Due to the big demand for MOT appointments, the Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) are sending out MOT reminder letters earlier than before. Customers are advised to book their appointment as soon as they get their reminder letter.
When vehicles are tested
You can check the status of your vehicle by calling DVA testing enquiries, however, as a general rule the points below indicate 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 online, by phone, in person or by post:
Vehicle MOT history
You can't check the MOT history (past results) online for vehicles tested in Northern Ireland.
MOT exemption – pre-1960 vehicles
Motor cars, motorcycles and light goods vehicles manufactured or registered before 1960 are exempt from the mandatory MOT test in Northern Ireland.
The Driver & Vehicle Agency (DVA) offers tests on a voluntary basis, but only at the request of the vehicle owner. For example, a voluntary test may be needed to transfer a registration number off a vehicle, as this scheme sometimes requires a test certificate.
Pre-1960 vehicles booked for testing will continue to be inspected in the normal way, however, MOT reminders for these vehicles will not be sent out automatically.
Vehicles of historical interest (VHIs)
Motor vehicles first registered more than 40 years ago, which are currently registered to an address in England, Scotland or Wales, will not need an MOT. This covers all vehicles of historic interest which are also known as classic vehicles. This does not apply to vehicles currently registered in Northern Ireland.
An exempt motorcycle, car or light goods vehicle coming from England, Scotland or Wales to Northern Ireland on a permanent basis will need an MOT if it was first registered after 1959.
Drivers from England, Scotland or Wales bringing exempted VHIs to Northern Ireland on a temporary basis, such as for an event or holiday, must bring their V112 exemption declaration with them which is issued by DVLA, as evidence that they have applied for the exemption under the Great Britain VHI scheme.
There are plans to launch a public consultation in Northern Ireland for a VHI scheme similar to the one in Great Britain, as soon as possible.
Buses, taxis and LPCVs
Buses, taxis, trailers and other vehicles must also be tested. Information on which vehicles must be tested, and when, can be found in the various test application forms.
If you need further information, contact your nearest DVA test centre.
Goods vehicles and trailers
All goods vehicles with an 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 thereafter.
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 thereafter.
For a trailer the test is due on the first anniversary of registration and then every year afterwards. For more information on whether your goods vehicle must be tested, contact your nearest DVA test centre.
When to apply for an MOT
You can apply for the MOT up to three months before a vehicle is due for test.
A vehicle can be tested up to 28 days before the current vehicle test certificate is due to expire. These unexpired days can then be added onto the certificate expiry date, so that you still get a certificate which is valid for a full year from the current date of expiry. For example, if the current certificate was due to expire on 1 April 2014, and the vehicle passed on or after 4 March 2014, the certificate would run from the date of the test until 1 April 2015.
No unexpired days can be added to a certificate issued in Northern Ireland from a certificate previously issued in GB.
However, if a vehicle is tested more than 28 days before the current vehicle test certificate is due to expire, this time cannot be added on, and therefore you will be issued with a certificate which is valid for one year from the date of the test.
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. The vehicle test procedure is described in detail in the links below, including the testing criteria. The list of items that are checked at each stage of the inspection are not exhaustive but identifies the main items subject to inspection.