1. When to get an MOT

The MOT test checks that your vehicle meets road safety and environmental standards.

You must get an MOT for your vehicle by either:

  • the third anniversary of its registration
  • the anniversary of its last MOT, if it’s over 3 years old

Some vehicles need to be tested at one year old - check the MOT fees table to see which.

You can be fined up to £1,000 for driving a vehicle without a valid MOT.

Earliest date you can get an MOT

An MOT lasts for a year. The date it runs out is printed on the last pass certificate.

You can get an MOT up to a month (minus a day) before it runs out and keep the same renewal date.

Example If your MOT runs out on 15 May, the earliest you can get an MOT to keep the same renewal date for next year is 16 April.

You can get an MOT earlier, but the MOT renewal date for the following year will be different.

The MOT text reminder service finished in August 2014. You’ll be sent one more reminder if you registered in the last 12 months.

If the MOT has run out

You can’t drive your vehicle on the road if the MOT has run out. You can be prosecuted if caught.

The only exceptions are to drive it:

  • to or from somewhere to be repaired
  • to a pre-arranged MOT test

There are different rules and processes for MOTs in Northern Ireland.