When is my MOT due?

Last updated by mustard.co.uk on March 23rd, 2021

When your car gets to its third birthday, it’ll need an MOT to make sure it’s roadworthy. If it is, you’ll get an MOT certificate which will need to be renewed every 12 months. If you’re caught without a valid MOT, you could face a fine of up to £1,000 so it’s important not to forget. To ensure you don’t get caught out, here’s how to find out when your MOT is due.

 

How do I check when my MOT is due?

You can check when your MOT is due at GOV.UK, check the MOT status of a vehicle by typing in the number plate. 

From here you’ll be able to find out whether your car is taxed and if it has an MOT. You’ll also be able to see when your MOT expires and when your next car tax (vehicle excise duty) payment is due.

To find out more about what goes on in an MOT test, take a look at our MOT checklist and this video:

How early can I get an MOT?

If you want to keep the same renewal date, the earliest you can arrange an MOT is one month (minus one day) before it expires. For example, if your MOT expires on the 5th June, the earliest you can get an MOT is the 6th May if you want to maintain the original renewal date. 

You can, of course, renew your MOT earlier but this will change the renewal date for the following year to one year (minus one day). For instance, if you decided to get your MOT done on the 4th May (more than one month minus one day) then the expiry date will be 3rd May the following year. 

 

How long is an MOT certificate valid for?

MOT certificates are valid for 12 months and you must have it renewed every year unless your car becomes exempt. 

When you have an MOT done, the expiry date on the new certificate will be 12 months from the expiry date of the old certificate — so long as you only renew it within the one month (minus one day) window.

For example:

  • Your expiry date is 5th June 2021 
  • You have an MOT done on the 6th May 2021

Your new certificate will expire on the 5th June 2022 (12 months from the old certificate’s expiry date)

 

Can I drive without an MOT?

Generally speaking, no.  If your car is more than three years old (and is not exempt) it must have an MOT.

The only time you can drive without an MOT is if you are driving to a pre-booked MOT test. Even then, you could be expected to show proof that you’ve got a test booked and you must be driving there by the most direct route. 

If your car fails its MOT, you’ll need to have it repaired to a roadworthy condition before you can take it back out on the road.

Related: Driving without an MOT – What you need to know

What happens if I forget my MOT?

If you’ve forgotten to arrange an MOT, you should stop driving the car straight away and book one as soon as possible. 

Remember — driving without an MOT can be dangerous and it can also result in a hefty fine. It can also invalidate your car insurance which also carries a fine, penalty points and in some cases, it can lead to a driving ban. 

 

Can I set a reminder for my MOT due date?

Yes, you can set up an MOT reminder so you don’t have to worry about missing the renewal date. You can do this at GOV.UK, get MOT reminders

All you need is the number plate of the car you want the reminder for and a mobile phone number or email address. If you have a car, van or motorbike you’ll be sent a reminder one month before your current MOT is due to run out. For bigger vehicles, reminders will be sent out two months before. 

The service is free and you can unsubscribe at any time. 

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