The MOT scheme
MOT test checks that your vehicle meets road safety and environmental standards. It is an offence to use a vehicle of MOT test age that doesn’t have a current test certificate on a public road.
When vehicles are tested
You can check the status of your vehicle on the Gov.UK website.
However, during normal operating times, as a general rule the points below suggest when your vehicle will be due a MOT test:
- cars and motorcycles which are four years old and over
- light goods vehicles from three years old
- trailers, large passenger carrying vehicles and heavy goods vehicles (over 3,500kgs gross weight) from one year old
- buses and taxis from when they are first used
How to apply and costs
You can book a test for eligible vehicles online or by phone by calling: 0300 200 7862
Vehicle MOT history
You can't check the MOT history (past results) online for vehicles tested in Northern Ireland.
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 a lot within the last 30 years.
From 12 October 2020 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 remains 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.
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
Goods vehicles and trailers
All goods vehicles with a gross vehicle weight up to and including 3,500kgs (light goods vehicles) must be submitted for first test on the third anniversary of the date on which they were first registered and once a year after.
However, goods vehicles with an unladen weight exceeding 3,500kg (heavy goods vehicles) must be tested at the end of their first year and every year after.
For a trailer the test is due on the first anniversary of registration and then every year afterwards.
When to apply for an MOT
You should not delay making an MOT appointment when you receive a reminder from the DVA to book a vehicle test, even if the next available appointment falls after the MOT expiry date.
As the DVA transitions back to its normal testing regime it is experiencing a high demand for its testing services. As a result there are longer than normal appointment waiting times and you may not be able to get a vehicle test appointment before your current MOT expires. If this is the case, you must book the earliest available test appointment for your vehicle.
It may not always be possible to get a test appointment at your preferred test centre and you may have to travel to another centre to secure the earliest appointment available. For more details and the latest on DVA service availability visit Coronavirus (Covid 19) and motoring
Vehicle testing outside Northern Ireland
An official MOT vehicle test certificate issued within the United Kingdom is valid in Northern Ireland.
MOT test procedure
A strict routine is uniformly applied in all test centres to test the safety and roadworthiness of your vehicle.