Carry out MOT contingency testing
How to use MOT contingency testing to record test results when the service is unavailable, and where to get contingency codes and forms.
About contingency testing
‘Contingency testing’ allows you to carry on testing when the MOT testing service is not available due to an ‘authorised outage’.
An authorised outage is defined as being caused by:
- the service being unavailable or parts of it not working because of DVSA technical problems
- a widespread broadband communication outage
You need a contingency code to carry out contingency tests which must be carried out and recorded:
- within authorised vehicle testing stations (VTSs)
- by nominated testers (NTs) approved to test the class of vehicle by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA)
When not to use contingency testing
Under existing MOT scheme rules, if you’ve any problems (eg software, broadband or IT equipment failure) using the new service you:
- have up to one hour after a vehicle’s test to enter the test results
- must enter these results before the vehicle leaves your vehicle testing site
This means, if these kinds of temporary problems can be quickly fixed, you don’t always have to use contingency testing to carry on testing.
Problems with your own IT or services
You’re responsible for getting your IT equipment and services fixed if they stop working.
This includes any problems related to:
- IT equipment
- internet connection
You can’t use contingency testing if the problem is down to your own IT equipment or services.
You have to stop MOT testing until your faulty IT equipment or service has been repaired or replaced.
Put contingency measures in place
You’re responsible for putting your own contingency measures in place (if you want to) in case your internet connection goes down.
For example, you could have a back-up 3G or 4G internet connection or connected device at your site in case there’s a problem with your fixed broadband connection.
Get and use a contingency code
Contingency codes last for one day. You need to get a new code for each day an authorised outage lasts.
You need to use the contingency code to record the tests when the service is available again.
Get the contingency code by phone
To get a contingency code, you should normally call the MOT testing service desk:
MOT testing service desk
Telephone 0330 123 5654
Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm
Saturday, 8am to 2pm
(excluding public holidays)
Get the contingency code by email
During a continued authorised outage you can also check your email to see if you’ve been sent a contingency code.
Outside of MOT testing service desk opening hours, you can also request a contingency code by emailing email@example.com.
Check the service is still unavailable regularly
You must only use contingency testing during an authorised outage and if you’re:
- sure the service is unavailable
- unable to carry out tests
Regularly check to see if the service is back and up running. It’s better to enter test results directly into the service rather than use contingency testing.
There are workarounds for some known issues with contingency testing.
Print contingency testing forms
You can download and print contingency testing forms from the MOT testing service:
- Contingency MOT test certificate (CT20)
- Contingency refusal of an MOT test certificate (CT30)
- Contingency advisory notice (CT32)
They’ll be automatically filled in with your VTS name, number and address for security purposes.
Download the documents
Download and print at least one of each certificate from the MOT testing service. You can then either:
- save a copy on your PC or tablet and print them as you need them
- print them and photocopy them as you need them
During an authorised outage
When you’re using contingency testing, check to see if the service is working at the start of each test you carry out.
You should do this before continuing with contingency testing procedures.
All contingency testing documents must be hand-written and given to the vehicle owner.
After contingency testing
You must record all tests carried out under contingency testing as soon as the service is available again. This will make sure vehicle owners are able to tax their vehicles online at the earliest opportunity.
To record a contingency test, click ‘Record contingency test’ on the MOT testing service homepage.
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 VTS for 3 months
- emissions printouts for tests - attach them to the relevant contingency testing documents
These documents must be made available to DVSA staff for audit purposes.
Published: 15 March 2015
Updated: 7 January 2016
- Updated content to reflect switchover to the MOT testing service.
- Updated with information about using email to request contingency codes.
- Updated advice about recording contingency tests.
- Updated advice about how to get a contingency code.
- Added in contingency testing codes for 20 August 2015.
- Guide has been updated to include blank copies of contingency testing documents.
- Added information about checking your email to see if a contingency code has been sent out.
- Added contingency testing contact details
- Added guidance about how to dispose of existing MOT Comp emergency testing documents.
- First published.