The Centre on Sunday extended the validity of driving licences, registration certificates, and other motor vehicle-related documents till March 31 due to coronavirus-induced restrictions.

“Taking into consideration the need to prevent the spread of COVID-19, it is further advised that the validity of all of the above referred documents may be treated to be valid till 31st March 2021,” the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways said in a statement. “This covers all documents whose validity has expired since 1st Feb, 2020 or would expire by 31st March 2021.”

This is the fourth extension due to the pandemic after the Centre issued advisories on March 30, June 9, and August 24. The ministry had earlier suggested that documents such as fitness certificate, permit (all types), driving licence, and registration certificate would be considered valid till December 31.

“Enforcement authorities are advised to treat such documents valid till 31st of March 2021,” the statement read. “This will help out citizens in availing transport related services, while maintaining social distancing.”

The Centre has asked all states and Union Territories to implement the recent advisory related to the ongoing pandemic so that citizens do not face hurdles. “The government has provided for the availability of the essential goods and production thereof and has allowed the vehicles for the transport of such goods/cargo and further opening up the operation of passenger transport in view of the fact that citizens were finding it difficult to get renewed the validity of various documents due to lock-down in operation at various stages in different parts of the country and other countries world over,” the statement read, according to the Hindustan Times. “Renewal of such documents is still leading to the assembly of people and long queues in front of the transport offices across the country,” the Union government said in an advisory to all states and union territories (UTs).”