It's very easy to lose a paper MOT certificate, but that doesn't mean you have anything to panic about. In fact, over 636,000 duplicate certificates were issued in 2018 alone - that's nearly 2% of all tests completed every year! If you've lost or damaged your MOT certificate, here's how you can secure a replacement.

By the end of this article you will know:

  • How to request a duplicate MOT certificate online
  • How much a replacement certificate costs
  • What MOT classes you can print a duplicate certificate for
  • How to check when your MOT expires

 

How Does a Garage Record MOT Results?

Once a garage or MOT centre has completed the test, they will either issue you a VT20 form (pass certificate) or a VT30 'Refusal of an MOT certificate'. A VT20 form may have some advisories or minor defects included, but it means that your car is road legal for the year ahead. If you're issued with a VT30, your car has suffered an MOT failure. This means it requires repairs before you can drive it again.

The tester will also record your result on an online platform. The result and certificate are always available online as soon as they are recorded in the MOT testing service. This means that you can access your vehicle's MOT history and a duplicate MOT certificate online.

 

How to Request a Duplicate MOT Certificate Online

You can apply for a duplicate certificate if yours is lost or damaged. All you need to know is your vehicle's reg number and the 11-digit number on your V5C (vehicle logbook).

To recover a lost MOT certificate, head to the Government's 'Replace a lost or damaged MOT certificate' page and enter your reg number. You will then see your vehicle's full MOT history and get the option to view any MOT certificate issued from the 20th May 2018 onwards. To do so, you must enter your 11-digit number.

The Government's service allows you to view and save your MOT certificate as a PDF as well as print it out. It is available 24/7, 365 days a year and you don't need to sign-up or log in to access the service.

 

portrait of a mechanic standing underneath car on ramp in garage filling out MOT certificate on blue clipboard

As soon as the mechanic has finished recording the MOT results and uploaded it to the system, you can download and print a duplicate certificate.

 

How Can I Avoid an Online Scam?

As always, there are plenty of rogue companies offering duplicate MOT certificates. To avoid a scam, always use the official Government website. No other service has the licence or permission to provide look-a-like certificates.

 

Can I Request a Duplicate MOT Certificate From a Garage?

Yes, you can ask any official MOT centre to print a duplicate certificate for your vehicle. It doesn't have to be the same centre that did the original test. They will ask for the vehicle's reg number and the 11-digit number on the V5C.

 

What MOT Classes Can I Print a Duplicate Certificate For?

You can print a duplicate MOT certificate for any Class 1 - 7 vehicle. This covers the following vehicles:

  • All motorcycles
  • All 3-wheeled vehicles
  • Cars
  • Caravans
  • Minibuses
  • Goods vehicles over 3,000 kg up to 3,500 kg.

The only exceptions are Heavy Good Vehicles (HGVs) and Private Service Vehicles (PSVs).

 

blue and green double decker coach parked on tarmac at sunset

A private ambulance or a coach (as above) are just two examples of what is classed as a private hire vehicle in the UK

 

How Do I Get a Duplicate Certificate for an HGV or PSV?

You must fill out form VTG59 if you've lost the documents for an HGV. This allows you to apply for replacement HGV plating and testing documents. You should include any damaged documents with your application and you can send the completed form by post or online.

To apply for duplicate documentation for a PSV, you must fill out form VTP6. This allows you to apply for a replacement PSV annual test or fitness certificate. Again, you can send the completed form online or by post.

 

Do I Need an MOT Certificate?

Yes, every vehicle requires a valid MOT certificate by law at all times. You can be fined £1,000 for driving with no MOT and a further £2,500 if your vehicle is found to be dangerous or unroadworthy. The only exception to this rule is if you are on your way to a pre-booked MOT appointment.

While you always need an MOT certificate, you don't need to have a paper copy. All the information about your car is available online and every UK MOT centre has access to the DVLA database. This means that you don't need to take a paper copy of your certificate to an MOT appointment. However, if you're looking to sell your vehicle, having access to a paper MOT certificate is a much quicker way to prove its roadworthiness.

But while a paper copy might be nice to have, it is no longer essential.

 

How Much is a Replacement MOT Certificate?

It's free to print your replacement certificate from the Government website. As so many duplicate certificates are issued each year, it saves drivers an estimated £6 million a year!

An MOT centre can charge you up to £10 for printing a duplicate MOT certificate. If you're applying for replacement HGV or PSV documents, you must pay a larger fee. These fees are available on the Government website and depend on the type of vehicle you own.

 

When Does My MOT Expire?

Your MOT certificate clearly states your MOT expiry date. You can also find out when your MOT expires through the Government service or with our free MOT checker. Just enter your reg number to instantly receive your MOT expiry date and the option to book your next MOT. You can book your test up to a year in advance and you will keep the same expiry date for next year if it is within one month, minus a day, of the expiry date.

For example, an MOT expiry date of July 25th 2022 can be booked at any time from now until that date. You can have the MOT test between June 26th and July 25th 2022 to ensure your expiry date for 2023 is still July 25th.

 

 

Recap

It's easier than ever to replace a lost or damaged MOT certificate. While you no longer need a paper copy, you can enter your reg number and the 11-digit number on your V5C into the official Government service to print a duplicate certificate for free. Alternatively, you can visit any UK MOT centre and ask them to do it for you. This can cost up to £10.