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Legal guide to UK motoring, sections for law enforcement, Driver licensing, learner and new drivers, buying and selling, speeding fines, owning a vehicle, wheel clamping, traffic information.

Computerisation of the MOT scheme

Work is currently underway to computerise the paperwork related to the MOT testing scheme. The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) is carrying out the work in partnership with Siemens Business Services.

Why change?

The system is changing because VOSA needs to:

improve testing standards by:

  • providing accurate, up-to-date information for the MOT testing stations
  • collecting better information
  • monitoring test standards more closely
  • improving the quality of MOT documents

reduce theft and fraud associated with MOT certificates by:

  • closer monitoring
  • tighter control of certificates
  • reducing dependence on paper certificates

improve administration by:

  • passing information to and from garages electronically
  • automatically collecting and updating information
  • providing electronic ordering and payment systems
  • improving the way records are kept

improve consumer protection and confidence in the MOT test by:

  • ensuring more consistent standards
  • enabling the general public to check if a vehicle passed or failed an MOT
  • improving protection and making it easier to detect fraud

The change involves all 18,500 MOT testing stations. They will be provided with PCs, monitors and printers and connected to a central database of vehicle information, test results and details of authorised examiners and testers. Access to the system will be for authorised users via electronic smart cards and a password.

The MOT computerisation software is still being developed, it will then need to be extensively trialled and tested. Only once this has been completed to the satisfaction of both VOSA and the trade will it be given to all vehicle testing stations. This will commence in late 2004 and will take around six months to complete.

So what does this mean to you?

You will not notice any difference when you take your vehicle for a test, except that the MOT certificate will be in a new format. However, the details of the test will be recorded on the database at the same time as your documents are produced.

For motorists the main feature of the new system is that you can check the MOT status and test history of any vehicle that you own, or are considering buying. You will be able to do this either by calling an enquiry number or by visiting a website. If you are buying a vehicle, you will need the current owners permission.

If there is any doubt about the validity of a test certificate, the system will provide you with certain key details of information including recorded mileage and any advisory items found at the time of the MOT test.

The facility to check the MOT history of the vehicle will provide full test details for all the tests undertaken on the vehicle since the system was computerised. It is hoped that this will encourage motorists to obtain the test history of vehicles before buying so they can make a more informed judgement.

If you have any further queries about MOT computerisation call the MOT enquiry line on 0845 600 5977 (calls charged at local rate).

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