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Advertisement: MOT Certification – What to do when the garage didn’t register your certificate

A mechanic works on a car
Photo by Sten Rademaker on Unsplash

Your MOT certificate is an important document that certifies that your car is roadworthy and legally compliant with the UK’s road regulations. Getting it can be a pain: you have to come up with the time and money to pay for the test, hold back sufficient funds to pay for any potential repairs, and generally inconvenience yourself in a minor way to earn the certificate. But what happens if your garage doesn’t register your MOT certificate on the internal Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency system? Let’s take a look at some hypothetical case studies before you take steps to avoid any of the worst case scenarios:

Worst Case Scenario

Unscrupulous MOT inspectors have taken the maximum £54.85 fee (chargeable for standard passenger vehicles, fees for other vehicles, such as buses, taxis or motorcycles vary), but they claim to have lost your fee, or that there was a problem processing your payment: you will have to pay them (again) in order for them to go ahead with the MOT inspection. Criminality like this is severely frowned upon and the MOT inspection station and the inspector will lose their licences to practice.

The Case for Incompetence

An inexperienced MOT station might not have a solid system that ensures that vehicles are MOT tested once the test fee has been paid, or that the test results are correctly uploaded to the DVLA system once it is done. In this situation, you might receive an alert (from your insurers, for example) letting you know that your MOT certificate has expired and no new results are currently showing – you might also be pulled over by the police because of the lack of a valid MOT. Obviously, this will alert you to the issue, so you return to the garage to find out what is going on. Most MOT inspection stations are well aware of the strict regulations governing them, and they will work with you to fix the problem sooner, rather than later, for example; Elite Direct Ltd is a garage which guarantees a meticulous MOT testing experience in London, providing unparalleled service to keep your vehicle in top condition.  Moreover, always hold onto your receipt when you pay for these legal requirements: in a case of your word versus theirs, it is always best to have whatever proof you can lay your hands on.

An Innocent Error

The final case study considers whether it is possible for a conscientious and careful MOT inspection station to take your money and send you safely back on the road, but apparently without a valid certification. Surprisingly, the answer is ‘yes’. But reassuringly, it is vanishingly rare and would require a combination of the ‘right’ kind of errors to occur in a chain – for example if there is a glitch in the technology that seems to accept the result and prints off a facsimile of the certificate, but fails to actually make the connection. In this case, a good garage will actively work with you to find out what has gone wrong and fix it as best they can – and, to be safe, they will check with all the other MOT customers they had that day, so you might even only learn of the issue when they get in touch to explain that they have fixed it!

Most of these issues shouldn’t happen as the process is largely automated, but things do sometimes go wrong. It is best to be suspicious (but not accusatory) until you are sure one way or the other. If you are in any doubt, report them to the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency so other drivers don’t face the same problems.