Do I Need to Keep Old MOT Certificates?

Along with your paper copy, the DVSA keeps an electronic record of your MOT test certificate. Whilst this electronic record will be used by police during any driving offences, it is highly recommended that you also keep your paper copy safe for certain circumstances.

One of the most significant times you'll need the paper copy of your MOT test certificate is when you are planning on selling your car. Any prospective buyer will need to see the most recent certificate as evidence of the car being roadworthy at the time of purchase, as the general public cannot access these digital records.

It is also important to have the paper certificate in the event of an accident or insurance claim. Your claim is likely to be affected if you don't have this paper certificate handy, which could mean you lose out on a significant amount of money, especially in the event of an injury.

Accidents happen, so if you have lost or damaged your current MOT paper certificate, it can be replaced. A replacement is available at any MOT centre, and you'll need to provide the original MOT test number, or the V5C document reference number (which can be found on your V5C certificate).

The centre is likely to charge you a fee of up to £10 for this replacement.

An MOT certificate is usually valid for one year after you’ve had an MOT test completed on your vehicle. You can find this date on your certificate or online using our easy checker tool. You can renew your MOT certificate up to a month (minus a day) before it runs out and your renewal date will remain the same.

The short answer: no. If your car is over three years old, the law dictates it must undergo an MOT test. This is annual, and can be taken up to one calendar month prior to the last test date. The only circumstances during which you can legally drive the car on public roads after this date is to the test centre, and to an area for repairs should they be needed.

Without a certificate, you'll also be unable to renew your road tax. Without road tax, your car is also illegal to drive on public roads and property. If you've forgotten your MOT renewal date, try our handy tool, "When is my MOT due?" to find out when you'll need to renew your MOT.