates “the documents expiring during the state of emergency, issued by the public authorities, can be exchanged within 90 days after the termination of the state of emergency.”
As concerns the road vignette expiring during the state of emergency, as indicated by the National Company for the Administration of Road Infrastructure in Romania, this is not included in the range of documents issued by public authorities, for which reason it ceases to be valid at the end of the last day of the period for which the toll has been paid and has to be renewed.
This shall apply as well to the mandatory vehicle insurance policies, whose validity is not extended automatically during the state of emergency.
As concerns the roadworthiness inspection whose validity expires during the state of emergency, such validity is not extended and has to be made, otherwise legal sanctions apply.
Therefore, if travelling is necessary, we must check the validity of the documents we have, and when travelling is not an emergency, we #stayhome.