Checking MOTs

Checking the validity of an MOT certificate

Drivers who wish to check whether or not an MOT certificate is valid should look online, where they can check a vehicle’s MOT status and history. This online list includes cars, light goods vehicles and motor bicycles, although it excludes lorries and buses. In order to obtain information online, drivers will need to provide their vehicle’s registration mark and an MOT test number, which can be obtained from a VT20 test certificate or a VT30 refusal certificate.

People can check their vehicle’s MOT status at any time. The online MOT test database will provide information such as the date of the last test, the amount of mileage the vehicle had driven at the time of the last MOT and the expiration date of the test. Drivers should note that they are only able to search the MOT history of vehicles from 2005 onwards, when MOT data was first computerised.

The computerised system was designed to combat MOT fraud in regards to fake certificates and substandard services. It aims to provide a convenient service, offering accurate and up-to-date information for the UK’s MOT Testing Stations. The system also involves close monitoring of test standards and stricter control of the way in which certificates are issued to drivers. It was created to improve the administration procedures with testing stations by using electronic payment systems, improving record-keeping and obtaining and updating important information automatically. Drivers who are residents of Northern Ireland and took their MOT test there are not included in the MOT computerised data and should contact the garage where their vehicle was tested instead.

Meanwhile, for anyone who has requested an MOT history but cannot find any tests online, in the first instance they should check that the reference number they have used from the V5C is their most recent one. The computerised database is unable to provide information related to registration certificates that have been replaced, since drivers are not entitled to this information. Owners of vehicles that have failed an MOT test, or whose MOT test has been abandoned by the tester, should request a ‘Refusal of an MOT certificate’ document, which they can use to access information related to the vehicle’s history and status. If they would like to receive a formal record of their vehicle’s status, they should contact the Vehicle Operator and Services Agency MOT Enquiry Service, which will be able to provide further information.

For those who have requested an MOT status but have not received any further information, they should be able to find the relevant information from their test history using their reference number. It should be noted, however, that only information regarding the most recent fail or pass will be provided with the reference number that was allocated at that time. Therefore, people who do not have the reference number to hand for a specific test will be unable to obtain any information about their MOT status.

Individuals may also request information about the test history on the telephone by calling the Vehicle Operator & Services Agency MOT Enquiry Service. Alternatively, they can contact the Vehicle Operator & Services Agency MOT History Service. Some phone calls are monitored or recorded for legal reasons and those using the service will need the same information to hand as they would use for online services.

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