MOT certificate guidance

Help with online & offline MOT documents and paperwork

Image displaying a modern test certificate issued by the Ministry of Transport

online MOT certificate example

Either Pass or Fail


An MOT (Ministry of Transport) certificate provides evidence that a vehicle met minimum requirements in road safety and environmental law at the time and mileage of its MOT test.

See our free mileage check guide for more information.


The certificate does not mean a vehicle remains safe, legal and roadworthy for the duration of its valid certificate period (the whole 12-months). A vehicle must be maintained regularly to ensure it’s kept in a fit condition to be driven on the road.


If you have lost or damaged the original, it’s easy to obtain a new one. See our quick guide on a lost MOT certificate and how to get a replacement, for free.

Passing an MOT


If a vehicle has passed its MOT, there is a certificate provided by the test centre
This is recorded in the MOT database for future reference


During its test, a vehicle may incur minor advisory items to repair or fix later. The driver is expected to monitor such car parts and have them repaired or replaced if they rapidly deteriorate.

Failing an MOT


A vehicle fails its test when there are car parts deemed as significant or dangerous. It may be unlawful to drive the vehicle on the road until those car parts of repaired or replaced.


There may also be a list of advisory or ‘minor’ issues to monitor, repair or replace in future.


When a vehicle has failed its MOT test, a ‘refusal of an MOT’ is provided from the test centre
This is recorded in the MOT database for future reference

Appealing an MOT test decision


It is possible to appeal a refusal if there are grounds to do so.


There is a legal right via these common channels:


Driving a vehicle that has failed its MOT


Provided there were no dangerous or significant issues found during the MOT test, and the vehicle still has a valid MOT, it may be legal to drive on the road (minimum standards of roadworthiness). If not, the vehicle will need to be repaired first.

Find detailed information on what is an MOT failure including how to avoid common issues for future tests.


Driving a vehicle with dangerous or significant mechanical issues may result in a large fine of up to £2,500. Drivers can also incur penalty points or even be banned from driving for a set period.

MOT due date


In most instances, when a vehicle is 3-years old or more it is illegal to drive it on the road without a current MOT test certificate.

The exceptions are:

  • Driving to a pre-booked MOT test centre for a test
  • Driving to a repair centre after a failed test so the vehicle may be repaired
  • Driving to a pre-booked MOT test centre for a test after the vehicle was registered as SORN with DVLA


You can check MOT due date and date of renewal (retest). CarVeto provides this information for free. We also include full MOT history for any UK vehicle registered in the UK. Records begin from the year 2005.

1. Due date of MOT

MOT renewal date

Enter a reg number in the field below

This link also shows how to check an MOT on a car

Modern MOT test certificates


In April 2018, old-style MOTs were abolished to prepare for new MOT test rules that were rolled out in May 2019.

A simple portrait styled A4 test certificate is provided for vehicles that have passed their latest MOT test.

Defects (also known as Advisory items) are displayed on the mot certificate with the expectation they are repaired as soon as possible (although not a legal requirement).


Up to date examples


Pass without defects

Pass with minor defects and advisory items

Contingency pass (when the MOT test computer is not working)


Contingency refusal (when the MOT test computer is not working)

The authenticity of a certificate


If for any reason you feel that a certificate is not genuine, get in touch with DVLA immediately by telephoning 0300 200 7861

Citations and resources


Replacing a lost or stolen certificate:

Trading Standards:

Legal adviser services:

Police helpline:

MOT failure guide:

Pass certificate example without defects:

Pass certificate example with minor defects:

Contingency certificate:

MOT refusal certificate:

Contingency refusal:

CarVeto MOT component sitemap: