Northern Ireland MOT Test

The Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) is the Northern Island MOT booking centre this is not the same as in Mainland Britain where you can go into any approved MOT test centre to have your vehicle MOT’d in NI it is only the DVA who control the bookings at the MOT TEST Centres, you book direct with DVANI for a time slot,you pay and you get a number for the test centre you have selected if for some reason you miss the appointment you have to book again if your vehicle passes the test you get a disc similar to a tax disc in Mainland Britain the MOT certificate is different with no adviseries on it the. DVA according to a spokesperson are in the process of designing a new certificate


Cars and motorcycles
The Ministry of Transport test is an annual test of car safety. Since 1 April 1996, all cars and motorcycles that are four years old or over have to undergo an annual MOT test.
From 30 September 2013, motor cars, motorcycles and light goods vehicles manufactured or registered before 1960 will be exempt from the mandatory MOT test.

Light goods vehicles (LGVs) less than 3,500kg
From 1 April 1996, all light goods vehicles with an unladen weight up to and including 3,500Kgs must be tested on the third anniversary of registration and every year afterwards.

Heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) more than 3,500kg
Heavy goods vehicles must be tested every year after registration

2,3,4 axle trailerTrailers with a maximum mass exceeding, 3,500kgs must be tested 1 year after they were first sold or supplied and every year after.

Buses/coaches/large passenger carrying vehicles (LPCVs)
A bus/coach/LPCV is due to be tested on the first anniversary of registration and then every year afterwards if the vehicle is one year old or more. This is subject to it not being used for hire or reward and being built to carry more than eight passengers in addition to the driver

Click here for information about Metered Smoke Test (Diesel)


Who carries out the test?

Our trained staff carry out the test.

What vehicles must be tested?

Private cars and motorcycles 4 years old and over. Buses, lorries and taxis undergo different tests.

Are any vehicles exempt?

Yes - see the list below.

Why have a vehicle test?

The test is important for road safety. It gives an independent assurance that a vehicle is fit for the road at the time of the test. The list opposite shows what the test covers.

When is the test due?

For vehicles first registered anywhere in the UK, the test is due on the fourth anniversary of registration and then every year afterwards.

For vehicles that have never been registered or have been previously registered outside the UK, the test is due on the fourth anniversary of its manufacture and then every year afterwards.


How do I apply for the test?

By telephone
You may book a test by telephone. Call 0845 247 2471 (calls charged at local rate, calls are recorded for quality assurance purposes.) When making a telephone booking you do not need an
application form but it is advisable to have your log book, current test certificate and credit/debit card details handy when making the call.

By post

You may book a test by post. You will need to complete an application form and send it with the appropriate fee to the vehicle test centre (see list overleaf) at which you would like the test to be carried out.

At the counter
You may book a test in person at any vehicle test centre (see list overleaf). When making a booking in person you do not need an application form but it is advisable to have your logbook and current test certificate details when making the booking.

The Belfast centre is open for booking from 9.00 to 4.00, Monday to Friday.
All other centres are open from 8.45 to 12.30 and 1.15 to 4.00, Monday to Friday.

On line

Booking on line is available at the following website:

Do I need to apply in advance?

Yes. You should preferably apply about 4 weeks, but not more than three months, beforehand. We can issue a new test certificate up to 28 days before the current certificate expires. It will be dated from the current certificate’s expiry date, as long as you inform the examiner and produce the previous certificate at the time of test.

How much does the test cost?

You can get information on fees on a 24-hour phone line, (08457) 581416. All calls are charged at local rates.

How quickly can I get a test?
We try to offer test appointments quickly, but we cannot meet requests for specified times. Tell us on the form which dates or times suit you.

Can I get an urgent appointment?
We will try to help. Contact us on 0845 247 2471

Can I cancel my test appointment?
Yes, provided you give 1 clear day’s notice.
Clear days exclude Saturday, Sunday and public and bank holidays. Easter Tuesday counts as a public holiday but Good Friday does not. These days also exclude the date on which you tell us you wish to cancel and the date of the test.

if you wish to cancel a Tuesday appointment you must tell us by the previous Friday. We will only refund the fee if you give enough notice of the cancellation.


What should I do before the test?

Make sure the vehicle is roadworthy with all its equipment working. It must be in a reasonably clean condition externally and internally, otherwise we may refuse the test and you would lose your fee.

What should I do when I arrive at the test centre?
Your appointment letter tells you which inspection lane number to go to. You will see equivalent numbers at the test centre. Drive to that lane number and wait. We will then ask you to drive your vehicle into the centre for inspection.


What happens if the vehicle passes?
We give a Vehicle Test Certificate (commonly referred to as an MOT certificate), valid for 12 months, to the driver at the test centre. Keep it safe.

What happens if the vehicle fails the test?
You will get an inspection record sheet/notification of refusal listing the faults, and a retest application form. We charge reduced fees for retest applications if we receive them within 21
days of the full test.

Loss of certificate
If you lose your certificate, apply for a duplicate.
Use this form but only complete sections 1, 2, 5, 6 and 8.
Send your application and fee to our HQ.
Alternatively, you can apply via our telephone booking on 0845 247 2471.

Change of ownership
If the vehicle is re-registered because of a change in registration or ownership, your certificate remains valid.

If I do not have a vehicle test certificate, can I use the vehicle?
No – unless it is being driven to or from the test centre.


Can I appeal against the examiners decision?
Yes. You can appeal within 14 days of the decision. You can get appeal forms from test centres. You must pay another fee.

What happens if I appeal?

The vehicle will be re-examined and you will be asked about repairs etc, since the test. You must produce the inspection record sheet/notification of refusal and registration book. If the examiner allows the appeal, we will issue a test certificate.
If there are good reasons for the appeal, we may refund all or part of the fee.

How do I complain?

If you are not satisfied with the service you receive, you can use our complaints procedure. Please ask at the test centre for details. If you are unhappy about any aspect of our service, please try to resolve it before you leave the test centre.


Goods vehicles.
2 Public service vehicles.
3 Locomotives or motor tractors, ie vehicles
that are not constructed to carry a load.
4 Pedestrian-controlled vehicles.
5 Invalid carriages.
6 Vehicles that have a current test
certificate issued in GB.
7 Vehicles exempt from excise duty
because they are used on public roads only
to get from the owner’s land to other land,
travelling not more than 6 miles a week.
8 Agricultural tractors.
9 Vehicles temporarily in NI.
10 A vehicle being tested under trade
11 Vehicles on Rathlin Island.
12 Electrically propelled vehicles.

Testable Items

• Vin/no. plates
• Lights
• Direction indicators
• Reflectors
• Windscreen
• Wipers/washers
• Horn
• Brake fluid level
• Electric wiring
• Suspension mountings
• Fuel system
• Speedometer
• Mirrors
• Steering wheel
• Steering column
• Service brake pedal
• Service brake pedal operation
• Handbrake lever
• Seats and seatbelts
• Body work and flooring
• Doors and locks
• Wheels and spokes
• Steering linkage/gear
• Suspension units (condition and attachment)
• Shock absorbers
• Oil leaks
• Engine/transmission mountings
• Transmission
• Exhaust
• Mech. brake components
• Brake wheel units
• Fuel system and components
• Brake system and components
• Underbody/chassis condition
• Tyres
• Hubs/bearings
• Lights/headlight alignment
• Service brake test
• Handbrake test
• Exhaust emission
• Road test (if necessary)

All information coutesy of Driver & Vehicle Agency N.I.

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