Why you need an MOT certificate

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

  • taking it to a test station for an MOT test booked in advance
  • bringing it away from a test station after it has failed the MOT test, to a place of repair
  • taking it to a place, by previous arrangement, where problems that caused the vehicle to fail its MOT test, can be repaired
  • bringing it away from a place where the problems with the vehicle have been repaired

Even in the above circumstances you may still be prosecuted for driving an unroadworthy vehicle if it doesn’t comply with various regulations affecting its construction and use. Your car insurance may also be invalid.

The police can ask to see an MOT certificate for a vehicle that needs to have one. They also have access to the computerised records of MOT test results and can tell if the MOT certificate for your vehicle has expired.

It is your responsibility as the vehicle owner to ensure that the due MOT test is carried out in time. You can use the peel off reminder sticker on the front of the certificate and put it in a place where you’ll be reminded of the expiry date. A place like the sun visor or the back of the tax disc holder facing inside the vehicle.

The penalty for driving a vehicle on the road with an expired MOT certificate is a fixed penalty notice from the police, currently £60, or a court fine up to a maximum of a £1,000.

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