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A new way to sign into the MOT testing service

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Changes to the MOT test, Features, News and updates

In December 2020, we told you about a new secure way to log into the MOT testing system (MTS) via your smartphone.

If you don’t have a smartphone, you can still log in by email or with your existing security card.

Chris Price, Head of MOT policy, takes a closer look.

From mid-February 2021, you will be able to log into MTS using an authentication app on your smartphone.

Once the app is set up, you only need to authenticate once a day, which will make it easier to access MTS.

The system will remember certain details when the authentication takes place. If any of these change, the system prompts you to authenticate again, much like a bank does.

So, if you change site location, such as visiting another garage, the system will prompt you to authenticate again.

As we rollout the app, we will stop issuing replacement and new security cards. So, from mid-February if you lose or damage your security card it won’t be replaced. From then, you will be able to login to MTS via email or by using the authentication app.

Once you’ve set up the app you will no longer be able to use the security card.

Why is this happening?

We’re making these changes to improve MTS security and make it easier to use.

Only having to authenticate once a day using the app or email will make accessing MTS quicker. Plus, new users won’t have to wait for a card before they can access the service.

When we spoke to testers about the changes, over half of them told us their preferred security method is to use an app.

How to set up the app

When the app goes live, these screens will be visible on MTS:

Step 1

Download and install an authentication app to your device, for example Authy or Microsoft authenticator. These can be found by searching online or on the App store.

Select ‘Set up authentication app’ in your MTS profile.

Sign in with an authentication app image

Step 2

You will be asked to confirm you have an app installed on your device.

Do you have an authentication app on your smartphone image

Step 3

Using the camera on your device, scan the QR barcode in MTS and the app will generate a 6-digit code for you to input.

MFA security code QR code

Step 4

Set up is now complete, and the app can be used to generate a 6-digit code each time you need to sign into your account.

Your account is set up image

Can I still login using my security card or via email?

Existing users will still be able to sign in via email or by using a security card, as long as the card is still working.

Once the app is set up, this replaces your security card.

New users will not have an option to apply for a security card. Login will be via app or by email.

What happens next?

Authentication by app will go live from mid-February and we will let you know before this happens.

As we rollout the app, we will remove the option for MTS users to order a new or replacement security card.

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  1. Comment by mercedes posted on

    i had too get my son in law too down load microsoft authy app these kids make us oldies look silly but thats it done know hope the rest is easy

  2. Comment by Ellis Bonser posted on

    I can’t see an option on My Profile that says ‘Set up authentication app’

  3. Comment by Nigel posted on

    I am freelance tester and only assigned to a station when required to test, how do I get the relevant codes if I’m not assigned to a testing station.

    • Replies to Nigel>

      Comment by Julia (DVSA) posted on

      It’s not about the station you’re assigned to. This change relates to how you generate your security code when signing into MTS so you can continue to use your security card while it still works, use the app or email.

  4. Comment by Rui Neves posted on

    I've got through about 5 cards in 5 years ,they just stop working , I can log on up to 20 a day with retest etc.
    My little fingers welcome the change .

  5. Comment by Marc posted on

    Wot is the app name we need to download? Tryed mts in app nothing there?

    • Replies to Marc>

      Comment by Julia (DVSA) posted on

      The blog posts suggests apps you can use - take a look at Step 1 for suggestions. Then you need to follow the 4 steps. There isn’t a DVSA or MOT specific app on the internet for this.

  6. Comment by Kevin Braddock posted on

    Will I be able to use the app on two computers in the workshop ?

    • Replies to Kevin Braddock>

      Comment by Julia (DVSA) posted on

      The app is installed onto one device (phone or tablet) - this is then linked to your MTS profile and can be used when signing into MTS using whichever computer you choose.Changing computers through the day may require reauthenticating.

  7. Comment by Keith lang posted on

    If I put Authy in to my App Store search it’s comes up with loads will you be publishing a list of apps that would be the best /most reliable to use ?

    • Replies to Keith lang>

      Comment by Julia (DVSA) posted on

      No, you will need to choose one yourself as we are not recommending any in particular. Our blog post gives suggestions.

  8. Comment by Leigh Yapp posted on

    In the event that you change or loose your phone with the app on - what do you do?

  9. Comment by Shaz posted on

    I can understand obtaining code via app but Could you explain code via email, how will this work? And is still same as app...only obtain it once a day?

    • Replies to Shaz>

      Comment by bert posted on

      you request a code and dvsa send you an email with a code (email address on you profile) normally only needed once a day

      • Replies to bert>

        Comment by Shal posted on

        Thanks for response but How do I request a code? If I don’t have an app.

        • Replies to Shal>

          Comment by bert posted on

          when you go to log in it will say requested log in code, just click on it

        • Replies to Shal>

          Comment by Robby Boy posted on

          Shal after entering your user name and password there is an option on the security card pin page to sign in with email rather than the security pin, you click the message and a pin is sent to you via email. Hope that helps.

        • Replies to Shal>

          Comment by Julia (DVSA) posted on

          As the blog explains if you don’t have an app you can continue to use your security card while it still works or sign in with email.

  10. Comment by Robert Clark posted on

    I have not had one problem with the security card since they were first issued. I do not see the need for change.

    • Replies to Robert Clark>

      Comment by Ronnie posted on

      Card's cost money Robert

      • Replies to Ronnie>

        Comment by Julia (DVSA) posted on

        That’s correct, cards and processing them is very expensive and cards are often lost, forgotten or broken. This change will make it quicker and easier for users.

        • Replies to Julia (DVSA)>

          Comment by Ronnie posted on

          I've got a wallet full of cards that are probably older than you Julia

    • Replies to Robert Clark>

      Comment by Carlton posted on

      The only problem I had was I lost my first card, on my second and that is 6 years old too.

    • Replies to Robert Clark>

      Comment by Chris posted on

      You've been very lucky then Robert. I'm on about my 6th or 7th card. Sometimes the screen goes off too quickly so you don't get time to read the code, or the LCD goes down and you can only read half the numbers. The cards have been very poor quality, especially as they were meant to of been tested to destruction!!!
      This is probably the reason for the change as it must be costing a fortune to keep replacing the faulty cards.

    • Replies to Robert Clark>

      Comment by bert posted on

      because it called moving with the times, and makes life a lot easier

  11. Comment by Steven Glazebrook posted on

    Thank god for that am sick a logging on 15 times a day it drives ya mad , nice one

  12. Comment by Ronnie posted on

    Julia I prefer the card's but then again useing a pen and the embosing stamps wasent a chore either my question is this I have a kindle and no smart phone I have a e mail address to my profile can I I link it up to that ???

    • Replies to Ronnie>

      Comment by Julia (DVSA) posted on

      Yes, if you can access your email account and provider via that device that would be fine to use.

  13. Comment by Paul S posted on

    It is a nuisance!
    Using the email facility on just one computer, card went down in November, and an authenticity code is required several times during a day & it ain't to do with my password or email.
    Go figure.

    • Replies to Paul S>

      Comment by bert posted on

      when ever i've needed to use email to log in i've only need it once a day,

  14. Comment by Martyn Reeve posted on

    I also work as a Teacher, and access my College account though my smartphone. I installed the Authentication app, but found it immediately defaulted to my College account, and I am having trouble (at the moment) persuading it that I want to use a second account! For the time being I have shelved playing with it, but will have another go when I've got a spare three or four hours...

    • Replies to Martyn Reeve>

      Comment by Julia (DVSA) posted on

      Try using a different email address.

      • Replies to Julia (DVSA)>

        Comment by Cass posted on

        Hi Julia con explain how to get app and where can get a barcode please

        • Replies to Cass>

          Comment by Julia (DVSA) posted on

          The blog post explains how to find an app to download. This is all you need to get started. The first step is to 'Download and install an authentication app to your device, for example Authy or Microsoft authenticator. These can be found by searching online or on the App store.'

  15. Comment by bert posted on

    why are there so many comments about not having a smart phone, is my boss going to pay for an upgrade blah blah the article and it clearly says, if not smart device you can log in using an email instead, stop moaning and move on with the times

    • Replies to bert>

      Comment by Carlton posted on

      That also is out of the question, where I am the system only allows access to ‘ permitted ‘ web sites, so accessing YouTube to see how to pull a tail light for a bulb replacement is disallowed as is access to my own personal email, even if I only want to print a time sheet out !
      Helpful indeed ( not ) !

      • Replies to Carlton>

        Comment by bert posted on

        then request to your boss he needs to take off the permissions on your computer,

  16. Comment by Stephen Kean posted on

    Hi. You say logging will only be once a day. We have 3 lanes and 2 computers that we use for mot logging. In the past when my card had died and I've used the email facility I found that I had to request another email each time I used the other computer, which was a nuisance! I presume it's due to the differing ip addresses of the computers. Will this still be the case when using the app?

    • Replies to Stephen Kean>

      Comment by P S posted on

      The only time that happens if you enter your email or password incorrectly.
      We also have 2 computers and use either, we don't have the problem you have.
      If like others I know who are dependent on the 'remember my password' functions on their usual computer they can never remember their details when they have to enter manually elsewhere.

      • Replies to P S>

        Comment by Steve Kean posted on

        All details were entered correctly first time. It may be the way our I.T. Is set up then as our I.T. Guys do seem to have things overly secure..... I do know that the terminals are using fixed ip addresses but I'm far from an expert with these things..

  17. Comment by Methiant posted on

    Wow, how the hell did some of these commenters ever get accredited? They haven’t read the original post, ask questions that have already been answered and don’t have smartphones in 2021. Poor Julia having to deal with these unfortunate people.

  18. Comment by Chris D posted on

    So what happens with new testers, do they set the app up before or after they put their initial training cert details on the system with regards to the procedure to follow prior to requesting a demo test?

    • Replies to Chris D>

      Comment by Julia (DVSA) posted on

      When the user is assigned their first role in MTS, they will set up the authentication option when accepting this role meaning there’s no waiting for cards any more. You request the demo test in the normal way.

  19. Comment by Chris D posted on

    So what happens with new testers ,are they able to set up the app before they are qualified or is it after they load their initial training cert details on the system ?

    • Replies to Chris D>

      Comment by Julia (DVSA) posted on

      New testers will enter their qualifications as normal and will then set up the authentication methods as part of accepting the tester's role process in MTS. There’s no more waiting for cards to be processed and delivered.

  20. Comment by Austin Newman posted on

    If an Mot station cannot or will not supply a tablet for use by their staff to benefit the business then they need to close the doors and go home. A tablet cost £200 (that`s 4 Mots at £50) Techs then can have vehicle technical data, lubricant look ups, and everything that helps fix todays vehicles at their finger tips.

  21. Comment by KB posted on

    Well done Julie for fielding these questions! A medal deserved I think 🙂
    Just one more tho, after having endless problems signing in to accounts because of authentication by text message not working with no mobile signal, they finally introduced verification by an app called ‘Authenticator’ which works like a dream, why would another .gov department choose a different one? ...or are they a bit generic and I can use the same app maybe...

    • Replies to KB>

      Comment by Julia (DVSA) posted on

      If you are satisfied with how your smart phone app works you can link this app onto your MTS account to generate your security code. It also doesn’t use your data and works with no mobile phone signal.

  22. Comment by Ian posted on

    About time
    Just need to be able to photograph reg and chassis
    Now and make it really easy to log a test

  23. Comment by Mark posted on

    It sounds great but we shouldn't have to use any of out personal email addresses or phone for work use. Mobile phones in the workplace are just a distraction and a won't help with fraud you will still be able to log on anywhere

    • Replies to Mark>

      Comment by Craig posted on

      I agree ,I have always discouraged the use of mobile phones at work as they are a distraction , suddenly I am expected to approve the use of them ,where do you draw the line with them a tester can have one but workers can’t ??

      • Replies to Craig>

        Comment by Julia (DVSA) posted on

        Users signing in with the app authenticate once a day as long as their sign in details remain the same. So for most this will usually mean essential access to their mobile phone app will be just once through that day, normally at the start of the first test.

  24. Comment by G posted on

    Can I download the app on more than one device ?

    • Replies to G>

      Comment by Julia (DVSA) posted on

      No, you can only have one device/app linked to your profile.

      • Replies to Julia (DVSA)>

        Comment by Jay posted on

        So what happens if and when we upgrade/change the device the app is held on?

        • Replies to Jay>

          Comment by MLB posted on

          Well. Clearly, you disable/uninstall the app on old outgoing device and install/enable on new device.

  25. Comment by Roger Budgeon posted on

    We have a problem because there no mobile signal here, except a weak one on Vodafone only if you are outside the building, the other networks have no coverage, so will the email option be permanent?
    Also one of our testers doesn't have a Smart Phone and another says he won't use his personal phone for business use, so this will present a problem.

    • Replies to Roger Budgeon>

      Comment by Julia (DVSA) posted on

      The email option is permanent. Authentication apps downloaded to your phone continue to work without mobile signal and also do not use your phone data etc.