Carry out MOT contingency testing

How to record MOT test results when the MOT testing service isn't working, and where to get the contingency codes and certificates you need.

Applies to England, Scotland and Wales

How contingency testing works

You can still carry out MOT tests if the MOT testing service isn’t working by using ‘contingency testing’.

  1. Get the contingency code from the MOT testing service, email or by phone.

  2. Fill in a contingency testing certificate and give it to the customer.

  3. Record the test result on the MOT testing service when it’s available again.

When you can use contingency testing

You can only use contingency testing when:

  • the MOT testing service is completely or partly unavailable because of Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) technical problems
  • a widespread broadband problem

Check if the service is working at the start of each test before you continue using contingency testing.

Problems with your own IT or services

You can’t use contingency testing if the problem is down to your own IT equipment or services. You have to stop testing until it’s fixed.

Get a contingency code

If there’s a problem, check:

  • the MOT testing service to see if a code has been published
  • your email to see if a code has been sent to you

Call the MOT testing service desk if a code hasn’t been published or sent.

MOT testing service desk

Telephone 0330 123 5654

Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
(excluding public holidays)

Outside of the opening hours, email to ask for a contingency code.

Contingency codes last for one day. You need to get a new code each day there’s a problem.

Fill in the contingency testing certificate

You must hand-write the contingency testing certificate and give it to the customer.

You have to download the certificates from the MOT testing service because they’re automatically filled in with your details. You can’t download the certificates to issue from GOV.UK.

Download the certificates

Download each certificate from the MOT testing service:

  • contingency MOT test certificate (CT20)
  • contingency refusal of an MOT test certificate (CT30)

Save a copy on your PC or tablet and print them as you need them, or print one set and photocopy them.

Record contingency tests after an outage

You must record all test results as soon as the MOT testing service is available again.

  1. Sign in to the MOT testing service.

  2. Click ‘Record contingency test.’

You’ll then be guided through the process.

You can then print the relevant testing documents to give to the customer.

Keep contingency testing documents

You must keep:

  • a copy of each contingency testing certificate issued at your vehicle testing station (VTS) for 3 months
  • emissions printouts for tests - attach them to the relevant contingency testing documents

DVSA staff can ask to see these documents when they visit your VTS.

Published 15 March 2015
Last updated 7 January 2016 + show all updates
  1. Updated content to reflect switchover to the MOT testing service.

  2. Updated with information about using email to request contingency codes.

  3. Updated advice about recording contingency tests.

  4. Updated advice about how to get a contingency code.

  5. Added in contingency testing codes for 20 August 2015.

  6. Guide has been updated to include blank copies of contingency testing documents.

  7. Added information about checking your email to see if a contingency code has been sent out.

  8. Added contingency testing contact details

  9. Added guidance about how to dispose of existing MOT Comp emergency testing documents.

  10. First published.