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MOT certificates explained

10th November 2020

Each year, our vehicles undergo the annual MOT test. Equipped with our paper certificate, we drive our vehicles out of the testing centre for another year. But what should we do with the paper MOT certificate? Do we need to keep it? And can you drive without one? Find out more from our guide on MOT certificates.

What is an MOT certificate?

An MOT certificate is a document which is presented to you upon completion of a successful MOT test. It confirms your vehicle has met the environmental and road safety standards required by law. Typically, MOT tests are required once a year (as long as your car is older than 3 years).

The MOT certificate itself is presented to you in paper form as evidence that your vehicle has successfully passed its test. However, it should be noted that the design of the MOT certificate has recently changed, due to defects beginning to be categorised differently from 20th May 2018.

Do you still receive a paper copy of an MOT certificate?

Yes – you will still receive a paper copy of your MOT certificate once the test has been completed. MOT tests are also usually available to view online – you can do this by visiting GOV.uk, and entering your registration number into the system. This will then bring up the details of your previous MOT tests and vehicle history 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.

However, it should be noted that it’s important to keep your paper MOT certificate safe – as this will be needed for selling your vehicle to prospective buyers, and also needed for when you are taking out an insurance claim on your vehicle.

Can you drive without an MOT certificate?

Generally, it is illegal to drive without a valid MOT certificate. However, there are some exceptions to this:

  • If you are driving to a pre-arranged MOT test
  • If you are driving to a pre-arranged appointment to have repairs done on your vehicle

However, outside these circumstances, you cannot drive without a valid MOT certificate – as not only is this extremely dangerous, but it will likely also result in a fine.

Now you’re clued up on what an MOT certificate is, and the difference between a paper copy and an online copy, book in for your MOT test now. Simply locate your nearest Merityre branch, or get in touch with our experts for more information.