MOT certificates: All you need to know

Friday 24th May 2019

mot fines explained

Every year, our vehicles go through the annual MOT test - but what is the need for the paper certificate? Do we need to keep it? And what happens if we lose it? Find out everything you need to know about MOT certificates today with help from Formula One Autocentres.

What is an MOT certificate?

An MOT certificate is a document which confirms your vehicle meets the environmental and road safety standards required by law, at the time the test took place. MOT tests are required on vehicles every year (if your car is older than 3 years) and certificates will be provided to you in paper form as evidence your vehicle has passed this test.

The design of this certificate has recently changed - this is because defects started to be categorised differently from 20th May 2018. However, the old-style certificates are still valid until the MOT certificate is due to expire - so you do not need to replace your certificate to the new design. Find out more information at

Can you drive without an MOT certificate?

If you do not have a valid MOT certificate, you are not legally allowed to drive your vehicle. The MOT test must be taken annually, and up to one month before the annual last test date. The only circumstances where you can drive without a valid MOT certificate are when you are driving to the MOT centre and have proof of an appointment, or to a test centre for repairs if they are required.

I have lost my MOT certificate ? what do I do?

It?s not uncommon for MOT certificates to be lost. This can happen easily during a house move, or even general misplacement of the certificate around your house. So, how can you get a replacement MOT certificate?

You can replace your MOT certificate from - this service is free of charge, and to use it, simply enter in your registration number. This then brings up all details of your previous MOT tests, and once you?ve entered in your V5C number (the 11-digit number which can be found in your vehicle logbook), you can access old certificates.

Alternatively, any MOT centre can provide you with an MOT certificate replacement. All you'll need is to be able to provide your original MOT test number, and your V5C number. It also does not need to be the MOT centre where you last had your test - it can be any MOT centre.

Do you still get an MOT certificate, or is it online?

When you have your MOT test completed, you will receive a paper copy of your certificate. MOT certificates are also available to view online - using the same method as outlined above. However, there is still a need for paper MOT certificates, so it's important to keep them safe.

When it comes to selling your vehicle, prospective buyers will want to see MOT certificates as evidence the vehicle was in good, legal condition at its last MOT test. The need for the paper certificate is because the general public cannot access your individual MOT certificate online without the V5C number.

It's also worth nothing that if you need to take out an insurance claim, not having your paper certificate to prove your vehicle was legally roadworthy could invalidate your claim - and you could end up losing out on money. This is especially important in the event of an injury.

Now you know everything about MOT certificates and why they're important, book in for your own MOT test today. Find your nearest Formula One Autocentres and let one of our helpful experts take care of all your MOT and motoring needs.

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