Annual MOT

The MOT test is an annual test of roadworthiness. Cars and motorcycles undergo an annual MOT test from when they are four years old and all light goods vehicles with an unladen weight up to and including 3,500Kg are tested annually from they are three years old.

Due to the restrictions to prevent the spread of Covid 19, some DVA services are operating at limited capacity.

For further details and the latest position on DVA service availability visit the Coronavirus (Covid 19) and motoring page.

Test centres

All eligible vehicles can be tested at any Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) test centres in Northern Ireland by vehicle test examiners.

The MOT test is a legal requirement to make sure that all vehicles are roadworthy and safe to be used on a public road.

Vehicle tests may be booked online.

MOT testing for quadricycles

A quadricycle (quad) is a four-wheeled vehicle with an unladen weight not exceeding 400kg and whose maximum engine power does not exceed 15 kW.

Many quads have been sold as ‘road legal’ and they have been supplied by the manufacturer with a Certificate of Conformity (CoC). This CoC indicates that the quad complies with the technical requirements applicable to a motor tricycle.

Whilst these quads have been built to the technical requirements of a motor tricycle, under Northern Ireland legislation, as they have four wheels, they must be classified as ‘motor cars’. If tested as a motor car, they will not meet the statutory requirements as found in the NI Construction & Use Regulations and Lighting Regulations, therefore a fail notification will be issued.

However, in this instance, European legislation takes precedent over National legislation. This means quads that have been built and issued with a CoC or a Motorcycle single vehicle approval (MSVA) certificate can be tested under the European legislation and where they meet this, they will be issued with a test pass certificate.

Quads that do not have a CoC or MSVA Certificate cannot be tested under the European legislation and cannot be booked for an MOT. The check for a CoC or MSVA Certificate will be carried out at the time of booking the test.

Vehicles of Historical Interest – Annual Testing Exemption

Vehicles of Historical Interest are vehicles manufactured or first registered over 40 years ago and are no longer in production. These vehicles must not have been changed in any major way within the last 30 years. Major changes are noted on the V112 form (Declaration of Exemption from MOT).

You do not need to complete an MOT/ Goods Vehicle Test if your car, motorcycle or light goods vehicle is 3500kgs or lower and was first manufactured or registered more than 40 years ago.

Whether the vehicle is exempt, it must be maintained in a roadworthy condition. The option stays to test the vehicle on a voluntarily basis if you so wish. For example, a voluntary test may be needed to transfer a registration number off a vehicle, as this scheme sometimes requires a test certificate.

If a vehicle owner cannot decide if the vehicle has had a major change, they should not claim an exemption from the MOT test.

Different rules apply to heavy goods vehicles and buses.

Buses & Public Service Vehicles

Buses and Taxis used commercially are not exempt from annual testing.

Buses not used commercially over 40 years old are exempt from annual testing if they meet the definition of a ‘vehicle of historical interest’.

Heavy Goods Vehicles (gross vehicle weight exceeding 3,500kgs)

The existing exemption for HGVs manufactured or registered before 1960 will stay providing these vehicles have not been changed a lot since their first registration. These vehicles when used for commercial purposes will continue to undergo annual roadworthiness testing.

Taxing an exempt vehicle

Vehicles which are exempt from Annual MOT Testing will continue to require Annual Road Tax.

If your vehicle has a valid Vehicle Test Certificate or Certificate of Temporary Exemption you can tax your vehicle as normal.

If your vehicle’s MOT has expired and the vehicle is now exempt from testing you must complete the right form required for your vehicle type and present it at a Post Office when applying for road tax to confirm MOT Exemption. For light vehicles such as cars & motorcycles complete Form V112, and for goods vehicles complete Form V112G.

Both forms are available to download from the GOV.UK website MOT forms: detailed information

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