MLA Claire Sugden has called for extensions to MOT expiry dates until officials have cleared the backlog in vehicle tests.
The Department for Infrastructure says it's facing unprecedented demand for test slots and is encouraging motorists to apply nine weeks in advance.
Officials say the backlog is down to an extra 15,000 applications made between January and March 2019 compared to the same period last year. Extra staff are being recruited and temporary opening on Sundays and bank holidays has been scheduled.
However, Claire Sugden said the backlog is affecting people's lives and businesses.
“Constituents are telling me that seven weeks is now a typical waiting time for an appointment but a test can only be undertaken up to 30 days before it is due.
“There is nothing drivers can to do to make sure their vehicles are tested in time and legal to drive. The Department is sending out reminders knowing that test slots are not available.
“What does the Department expect people to do? Not go to work? Not drive children to school? For those who drive for a living, or work within the vehicle trade, the problem is having a really detrimental impact on their businesses.
*Read the full story inside this week's Chronicle.