The MOT certificate

The MOT certificate confirms that your vehicle at the time of its test met the minimum acceptable environmental and road safety standards required by law. It doesn’t mean that the vehicle is roadworthy for the life of the certificate and isn’t a substitute for regular maintenance.

The need for an MOT certificate

It's generally an offence to use a vehicle of test age that doesn’t have a current test certificate on a public road except when:

  • taking it to a test centre for a test booked earlier
  • bringing it away from a test centre after it has failed the test, to a place of repair
  • taking it to or bringing it away from a place where, by previous arrangement, repairs are to be made or have been made to fix the faults that caused the vehicle to fail its test

Even in the above circumstances you may still be prosecuted for driving an unroadworthy vehicle if it doesn’t meet various regulations affecting its construction and use. The insurance may also not be valid.

New-style vehicle test certificate

There is no longer a requirement to display a vehicle test certificate on the windscreen of your vehicle.

A new-style A4 size, plain paper, vehicle test certificate will be issued following the inspection of your vehicle.

From 20 May 2018 defects which are not serious enough to result in a test failure will be shown on a vehicle test certificate. It's important that these defects are repaired as soon as possible.

An example of the new vehicle test certificate is available on the link below:

How this affects you

To drive or keep a vehicle on the road you still need to have a valid vehicle test certificate if your vehicle requires one and you will still get a renewal reminder when your annual test is due.

When buying a vehicle

When you buy a vehicle, make sure the previous keeper passes on the new-style vehicle test certificate, or you may need to apply for a duplicate at the cost of £10.00.

A test certificate relates only to the condition of testable items at the time of the test and should not be regarded as:

  • evidence of its condition at any other time
  • evidence of the general mechanical condition of the vehicle
  • evidence that the vehicle fully complies with all aspects of the law on vehicle construction and use

Checking the authenticity of an MOT certificate

If you have reason to believe the certificate you have been issued isn’t genuine, contact the DVA Enquiries on 0300 200 7861 or check online at the link below:

Replacing lost or damaged MOT certificates

If you have lost or damaged your MOT certificate, you can apply at any DVA Test Centre for a duplicate certificate by completing section 5 of the Application for a vehicle test certificate VT3 (MOT) form. Alternatively you can contact the telephone booking line at 0345 247 2471.

The fee for a duplicate certificate for a car is £10.00.

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