The MOT test
You must keep any vehicles driven on the road in a roadworthy condition. The MOT test checks that your vehicle meets road safety and environmental standards. It isn't the same as having your vehicle serviced and doesn't check its general mechanical condition.
When to test
You must get an MOT test every year once your vehicle is 3 years old (or 1 year old in some cases), you can then renew your MOT up to a month before it expires. The earliest date you can get your vehicle tested is printed on the pass certificate.
If your MOT has expired
You can't drive your vehicle on the road if the MOT has expired. You could be prosecuted if caught. The only exception is if you've already booked an MOT and are driving your vehicle to the test centre.
If your vehicle passes the test
You'll get an MOT certificate and your test record will be entered onto the secure central MOT database if your vehicle passes the test.
Mileage information on the test certificate
Test certificates issued after 18 November 2012 show the mileage recorded at the current and previous 3 test passes to help reduce vehicle crime. This is shown on the certificate as the 'odometer reading and history'.
If an earlier mileage is higher than a later one this could be due to:
- a mistake by an MOT tester
- a speedometer replacement
- 'clocking' or tampering with your vehicle's mileage
If your vehicle fails the test
You'll get a 'notification of failure' from the test centre if your vehicle fails the test. The failure will be recorded in the secure central MOT database.
You can still drive your vehicle if it fails the test and its existing MOT certificate is still valid (ie you got it tested before the expiry date). However, you might be stopped by police and prosecuted if your vehicle is unroadworthy.
If the vehicle fails the test and the certificate has expired, you can only drive it to:
- a pre-arranged appointment at a garage to have the repairs done
- a pre-arranged MOT test appointment
Your vehicle should be retested at the same test centre which did the original test.
Bringing your vehicle back within 10 working days
If the vehicle is removed from the test centre for repair and returned within 10 working days following the day it originally failed, then only a partial retest is needed. In this case a partial retest fee may be charged.
In all other cases, you'll need to get a full retest and pay the full MOT test fee again.
Replacing a lost or damaged MOT certificate
You can get a duplicate MOT certificate from any MOT testing station if you have lost or damaged the original. You'll need to give the vehicle registration number and either the original MOT test number, or V5C document reference number - this is on the V5C registration certificate.
The maximum fee for a duplicate certificate is £10, or half the full MOT test fee, whichever is lowest.
Check the MOT status of a vehicle HERE https://www.gov.uk/check-mot-status
Check the MOT history of a vehicle HERE https://www.gov.uk/check-mot-history-vehicle