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Encouraging motorists to view their MOT certificate online

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: MOT testing service, News and updates

Between April 2022 and March 2023, you collectively carried out about 34.5 million light MOTs. And that uses up a lot of paper.    

If every test had an A4 certificate printed out, those pieces of paper would:  

  • cover an area the size of 295 Wembley Stadium pitches  
  • stretch 4,500 miles if they were placed end-to-end  

 In fact, it would take 13,800 boxes of A4 paper to print that many certificates. And it takes more than 4,000 trees to create that much new paper.   

In this blog post I want to explain what we’re doing to reduce this amount of paper and how you can help us achieve this.  

Image showing how much paper the MOT uses. E.g 295 wembley pitches, 4,500 miles of paper and over 4000


Setting our vision for 2025

Our strategic plan to 2025 sets out our ambition within the MOT to:

  • improve how we use technology and automation in the test
  • make the MOT slicker
  • provide better information for customers
  • minimise opportunities for fraud

I blogged about our proposed move to paperless certificates in August, sharing the work we’d been doing with our user research team, alongside our review of the paper we ask you to store and print within the MOT.

The benefits of reducing printing

We’re still reviewing the findings of this paper review and considering where we can best make use of our current digital services. But we want to start to move forwards with our plans to reduce the amount of MOT certificates being printed.

It will:

  • save MOT testing businesses money by using less paper and printer ink or toner
  • be better for the environment
  • reflect the way some customers are already using our online service

Reducing the use of paper over the last few years

Back in January 2021 we made it optional for you to issue a paper record of the emissions test to the customer if the vehicle passes the emissions test.

Then in September 2021 we made it optional for you issue a paper MOT pass certificate - but we asked you to continue issuing paper fail certificates.

Reviewing our policy on printing

Since then we’ve reviewed our policy, and we think it’s now the time to start going further.  So we’re now giving you the flexibility to not issue a paper fail certificate if the customer is able and willing to view the vehicle’s MOT record and history online.

You can still offer a paper fail certificate to your customers for complex or multiple failures so that it’s clear exactly what they need to do to fix the vehicle.

However, if the customer would prefer to look at this information online using the MOT history service, that’s fine. We want them to be able to choose what works best for them.

Also consider if issuing a PRS pass then no need to print the fail at all.  It’s the next step in moving to a paperless MOT system.

Emissions test record

For now, you’ll still need to issue a printed emissions test record if the vehicle fails the emissions test.

Ask, encourage and explain

The easiest thing to do is to ask your customers whether they want a paper copy of their MOT certificate or if they’re happy viewing it online when they drop their vehicle off. They’ll then know what to expect when they collect it.

In some cases, if the vehicle does not have any advisories or if there are minor advisories, it makes more sense to suggest the customer views this information online.

We know many MOT centres are sending more and more paperwork to customers by email to help lower printing costs, so this could be something you’d like to consider if customers want a copy of their certificate.

We understand that there will always be customers who want a paper copy of their certificate to drive away with, so we’re not going to stop you from being able to print certificates. But it’s important we make small changes where we can.

What to consider before printing

MOT result  MOT certificate  Emissions test record 
Pass with no defects or advisories  Recommend the customer can view the MOT test result and history online - provide a certificate if they ask for one.  Ask the customer if they want a paper record. 
Pass with minor defects or advisories  Explain the defects or advisories and suggest the customer can view the MOT test result and history online - provide a certificate if they ask for one.  Ask the customer if they want a paper record. 
Fail with emissions pass  Offer a paper certificate, but explain they do not need it if they intend to check the MOT test result online.  Ask the customer if they want a paper record. 
Fail with emissions fail  Offer a paper certificate, but explain they do not need it if they intend to check the MOT test result online.  You must issue a paper emissions test record. 

The best place to check MOT test results and history is GOV.UK

We’ve been promoting our MOT history service since it launched back in 2015. We’re really pleased that it is the third most used online government service this year.

As we move towards a paperless system, we’re going to promote the service more and more on our social media channels.

We’ll be spreading the word that the best place to check a vehicle’s MOT test result and history is on GOV.UK – not  a paper certificate. It’s more secure, always up to date and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Updating our content

We’ve also reviewed the language we use across our web pages. We’ll be removing references to ‘printing’ and “storing paper copies of certificates” and signposting people to our MOT history service where they can view a copy of their vehicle’s record instead.

Promoting paperless certificates

Over the next few months, we’ll be sharing the message across our social media channels and through the media so that as many people as possible will know about the changes before they book their MOT.

Ultimately, we know how important it is to do our bit for the environment and this will help bring the service in line with other services across the world. It’s getting rarer to find a business these days that will automatically print out and hand you a receipt without asking first, and in the grand scheme of things, an MOT certificate is a type of receipt.

We’re confident that this change will cause little to no disruption to you and your business, and in the long run, save you money and time.

Making sure you’re equipped

To help you have these conversations with customers and explain to them why they might not receive a paper copy of their MOT result we’ve created a toolkit for you. It’s got our key messages in, suggested social media and website content and some graphic images. It also includes some printable posters that you can pin to your notice boards.

Download 'Encouraging motorists to view their MOT certificate online: toolkit' (PDF, 6MB).


The posters, graphics and email banner are available for you to download below.

Preview Posters
View your MOT online poster colour “View your MOT result online” (Colour - PNG, 410KB)
View your MOT online black & white poster “View your MOT result online” (Black and White - PNG, 80KB)
“Think do you need a paper copy?" (Colour - JPEG, 1MB)
“Think – do you need a paper copy?” (Black and White - JPEG, 86KB)


Preview Graphics for your social media or website
Don't wait for a paper copy - view your MOT results online graphic "Don't wait for a paper copy - view your MOT results online" (Purple Vertical - PNG, 202KB)
Don't wait for a paper copy - view you rMOT results online navy blue graphic "Don't wait for a paper copy - view your MOT results online" (Blue - PNG, 196KB)
View your vehicle's record securely online blue graphic "View your vehicle's record securely online at..." (Light Blue - PNG, 218KB)
Save waste by viewing your MOT result digitally "Save waste by viewing your MOT result digitally" (PNG, 226KB)
Your vehicle history in one place landscape graphic "Your vehicle history in one place" (PNG, 101KB)
Save paper and waste landscape graphic "Save paper and waste" (PNG, 172KB)
"Save waste by viewing your MOT result digitally" (PNG, 117KB)
"View your vehicle's record securely online at..." (Dark Blue - PNG, 110KB)
Don't wait for a paper copy - view your MOT results online landscape graphic "Don't wait for a paper copy - view your MOT results online" (Purple Horizontal - PNG, 110KB)


Preview Email banner
"We're no longer printing MOT certificates as standard" (Blue - PNG, 124KB)


Let us know what you think

As ever, we want to hear your thoughts and ideas on how we can continue to support you in your role, so please do leave us a comment below.

Sharing and comments

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  1. Comment by John L posted on

    Do you want a discussion on here or not? My comment regarding Error 15 on MOT history - blocking by your over-sensitive bot-checker - is yet to appear after several days.

  2. Comment by Simon R posted on

    Not sure why my comment from the other day hasn't been posted yet, but the QR codes on the above resources are a complete waste of time!! If a customer uses it upon collection of their vehicle rather than issuing a paper certificate it takes them to the page which shows tax and MOT status. It says this page can take up to 5 days to be updated. I've tried it twice now after we have completed a test and it still shows expired MOT. Please sort it out, until then we will still be printing certificates as proof the MOT has actually been carried out.

  3. Comment by mark mitchell posted on

    i bet you this will be a question next year in the exam on when you should give a customer a copy off a mot and when not too

  4. Comment by Martin posted on

    Just be polite take the paperwork and dispose of it at home and stop embarrassing the receptionist.
    You would not like it if they would not tell you the result of the test and said
    'look it up when you get home' .
    Manners cost nothing.

  5. Comment by John L posted on

    MOT history has succumbed to the Error 15 problem. Please investigate. I've cleared cookies etc. It doesn't work for me on an android phone either, even when not going through the home wifi. If your software thinks I'm a bot there's not a lot I can do about that from this end . Below is after clicking 'Start now' for MOT history:

    Access denied
    Error 15
    2023-12-12 19:31:19 UTC
    What happened?
    This request was blocked by our security service
    Your IP:
    Proxy IP: (ID 101581-100)
    Incident ID: 1581001390019335989-8408699960632004

  6. Comment by Simon R posted on

    Ive printed off the sign in this blog with the QR code for customers to scan and put it on the MOT notice board. A customer has just been in to collect a vehicle after an MOT test and I encouraged him to scan the QR code rather than me give him a paper copy. Guess what happened, it still showed this years expiry date!! So I had to print him a paper certificate to prove we had done it. Rather embarrassing for us, luckily he was a regular customer understood. If it was a new customer they might not have been so understanding.
    I'll continue to print them for the time being I think!

  7. Comment by Richard posted on

    The problem with not issuing a paper vt 30 is if the vehicle gets booked in for repairs, then there is no copy of the failure on hand to attach to the job sheet, so in the end we'll be printing a copy off anyway.

  8. Comment by Andrew Willoughby posted on

    As a customer in his seventies I welcome this change to not give a paper certificate. For years I have been given the A4 certificate, and an A4 emissions read-out, and an A4 receipt. I pay by card, leave the paperwork with the garage and go home. The garage never quite understood, but I never wanted anything on paper. All the info is on my computer at home.

    But I can see that somehow the receptionist needs to know whether my car passed. At the moment she passes me the certificate and reading that certificate, she knows to either tell me it has passed or it has not. I wouldn't like to pay and walk out without knowing.... did it pass?

  9. Comment by Kevan Chippindall-Higgin posted on

    I keep records of both emissions and MoT certificates as a means of proving the vehicle's history. Emissions print outs are particularly useful and as far as I am aware, are not available on line.

    To suggest that printing two pieces of paper will significantly impact costs is truly absurd. A ream of 500 sheets of paper costs under £5. This is a penny a sheet. The ink will be a fraction of that.

    I happen to like pieces of paper. Apart from anything else, I need a hard copy if I take the car overseas as part of its documentation and the important part is that the certificate is signed with a real pen, leaving dents in the paper. This proves authenticity to foreign police.

    By all means go paperless for those who want it, but paperless should be the opt in. The default should be paper for both documents.

  10. Comment by Richard posted on

    I assume that Neil Barlow works for the DVSA? For clarity, I wonder if Neil could just clarify what it says in the MOT Testing Guide rather than just referring to it in a rather wolly manner.
    The way I am reading this blog is that there appears to be lots of advice given to posters of questions inferring that there is no longer the need to print and retain emissions records for 3 months because the results are available online or on the machine hard drive.
    This is misleading people who may be under the impression that because they have a 'modern' emissions machine, Neil's words (what is the definition of modern) that they fall into this category!
    What the Testing Guide actually says is that 'Emissions records must be retained for 3 months from all test results, including all BET tests & must include all relevant vehicle details. Digitally stored emissions records are acceptable if the data is readily retrievable upon request.'
    So basically, ignore the advice given biased towards the paperless agenda...if you can't recall emissions test results for all of your MOT'S going back 3 months from your emissions machine then you're going to have to continue to print them out and retain then just like before.
    That's unless DVSA re-writes the MOT Testing Guide to state otherwise.

    • Replies to Richard>

      Comment by Neil Barlow (DVSA) posted on

      Thanks for the post Richard.

      As below, I think we have clarified any answers that were not as clear as they could be.

      As I have said, the blog is really about the provision of paperwork to the public - but comments seems to have deviated to matters of all of other paper. That is fine, but let's try not to lose the original purpose of the blog - although it is great that we have broader interest in reducing paper use than just that provided to the public.

      And of course that is good advice to check whether your emissions does retain records - that could avoid some unnecessary printing and filing.

  11. Comment by Borely posted on

    This makes complete sense we all have a active duty to protect the environment so going paperless makes a lot of sense because most customers that I carry out an MOT for, I advise that they can view their MOT certificate online and we do find out a lot more. Customers are inclined to view it online, but there is a downfall where there’s an older customer whom isn’t too familiar with the technology at hand now, so we do tend to print out a certificate for them, moving forward. I do think this is a brilliant idea and we should all implement it.

    • Replies to Borely>

      Comment by Neil Barlow (DVSA) posted on

      Thanks Borely. We know some garages may take a while to adapt and it may not work for all customers, but feels a step in the right direction.

  12. Comment by Simon R posted on

    Please can you clarify whether electronically stored emission records are fine for connected emission machines?
    Below I have copied and pasted a question from August blog post asking this and a reply from Chris Price (DVSA?) saying that its something that will be allowed in the near future? When might this be allowed as at the moment I am still keeping a paper copy as per the response to this question.

    For VTS's using connected DSM & EGA is there any plans to get rid of the paper copy of the results printout for tests that have passed the emissions? The results are stored on the machine for inspection purposes as well as the results been transferred to MTS

    Replies to James Dixon>
    Comment by Chris Price posted on 31 August 2023

    Hi James, we are in the process of reviewing the use and retention of paper across MOT, but yes for connected equipment and where the data is stored locally we will in the near future permit VTS's to not hold paper copies. Our vehicle examiners will still need to easily access the data either via MTS or locally on emissions machines.

    • Replies to Simon R>

      Comment by Chris Price posted on

      Hi Simon

      Thanks for the question, connected equipment does show us that the vehicle has had an emission test, however it does not currently provide us the measured values of the emissions tests and this something we are working on to surface within MTS.

      It is therefore still best practice to retain the emission results for 3 months, if you have a connected device this will be stored on the machine. This is so you and DVSA can look at that richer data should we need.

  13. Comment by Alan Smith posted on

    Are HGV mots paperless as these are carried out by DVSA staff & if not, are there any plans to implement this please?

    • Replies to Alan Smith>

      Comment by Neil Barlow (DVSA) posted on

      We are moving in the same direction. More updates on HGV/PSV are planned for after Christmas, Basically we will end up with the same policies - and (over time) will also get to the same place on 'Ministry Plates' for HGVs.

  14. Comment by Andy posted on

    The paper copy is the link from the tester to the receptionist to the customer, I cannot imagine as a receptionist speaking to the customer and perhaps pointing out some advisories without a piece of paper to show them, and then giving them the paper to take away and digest.
    I think this will add a break down in communication and make an MOT test seem less important.
    Tell some one the vehicle has passed but there are advisories to view online.

    • Replies to Andy>

      Comment by Adrian Heath posted on

      Absolutely agree with this comment.

    • Replies to Andy>

      Comment by Borley posted on

      This is why you have the check mot page for

    • Replies to Andy>

      Comment by Neil Barlow (DVSA) posted on

      Thanks for the comment Andy.

      We realise that the process in some garages does not make this sort of change straightforward. However, research does show that a lot of customers don't need the paperwork - for example, they may have been advised of the fail over the phone already and asked the garage to do the work to get the pass. And, yes, some customers may want to take some paper away - but many do have access to the internet, and many will be content for someone to explain something on a computer (rather than on a piece of paper).

      It's an interesting point you mention on whether the piece of paper adds value to the MOT 'product'. Again, I think some may think that, but many will understand that the electronic record is the key - like a lot of other valuable things in their lives.

      • Replies to Neil Barlow (DVSA)>

        Comment by Borely Kizamba posted on

        Absolutely, well put forward

  15. Comment by stephen jj driver posted on

    we have a crypton 800 series which automatically prints two copies for petrol cars and one for diesel , what i have been doing is putting the inspection sheet upside down in the printer so its printed on the other side of it. do i need not to do this now even though the emission equipment prints out regardless.

    • Replies to stephen jj driver>

      Comment by Neil Barlow (DVSA) posted on

      The print-outs need to be kept if there is no electronic record kept. I don't know the details of what that model does - but key is whether it 'stores' the records locally or not.

      • Replies to Neil Barlow (DVSA)>

        Comment by Andrew posted on

        The point here is the word ‘automatically’ print….DVSA set the program to do so. Until DVSA tell the machine manufacturers to change the program (yet another update over a 12 month cycle) emissions machines will continue to print waste paper. What a shame the two parts of the organization don’t talk to each other. A bit like DVLA stopping tax disc display and DVSA laws saying display your operator licence disc next to your tax disc!

        • Replies to Andrew>

          Comment by Neil Barlow (DVSA) posted on

          Thanks Andrew.

          We don't require the machines to print - although we may have done when some of the older types were originally approved. As I have said elsewhere, we will work with manufacturers to look how this can be changed over time - but may need to accept that older kit will work in this way until replaced.

          On tax discs and O license discs, I guess that is going off topic a little. But, rightly or wrongly, the decision was made that tax discs were no longer needed for enforcement purposes (as the electronic record could be used by police, DVLA etc) but that for O licenses there were still benefits in the disc. Maybe there is merit in looking at O license discs again, but there are some quite complex legal changes needed for that - and not one for DVSA!

      • Replies to Neil Barlow (DVSA)>

        Comment by Borley posted on

        You don’t need to do that for every customer as they have said asking customers when they arrive whether or not they require a paper copy

  16. Comment by Ray Rowley posted on

    If you remember in 2015 when you did away with the car Tax disc to save on paper. And then you had people not bothering to tax there cars because at the time no one on the streets new hoos car is tax or not. And I think it will be the same about the MOT test if you do away with the paper work. And don't forget older people might not have any internet so they really on the paperwork when they take their car for a MOT test.

    • Replies to Ray Rowley>

      Comment by Chris Price posted on

      Hi Ray

      Thanks for the question, the MOT is slightly different to car tax in that there is no requirement to display the result of the test or share it for that matter, all those that need to know the result of the test obtain that data directly from DVSA, this is the police, DVLA (for taxation), the insurance industry and other enforcement agencies. It is therefore unlikely that this small change will have an effect on people getting an MOT, you still require one to tax your vehicle and as we share our data with the police they will know if the vehicle is not tested and deal with it accordingly.

  17. Comment by Tom Williams posted on

    Office Depot sell 100% recycled A4 printing paper. That would save a lot of trees.

  18. Comment by Richard posted on

    I will continue to print certificates without asking as sometimes I don't get to speak to the receptionist or ask the customer if they would like a receipt . I just put it in the office, so they can pass on the info from the paperwork I've just printed, otherwise the receptionist will have to come out to me, disturb me testing to ask for information. Also we have a lot of elderly customers who like to have a paper certificate.

    Does no one read the manuals? it's says you don't need to print emission results unless it's a fail. They can be stored on the emission machine as a hard copy.
    Which brings me into a question, what if the hard drive goes faulty & all the data is lost, what happens then?

    Also when printing out a pass, failure or VSI, now & again you will get a second page with just one line of text on it. Now that's a waste. Also some VSI pages will repeat the information twice, making it 2 pages, I find VW info is bad for this.

    One last thing please sort out the problem of the MTS re-ordering items, I go to an item & it's moved from where it was & then move again.

    • Replies to Richard>

      Comment by Chris Price posted on

      Hi Richard
      Thanks for your comments.
      The key thing is being able to tell the customer the result of the test whether we do that via paper or digitally, what we are trying to achieve is a reduction in the amount of paper used in the MOT so we are encouraging those digital channels where possible, far be it for me to tell you how to run your business but the receptionist could look at the result on MTS, they can they inform the customer of the result, but I agree this may not be possible for all.
      Vehicle Specific Information is there to help you conduct the test, we do not encourage testers to print it off every time they do a test. Thank you for pointing out that some items when printed run onto two pages where they could be on one, we will look at this but again I would encourage you to think before you print and consider whether the customer really needs it.
      If in the unlikely event that the hard drive for your emissions machine fails and this is where you store the data, I would encourage you to record when this happened and keep a copy of the engineers report with the date the new hard drive installed, then if DVSA do ask to see the result you will be able to explain why they are missing.

  19. Comment by C Griffiths posted on

    How about the option to save the test print out as a pdf which we could then offer to email it to the customer.

    • Replies to C Griffiths>

      Comment by Chris posted on

      You can already do this. We use chrome and there’s the little down arrow next to the printer icon on top right.

    • Replies to C Griffiths>

      Comment by Neil Barlow (DVSA) posted on

      This is a good point.

      As Chris has already said - this can already be done.

      We decided not to build a feature for the 'system' to e-mail customers as would mean the e-mail coming from the system, and not the garage - but the garage can save the file and e-mail (which means, for example, that a failure can be sent together with details of the estimates for repairs).

      What your post reminds us, is that there is more we can do in explaining how to do that - it can be different on different IT systems and browsers - but I'm sure we can produce something that help garages provide what could be a really helpful service.

  20. Comment by Chris C posted on

    Still a little improvement to make.

    Key 'issues' I see going forwards are that the person dealing with the car isnt going to know what areas to tell the customer going forwards. A 'oh your cars failed, I dont know what on, but you can see it online' sort of doesnt appear very good.

    Emissions/brake records albeit saved online - doesn't offer a 'fool-proof' method of being able to retrieve a record. What if the computer fails and the records are lost? A paper backup is a good option to be able to present to the DVSA if needed. What if theres an appeal and they want that months paper work, your still going to need to print off all emissions and brake records - time consuming if you dont know what vehicle it is before hand.
    I guess some lee-way could be given to those who have connected equipment. Since the results of RBT/emissions are sent straight to the MTS - then that data for the tests is stored online, so I guess not being required to print off RBT/emissions for the connected guys (even in the instance I mentioned above in case of equipment failure) seems logical.

    A good option would be the option to email a test certificate to the customer when the test is logged off, or even send a text (if it can be done free). A simple ask the customer for a phone number or email and a copy can be sent straight through soon as the test is logged off. Could possibly work in a lot of cases.

    One problem I see when going back and printing a ticket off is that the replacement/duplicate option on the MTS says that the certificate is a duplicate. Also, what happens if only one tester is in the building, customer comes to collect a vehicle, and that tester is already logged on so unable to print a certificate off? The customer will have to wait until the tester with access to the MTS can print a copy off - IF the customer cant access one digitally. (It could be done by someone viewing the vehicle history, but it wouldn't be a physical certificate).

    • Replies to Chris C>

      Comment by Neil Barlow (DVSA) posted on

      Thanks for the comprehensive reply Chris!

      I have covered a few of these points in other replies, but I will cover a few here.

      I do agree, that a key challenge with going paperless when some customers may still want print, is the process in the garage - and the interaction between how a customer is received (when they drop keys off etc) and when the MOT is done. There is no quick and easy answer, but over time hopefully garages can work out ways of finding out up-front what works for a customer - so paperwork isn't printed when it isn't really wanted.

      On the reliability of electronic records of emissions print-outs, I understand that computers can fail - but we must avoid paranoia! So, yes the drive within an emissions printer could fail - but then paper records can be damaged or mislaid. Key is to think about the process an enforcement officer is conducting - and how they may differentiate between genuine error or misfortune, and a fraudulent act. A machine that has recently been repaired to have a drive replaced (and therefore doesn't have historic records on it) will look quite different to one where a few emissions records are missing (because the MOT was not done).

      On e-mailing, I have covered in another reply. The certificate can already be saved so a garage can e-mail - with (for example) any invoices or whatever else. We will try and provide some best practice guidance on how this can be done.

      On your last point on the 'duplicate' wording, that is a good point - and something we can look at. I can't promise when , but it strikes me that we probably don't really need those words - what is the difference between the original and duplicate anyway!

      Many thanks for the comments again.

  21. Comment by DAVE posted on


  22. Comment by Andrew Holley posted on

    Considering the amount of paper we are using for quality control... And check sheets..... And emission sheets I don't see this makes much difference. Plus asking customers for £55.00 and not even giving them a certificate wouldn't go down well with my customers!!

    • Replies to Andrew Holley>

      Comment by Neil Barlow (DVSA) posted on

      Well, many small steps can make a difference. And I'm sure over time many things in our operations will move from paper (as they have already).

      We have covered emission print outs elsewhere in the comments - for most kit there is no need to print out as the data is retained (and therefore DVSA can check if needed).

      And yes, customers will have different views - and that is why there is no 'ban' on printing or anything like that. But the piece of paper doesn't serve any necessary purpose - so if the customer doesn't want it, we don't need to do it.

  23. Comment by Martin posted on

    Public do not like handing money over with nothing to show for it.
    An mot certificate is both receipt and reassurance.
    You have been speaking to the wrong people again.

    • Replies to Martin>

      Comment by Neil Barlow (DVSA) posted on

      Thanks for the feedback.

      I guess the public is made up of people with many different views. I am sure some people do like a piece of paper, others don't. Like you, we speak to many customers, and none of them are right or wrong - they just have different views and needs.

      Key thing though is that unless the specific customer is one of those that does want a piece of paper - then you don't need to do it.

  24. Comment by Andrew posted on

    In most cases, the EGA/DSM software program automatically prints at least 1 or 2 paper results. The manufacturers insist DVSA owns the software and won’t update it to print on demand. Sort this out and you reduce paper waste, or clarify who is lying!

    • Replies to Andrew>

      Comment by Neil Barlow (DVSA) posted on

      Thanks for the feedback. We will pick this point up with the equipment manufacturers - we don't really want paper spewing out that none of us really want!

      Many thanks.

  25. Comment by nick doncaster posted on

    do you still want us to print an emissions sheet for our inspector

    • Replies to nick doncaster>

      Comment by Neil Barlow (DVSA) posted on

      The requirement to retain emissions print outs has not been in the guide for a little while now - so there is no need to keep them (unless you don't have modern emissions kit you will still need to continue to print).

      If a DVSA examiner does wish to check emissions kit use vs test logs, then the data is held on the machine, and they may wish to print as part of any evidence collection.

      But key point, is that you don't need to (print and) keep the pile of print-outs on the off chance they are needed.

      • Replies to Neil Barlow (DVSA)>

        Comment by Martin posted on

        Be aware if your machine crashes and you lose the stored data the VE/DVSA
        require then it will be assumed you did not carry out the emissions test on that particular vehicle.

        • Replies to Martin>

          Comment by Neil Barlow (DVSA) posted on

          Thanks Martin.

          If we do make an enforcement visit after a machine crashes and data is lost we will investigate what has happened. But we should be able to see the difference between that and, say, a situation where some emissions tests are done and others are not. It might mean we come back and look again - and if a machine is 'crashing' all the time that may seem odd - but a one off, would not.

          This is the same process where all or some paper records are missing - we investigate. And then take a different path depending upon what we find.

      • Replies to Neil Barlow (DVSA)>

        Comment by Richard posted on

        Neil, with respect I seriously think that you need to reconsider your answer to this question! It appears from your reply that you are telling VTS’s that they no longer need to print and retain emissions records, and that simply isn’t true!
        You are right that the Testing Guide has been updated to reflect that you don’t need to retain emissions print outs IF the emissions machine stores the test results automatically, but in cases where no data is stored (most older emissions equipment) then the VTS still needs to retain a printed copy for 3 months for examination by a DVSA Vehicle Examiner upon request.

        • Replies to Richard>

          Comment by Neil Barlow (DVSA) posted on

          Thanks Richard. I have tweaked the reply above to be clear that depends on kit. On most I had - but there were a fair few to reply to and I obviously got complacent in my typing.

          As a reminder the key point of the blog is about encouraging us to move away from default printing for what we need to pass to the customer - when often it isn't needed and adds no value.

          • Replies to Neil Barlow (DVSA)>

            Comment by Richard posted on

            I fully appreciate the rhetoric behind the blog and advice given, but also its imperative that VTS's that don't have emissions machinery capable of capturing and storing results electronically don't fall foul on a DVSA site review and are marked down for not printing and retaining results in such an instance.
            It is my understanding that Vehicle Examiners will still be interrogating 3 months worth of emissions results and that they will need to still be in paper format where electronic records aren't held.
            Don't forget, this blog is for MOT professionals who have to consider a negative Site Review outcome as much as what has, or does not have to be printed, retained and given or not given to customers.

  26. Comment by Stephen Jacka posted on

    i feel we (Testing stations) have and should an obligation to give some kind of receipt for the cost of an MOT, Customers except The VT30 as a kind of receipt so if i was to tell them it has passed or failed and then take payment but you will have to look online for the results i dont think that is customer friendly.

    • Replies to Stephen Jacka>

      Comment by Neil Barlow (DVSA) posted on

      We know that different customers will have different views - and I'm sure you are right that some will still want to print.

      But customer expectations are changing - and it is not uncommon elsewhere to not be given pieces of paper - even for high value transactions.

      Key point here is you have a choice - and customers can still choose to ask for it. Personally I would rather they didn't - it wastes paper and can be used as a 'currency' to show a car has an MOT (when in reality it is not that secure a document).

      • Replies to Neil Barlow (DVSA)>

        Comment by Andrew Holley posted on

        Currency????? I don't get where you are coming from!!! The printed MOT does the same as the on line one..... It proves the vehicle has an MOT that is current!!!! Very sorry but that's worked fine for how many years???? You are worried about paper but your inspector's insist on emission printouts to be held for three months ( when they are already held on the computer) and let's not forget the annual assessment that automatically gets uploaded ( but you insist on a paper copy being available!! ) Typical government department nonsense!!

        • Replies to Andrew Holley>

          Comment by Neil Barlow (DVSA) posted on

          I guess where it doesn't work fine is when people buy a car on the basis of a paper MOT certificate - to subsequently find the vehicle did not actually have an MOT! May not happen too often - but key message is that the electronic record is the definitive proof.

          On print outs from emissions kit - virtually all kit now retains data (locally or on line) and where that is the case you needn't print as the DVSA examiner can use those in place of a print out.

          • Replies to Neil Barlow (DVSA)>

            Comment by Andrew Holley posted on

            But your inspector's still ask for paperwork?? I noticed you didn't comment on the annual assessment paperwork requirements.....

          • Replies to Neil Barlow (DVSA)>

            Comment by Richard posted on

            You’re out of touch Neil!
            Virtually all emissions machines store electronic test results??? That’s just nonsense.
            That might well be true for new VTS’s or VTS’s who have upgraded their equipment but what about the thousands of VTS’s out there that are still using emissions equipment that is 5/10 years + old. None of these machines retain results. Is DVSA angling to force every older VTS to purchase new connected equipment with an internal hard drive just to align with the paperless agenda? And if the answer to that is no, then please don’t foolishly believe that most emissions machines in VTS’s store electronic data because that simply isn’t true. The majority still in use actually don’t!

  27. Comment by Gary posted on

    I still don't understand why we need to print out Emissions passes. You don't have to print out anything for checking lights etc so why have a piece of paper to say we have checked the emissions? Ok if a vehicle fails an emissions test but not if it passes.

    You're trying to save paper but we still need to print them and save them for 3 months.

    • Replies to Gary>

      Comment by Neil Barlow (DVSA) posted on

      Agree. This post confirms that you don't need to (unless the customer specifically requests).

      The guide already covers that you no longer need to retain 'physical' emissions print outs as (on virtually all) emissions kit the data is retained - which means a DVSA examiner can see it if they wish.

      • Replies to Neil Barlow (DVSA)>

        Comment by Gary posted on

        Unfortunately for me my Crypton Gas Analyser doesn't have the software to collect vehicle emissions data, so better get than chainsaw sharpened!!

  28. Comment by MRS S E PRYNNE posted on

    The MOT certificates were 'improved' a few years ago to make the certificates more readable to the customer. However in Wales they used be bilingual and had more information i.e. Class and colour, All this was on 1 page.
    Now we print out 2 separate copies, with less information. Where as I used to print out a single sheet, now I have very often print 4, again with less information.
    Love the 'progress' guys.

    • Replies to MRS S E PRYNNE>

      Comment by Neil Barlow (DVSA) posted on

      Thanks for the feedback. I guess there are challenges in 'cramming' the information onto the page and meeting accessibility standards (size of font etc).

      I guess key thing is you are now not encouraged to print.

  29. Comment by Lara a Drury posted on

    Not sure how to print the posters off....they are not on a separate printable page. Also would be handy to print off the other page with all the web addresses without the "social media post" heading on it..


  30. Comment by Dave posted on

    Great idea, but You state only to print an emissions record if the customer wants one.
    What about the printed version we have to keep for 3 months, do We still have to print that one?

    • Replies to Dave>

      Comment by Neil Barlow (DVSA) posted on

      No, these don't need to be printed or retained, unless your machine doesn't store the data locally.

      The machine will let the DVSA examiner check if they need to - and they may then wish to print if any evidence needs to be collected.

      This was covered in a guide update a little while ago.

      • Replies to Neil Barlow (DVSA)>

        Comment by paul posted on

        Still need to keep emissions print outs for 3 months according to special notice 7/12/2023

        • Replies to paul>

          Comment by Richard posted on

          DVSA's reply to this is worrying to say the very least! They aren't giving you the full information! You are absolutely right Paul, you still have to retain 3 months worth of emissions results. The problem is, that DVSA have assumed that everyone's emissions equipment retains results on an internal hard drive and this simply isn't the case! For those of us that don't have new emissions machinery then we will have to continue to print and retain 3 months worth of paper results. I'll continue to do this until the Testing Guide is changed to say that I don't have to. I won't be forced into buying a new connected emissions tester when my old one still works just fine! DVSA need to stop assuming that everyone's machinery stores results electronically just to align with a paperless agenda because their information on this blog is misleading to those of us that still use older emissions testers, we still need to print and keep 3 months worth!

          • Replies to Richard>

            Comment by Neil Barlow (DVSA) posted on

            Thanks for the reply.

            As I said above, on a couple of replies I didn't put the note on about older kit that may not retain records. Apologies for that.

            To clarify - we haven't assumed anything about what type of kit you have. The blog covers the shift in policy to discourage default printing for customer facing documents - pass/fail documents and other results documents. This is not being mandated, and the existing policies on retention of records (which may be print outs or could be electronic) remains - nothing has changed in that regard.

        • Replies to paul>

          Comment by Neil Barlow (DVSA) posted on

          As the guide covers, those records could be as printed copy or - preferably (and assuming the kit allows) electronic records.

        • Replies to paul>

          Comment by Chris Price posted on

          Hi Paul

          The Special notice states - You must still keep emissions records for all test results for 3 months.
          It does not say you have to print them, you can either print them or if they are stored on the emissions device that is also fine.
          This is also in the MOT testing guide where is states emissions records need to be stored in a readily retrievable manner, again this can be printed out or digital records.

  31. Comment by Ben Howlett posted on

    Worst decision ever, certificate is a legal stake in the ground that covers the testing station in the event of the client misundertanding what is said to them. MOT standards are so low in safety critical area's but ultra stringent in non safety area's which makes explanation at hand over essential, certificate is a written re-inforcement of that message.

    • Replies to Ben Howlett>

      Comment by Neil Barlow (DVSA) posted on

      Thanks for taking the time to let us know your thoughts.

      I agree it is important that customers go away understanding the condition of their vehicle - particularly if the vehicle is not safe to drive.

      None of this takes away your ability to print should you wish to - but the key 'legal record' is the electronic record.

  32. Comment by Steven Hubbard posted on

    It's a good idea on saving the trees if it's available online that's well and good with me.

    • Replies to Steven Hubbard>

      Comment by Neil Barlow (DVSA) posted on

      Thanks for the feedback.

  33. Comment by richard smith posted on

    ...but yet a lot of VEs STILL want to see paper copies of training records, exam certificates, calibration documents even though digital records are perfectly accepted

    • Replies to richard smith>

      Comment by Neil Barlow (DVSA) posted on

      Thanks for letting us know.

      We have made sure we share these comms are shared with our examiners, and have also covered at some recent seminars with our own examiners - so hopefully we can do better on this point of consistency.

  34. Comment by John Webb posted on

    Will this mean in the future the centre won't have to keep three months worth of paperwork as that can all be viewed online and would dramatically reduce paper consumption.

    • Replies to John Webb>

      Comment by Neil Barlow (DVSA) posted on

      Thanks John.

      No, you don't need to print and retain the certificates - as modern emissions kit already retains the data locally or on-line. This is already covered in the guide and we are making sure all examiners reminded. If you don't have modern emissions kit you will still need to continue to print.