New MOT test law changes introduced today could have massive impact on drivers

MOT test

Drivers will see changes to how they receive their MOT data

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 07/12/2023

- 09:28

MOT test bookings are expected to be busy this month

Brand new MOT changes have been unveiled by the Government which could impact drivers in England, Scotland and Wales.

The MOT testing guide was updated on December 6, with the Government introducing new changes to tests and certificates.

Since September 1, it has been optional to issue a paper VT20 pass certificate when a vehicle is taken in for an MOT.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) also confirmed that a paper VT30 certificate must still be issued.

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However, new law changes dictate that MOT testing businesses will have the flexibility not to issue a paper VT30 fail certificate.

This will be done if the motorist is able and willing to access the test result on their MOT history service.

This is part of new plans from the DVLA and DVSA to modernise its services for drivers who can now view vital MOT, car tax and other motoring data online.

If the customer makes a specific request to have a paper certificate for their records, the MOT testing garage must issue one.

Another major change includes emissions test records, with drivers being required to keep emissions records for all test results for three months.

Since January 11, 2021, it has been optional for drivers to be issued with a record of the emissions test if the vehicle passes the test.

If the vehicle fails the test, the emissions record must be issued to the customer, with the DVSA previously consulting on whether to make changes to these tests.

On the industrial side, the DVSA must be told within 28 calendar days about any significant changes to the control or operation of MOT businesses.

The agency has also changed its role from “updating and maintaining access to MOT test related documentation” to “updating and maintaining access to digital MOT test records and test related documentation”.

Under previous rules, any disciplinary procedures for English and Welsh cases were normally held in the DVSA’s offices in Bristol, Manchester and Leeds, with Scottish cases normally being heard in Edinburgh.

New changes will see the majority of appeals heard via Microsoft Teams, with in-person meetings only happening in “extreme circumstances”.

This comes at a time when the AA is warning drivers to book their tests as soon as they can, with November and December being two of the busiest months for MOT tests.

The so-called “Nutty November” has already passed, with millions of people scrambling to book car checks.

It is assumed that these will be the busiest months for garages because of new vehicle registrations, as well as legacy MOT deferrals during the pandemic.


Emissions test

The new MOT test changes will include new guidance for emissions tests


James Hosking, managing director at AA Smart Care, said: “Cars on the roads are getting older, so it’s more important than ever to regularly check your vehicle throughout the year, and not just before its MOT.”

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