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.

Due to the restrictions imposed to prevent the spread of Covid 19, a number of DVA services are currently limited.
For further details and the most up to date position on DVA service availability visit the Coronavirus (Covid 19) and motoring page.

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 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 currently book a test for eligible vehicles online or by phone by calling 0345 247 2471

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 substantially changed within the last 30 years.

From 12th October 2020 you are not required 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 or not 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 remain providing these vehicles have not been substantially changed 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 appropriate 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 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. 

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