Basic rules, fees and what to do if you're not satisfied:
- If your vehicle is more than three years old you will have to get it tested every year to show that it meets the minimum road safety and environmental standards.
- An MOT certificate confirms that at the time of the test your vehicle met, as far as can be reasonably determined without dismantling, the minimum acceptable environmental and road safety standards required by law.
- An MOT certificate does not mean that the vehicle is roadworthy for the life of the certificate and is not a substitute for regular maintenance.
- MOT 'certificates' issued after 18 November 2012 will show the mileage recorded at up to three previous MOT tests as well as the current one.
- The 'certificate'
- Records of MOT test results are held on a secure central database connected to all MOT testing stations.
- The document you receive from the testing station is your receipt and shows the information that is held on the MOT database. It is not proof of an MOT and you should not rely on it as such i.e. when buying a used car.
- Any recommended advisory work - potential problems not currently severe enough to result in a test failure - will also be shown.
- Checking your MOT 'certificate'
- You can check the MOT status of a vehicle online if you have a legitimate interest in the vehicle - you must be the owner, registered keeper or be considering buying the vehicle.
- You will need to know the vehicle registration number and the MOT test number from the most recent 'certificate' or test refusal certificate. If you don't have these you can use the document reference number from the vehicle registration document (V5C).
- The status check will confirm the date and mileage of the last test and the expiry date.
- You can also check details of previous MOT tests going back to 2005. Records before 2005 were not computerised.
- Check the MOT status of a vehicle »
- You don't need a valid MOT certificate if the vehicle is being taken by prior appointment to or from a test.
- using a vehicle without a test certificate being in force carries a maximum fine of £1,000
- if the vehicle is adapted to carry more than eight passengers the maximum fine increases to £2,500
- failing to produce a test certificate to a police officer also carries a fine of up to £1,000
Conviction for any of these offences will not result in penalty points being placed on a driving licence.
Not satisfied with your MOT?
If you disagree with the test result you should discuss it with the test station first if possible. It's important not to let anyone else carry out repairs to your vehicle.
If you are not satisfied with the way your test was conducted, you should let your local Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) office know as this helps VOSA maintain good service and consistent standards.
The address of your local VOSA office is shown on the fees and appeals poster at your MOT test station or you can call the MOT enquiry line on 0845 600 5977.