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Check your vehicle's MOT status and history online

This article explains how you can check your vehicle’s MOT status and history online.

What does 'MOT' stand for?

'MOT' stands for Ministry of Transport.

The MOT system is a set of UK road safety measures and environmental standards designed to ensure that all cars, motorcycles and light goods vehicles more than three years old are:

• adequately maintained

• examined - at least once annually - at an authorised MOT test centre to ensure compliance with the legal requirement of road worthiness.

What is the purpose of an MOT test certificate?

Possession of an MOT test certificate is not a substitute for regular maintenance. 

An MOT certificate confirms that, at the time of the MOT test, the vehicle met the minimum road safety and environmental standards.

Having an MOT certificate does not mean that the tested vehicle is roadworthy for the duration of the certificate and it should not be accepted as evidence of the general mechanical condition of the vehicle.

What are the benefits of checking a vehicle's MOT status and history online?

Checking a vehicle's MOT status and history online enables a potential buyer of the vehicle to confirm whether its MOT test certificate is legal, whether the vehicle passed its MOT first time and whether the MOT test highlighted any recommended (or 'advisory') mechanical work on the vehicle.

What information does the online MOT status check provide?

The online MOT status enquiry provides information on:

• the date of the most recent MOT test

• the mileage on the vehicle at the time of the MOT test

• the expiry date of the MOT test.

Can anyone check the current MOT status of a vehicle online?

A person can only check the MOT status of a vehicle online if they have a genuine interest in the vehicle.

The following persons are considered to have a legitimate interest in initiating this process:

• the owner of the vehicle

• the registered keeper of the vehicle

• a prospective buyer of the vehicle.

Which documents are required to do an MOT status or history check online?

The vehicle registration number and the MOT test number (taken from the most recent VT20 certificate or VT30 refusal certificate) are needed in order to run a check of a vehicle's MOT status or history online.

If the VT20 or VT30 certificates are not available, it is possible to use the document reference number, which can be found on the V5C vehicle registration document.

How far back is it possible to check the MOT history of a vehicle online?

Viewing MOT information historically helps to form a broad overview of a vehicle's previous reliability and potential future costs. Advisory work on brakes or suspension, for instance, could point to large repair bills in the future.

It is only possible to check online for details of previous MOT tests dating back to 2005. (Records kept before 2005 were manual rather than computerised.)

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