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.
Check your MOT history to see when your vehicle’s MOT expires.
There are different rules and processes in Northern Ireland for MOTs for vehicles registered in Northern Ireland.
If the MOT has run out
If your tax is due to run out, register your vehicle as ‘off the road’ - you cannot renew your vehicle tax if your MOT has expired.
Book an MOT test.
Tax your vehicle once it has passed its MOT.
You cannot drive or park 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
Earliest date you can get an MOT
An MOT lasts for a year.
To find out when it runs out you can either:
- check your MOT history online
- check the date that’s printed on your current MOT certificate, if you have one
You can be fined up to £1,000 for driving a vehicle without a valid MOT.
You can get an MOT up to a month (minus a day) before it runs out and keep the same renewal date.
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 renewal date for the following year will change to one year (minus a day) from the date the vehicle last passed its MOT.
Your MOT is due to run out on 15 May, so the earliest you can get it done is 16 April. However, you take your vehicle for its MOT on 14 April and it passes. This means that the MOT expiry date changes to 13 April the following year.