What does MOT mean? All your MOT questions answered

Author Name – Cameron Carroll

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what does mot stand for

Your MOT is one of the most important things you need to remember when owning a car, alongside a service. Without one, you will likely be breaking the law. But have you ever wondered what MOT means, what it stands for, or what terms like MOT exempt and MOT test number mean? In this guide, we provide answers to all these questions, giving you the background on the UK’s crucial car safety test.

What does MOT mean? What does it stand for?

 MOT stands for the Ministry of Transport, the government department that introduced the test in 1960 as a means of testing vehicle safety, exhaust emissions, and roadworthiness.

The Ministry of Transport was a government department between 1919 and 1970, after which it became the Department of the Environment, and finally the Department for Transport of today. The department controls the English transport network, including road, rail, aviation and maritime, and associated areas like transport emissions, the future of transport, and security and civil matters relating to transport.

The MOT test itself is issued by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) and nationally undertaken across a network of 23,500 MOT test stations, by nearly 66,000 MOT testers.

What does MOT exempt mean?

If a vehicle is MOT exempt, it does not need to get an MOT. This status covers a number of types of vehicles such as:

  • Cars that were first registered less than three years ago
  • Classic cars that are over 40 years old and have not had any substantial changes made to them (to the chassis, engine, axles, or running gear, for example) in the past 30 years
  • Electrically powered goods vehicles registered before March 1st, 2015
  • Tractors

If you think your vehicle might be exempt from its MOT, you can fill in an MOT exemption form (V112) so you can properly tax it or register it as tax exempt.

What does MOT test number mean?

If you are asked for your MOT test number, check your most recent certificate and find the 12-digit serial number printed on it – this is the MOT test number.

As a driver, typically, you will only need your test number if you are applying for a replacement, in-date MOT test certificate from the government. However, you can also do this with the vehicle’s registration number, make, and the 11-digit reference number in the vehicle’s V5C logbook.

 Understanding what your MOT means in practice is a great thing to do. By building your knowledge, you can make sure your car is being driven safely and legally, and by ensuring you don’t forget your MOT, you can avoid the risk of fines, penalty points, and more. To learn more about the MOT, visit our MOT information section.

Related: View MOT Information

Alternatively, book your MOT today, set up a zero-cost MOT reminder, or check your MOT date for free. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our experts online or over the phone.

Related: Book your MOT

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