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Hints and tips: registering a vehicle

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MOT Tester inspecting a vehicle

It’s easy to fall into bad habits when testing regularly or under pressure. Here are 6 simple tips that should help keep vehicle registration smooth and your customers happy.

1. Only enter details you’ve collected

Don’t rely on job cards or other people’s notes when registering a vehicle for a test as they might not be up to date. You should confirm the vehicles details, such as identification number (VIN), vehicle registration mark (VRM) and colour with the actual vehicle.

2. Use the correct VIN and VRM

When searching for a record, using the correct VIN and VRM will help you select the right vehicle record. If you can’t find the vehicle record by searching, when creating a new record enter the full VIN and check that it’s correct.

Remember that some vehicles can have dual VINs - such as motor homes, disabled vehicles or factory sports conversions.

3. Always check you’ve got the right the make and model

Making sure you have the right make and model can be difficult as manufacturers now have such a wide range of models. There aren’t always obvious differences between models so always check you’ve got the right make and model with the actual vehicle.

4. Make sure the mileage is right

Having the mileage on the MOT certificate helps to reduce instances of vehicle crime so it’s important that you record the right mileage first time. When recording the odometer reading make sure it’s recorded as it’s shown on the vehicle including if it’s in miles or kilometres.

5. Check the Inspection Manual

When registering the results, select carefully any reasons for rejection. If you’re not sure at any point you can confirm the defects using the MOT inspection manual.

6. Double check everything before printing

Once you've entered everything, be sure to check it over one more time. Check that all the details are correct before the record is confirmed and the test documents are printed.

By following these simple steps it’ll help prevent any problems down the line for motorists or fellow garages and testers.

If you do make a mistake when registering a vehicle and you’ve already confirmed the record and printed the test certificate, you might be able to issue a replacement certificate if it’s within 7 days of the test by selecting the “replacement/duplicate certificate” section on your testing screen.

If you’re unable to issue a replacement certificate or have any other problems you can contact the DVSA customer service centre for advice on 0300 123 9000.

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  1. Comment by Martin Dyer posted on

    Can we have the vehicle specific information back for stuff we don't see everyday

  2. Comment by Ali posted on

    Rubbish system in now no find details for some cars. And wrong expired day

  3. Comment by Peter Chidley posted on

    Am a NT going back to the 'dark ages ' of handwritten VT20's etc. , later a volunteer guinea pig on original computerisation Trial Stages in 2003/4 with Siemens . More importantly as an End User of current system feel that am amply qualified to offer constructive feedback in the hope that others using internet system may ultimately benefit.
    12 months on with latest system DVSA proudly claim how many million Mot tests have been processed but at what cost ?
    1. There must be an increase of NT's visiting Specsavers to obtain spectacles for first time
    or a stronger prescription. Reason being the size of typeface is too small on Mot Documents . The person(s) that designed docs could probably calculate volume of jam jar , however incapable of opening the lid. All crammed in in the name of saving paper or am I missing something ?

    2 I feel it necessary to type in Capital letters to emphasise certain manual advisories
    but feel that overall is not much better . Why do we have Times Roman font when in modern times most documents are in Calibri similar to this DVSA website ? Also a reasonable size.

    3 This view is supported by VTS admin staff who are dealing with the customers , and frequently comment that typeface is not easy on the eye and too small in size.

    4 Whilst on subject of advisories we must all welcome the return of standard list of non testable but important items as on original comp. system , however how much is relevant in modern times ? Why (as in previous system ) are we not required to record total number of seats ? (as tested ) Feel this is most relevant with MPV vehicles as in a lot of cases the rearmost (row 3 ) seats and belts are not fully available for inspection as not erected and space is full of prams and such like items.

    5 To many presenters of vehicles at VTS for Mot is merely a means to tax a vehicle, consequently NT's invariably are carrying out a cheap inspection rather than a basic roadworthiness test as it is meant to be under DVSA regulations.

    6. How many conscientous NT's find that presented vehicle has No oil at all showing on engine dipstick ? ( despite being a mandatory knowledge requirement of UK Driving Test ) From my own experience estimate 5% of all vehicles presented show oil level on or near minimum level , with a further 10% below and not even showing on stick!---- To avoid a RFR CitroenC1/Peugeot 107/ Toyota Aygo with as little as 60k miles frequently require up to 2litres of oil when total sump capacity is only around 3.3 litres!

    7 Insufficient coolant is also a problem to a lesser extent . Customers seem oblivious.

    8 In conclusion suggest the public need educating on basic maintenance.

    9 Finally on subject of VTS Homescreen layout could be more user friendly if of better design i.e. certain important headings such as test log and manual access points made more prominent on screen. Also items such as brake test (lock on squares ) made twice as big than at present.

    10 Last gripe is when logging on NT User Number and password can take up to 3 attempts
    however careful one fingered ! I'm sure am not the only NT if truth were known.

    I am hopeful that you will have the courtesy to address my comments and reply in a reasonable time period.

    • Replies to Peter Chidley>

      Comment by darren posted on


    • Replies to Peter Chidley>

      Comment by Tony S posted on

      Totally agree with you, but hope on for a response.

      Have you noticed how the blog keeps being closed, then all of a sudden comments go on.

      • Replies to Tony S>

        Comment by darren posted on

        its because they check all emails and put on the ones with no swearing on them,i know ive tried

    • Replies to Peter Chidley>

      Comment by Stephen posted on

      I agree on all points, however if you hold down CTRL nad scroll the wheel on the mouse it does enlarge the screen size, unfortunately not the printout size.

    • Replies to Peter Chidley>

      Comment by P Albery posted on

      Totally agree with all your points

  4. Comment by Graham posted on

    Instead of telling us what we already know / should be doing, why not post a usefull blog about common fails / things to look for eg: fiesta sills, avensis rear brake pipes, disco rear brake pipes etc....

  5. Comment by Mick Bothamley posted on

    Any one else had this, in the manual advisory column I noted a "screw" in the nearside rear tyre in a vehicle I was testing, the system thought it was a profanity and I had to re enter it as an "object " what a load of tosh

    • Replies to Mick Bothamley>

      Comment by Matters of Testing posted on

      Hi Mick,

      The team are aware of this issue and will be looking at resetting the profanity filter.

      Kind Regards


    • Replies to Mick Bothamley>

      Comment by shaun posted on

      just write threaded or slotted nail,,,,that works!!

  6. Comment by kevj posted on

    noticed lately that when doing a first test on a vehicle with remaining days it gives one less than it used to , such as a car that was registered 30/04 /2013 , if it was tested on old system & passed it would have run until 30/04/2017 , on the new system it runs until 29th ????

  7. Comment by brian posted on

    bring back the old system it was reliable & worked well enough +it was not on the internet for everybody to see & hack in to

  8. Comment by Andy posted on

    not related to this but I would like to know when the non component related advisory section is going to be added to the new system??

  9. Comment by clive posted on

    after failing a vehicle the mileage is recorded on the fail certificate then after doing the retest and the vehicle has a slightly higher mileage both mileage readings are recorded on the pass certificate this can be a little confusing if the owner thinks he is looking at the previous four years mileage readings

  10. Comment by Wayne posted on

    Why when registering a car say for the first mot and you have to click on the vehicle class why do you then have to put in your pass word again! Surely if you've got that far your not a bogus mot tester trying to hack into it!

    • Replies to Wayne>

      Comment by Tony S posted on

      Quite agree with that, I'm sure DVSA will let us know,,,, ONE day !!!

  11. Comment by Tom Severn posted on

    Please can manufacturers spend another few pence per car and make it so that parking tickets can't slide down and cover up the VIN! It seems one in ten of the cars I test I have to fish out with cardboard, hacksaw blade, etc.!

    • Replies to Tom Severn>

      Comment by Andy posted on

      why don't you in that case just get the VIN off the chassis plate?

    • Replies to Tom Severn>

      Comment by Stephen posted on

      Tom, Volvo had the best idea regarding parking tickets. A plastic clip on the O/S of the windscreen.Wish more manufactures would do the same.
      Although when checking a VIN number we're supposed to check under the bonnet on door post's or even in the boot compartment too.

      • Replies to Stephen>

        Comment by Andrew posted on

        Skoda has them too, so I can only suspect the whole VW group do too...

      • Replies to Stephen>

        Comment by Les R posted on

        My Picassa has one, too.

    • Replies to Tom Severn>

      Comment by shaun posted on

      your so right grrrrrrrr!

  12. Comment by Pete posted on

    I agree with Neil,some do drop off the system !

  13. Comment by el posted on

    anyone had problems logging vehicles on private plates with them not being recognised ? Also
    mot'd a car once on its displayed plate and when it was retested the certificate was showing its old reg

    • Replies to el>

      Comment by david posted on

      i had the same problem and had to make a new record for the car

      • Replies to david>

        Comment by el posted on

        had same thing again today spoke to my local office and their advice was to print a duplicate certificate , and low and behold correct reg and vehicle on the certificate apparently its a glitch in the system maybe this will help in future as a first point of call 🙂

  14. Comment by castrolrob posted on

    check you've got the right make+model?yeah I do,had dozens that are wrong but without the facility to change said details its pretty pointless telling us to check them.all we can alter is colour,class+mileage.most of the vin mismatches that ive seen have been on the dvla record not my information or that on the vehicle.bring back the facility we already had on comp 1 when originally installed to add correct details and note mismatches on the database.their records were so inaccurate that this is the reason we only enter last 6 digits,dvla couldn't cope with the amount of corrections being issued,wasnt the testers fault,they were entering the correct for the rest telling us the obvious wont help anyone dim enough not to be already doing it correctly.getting the manufacturers to stamp clearer vins(say b 0 8 on Renault/peugeot for example)would be a far bigger help

  15. Comment by Abdulislam Malik posted on

    • Replies to Abdulislam Malik>

      Comment by Alan posted on

      Don't select presented weight and it will pass on lock

      • Replies to Alan>

        Comment by Tony S posted on

        Might work but not the right answer, obviously it's another flaw in the system that needs sorting out, like the screw in the tyre

  16. Comment by jason howarth posted on

    New system is to longwinded if u ask me takes for ever to enter retest results esp if it was a bad car with long list of failure items also on old syst if all wheels locked in brake test it was a pass newsystem even iff u tick all lock out boxes it will still fail if readings are not high enough for test weight of vehicle dont rate new system at all to be honest jh

  17. Comment by Mac posted on

    Is'nt this what we are supposed to do and also what we were tought and should be practicing any way

  18. Comment by stephen posted on

    had probs with colour of vehicles

  19. Comment by John posted on

    What about the testing weights ?
    Sometimes there is no weight given for the brake test.
    Also had 3 land rover free landers in on same day all the same model one had a brake test weight 150 kgs lighter than the other two.
    Think some fine tuning required.
    Also check list time clock not been changed.

  20. Comment by Alan Harrison posted on

    These hints and tips are pointless rubbish , telling us things we already know , next they will be telling us you can only test a vehicle on a testing bay!!!

  21. Comment by Trevor posted on

    Cars coming in for MoT after a long period of inactivity (older Austin Mini's etc.,) of say 15 years or more seem to 'lose' their identity on the database. It would be useful if the tester could re-apply evidence based information at the point of testing.

  22. Comment by b maggs posted on

    when will the correct time be displayed

    • Replies to b maggs>

      Comment by Matters of Testing posted on

      Hi B Maggs,

      The time stamp issue has now been fixed and the correct time should now be appearing on the MOT inspection sheets.



  23. Comment by Paul rudd posted on

    sounds like a plan

  24. Comment by John posted on

    I've had a couple of tests where it says it's being done too early for the extra month to be added, yet on the .gov vehicle check site it says there is no mot at all. And the presenters agree they have no mot. It can't always be trusted.

  25. Comment by Neil posted on

    I have had a few problems with older vehicles that contain - / figures in the VIN numbers . These do not seem to appear on the MOT system. Also since the change in the computer system some older makes of vehicle have been dropped.

    • Replies to Neil>

      Comment by richard farrell.sheffield posted on

      the old fashioned chassis numbers with the / kn them always cause problems such as on pre 69 minis..moggy minors.etc
      some even have a - as well as a /
      often the letter S is mistaken for a number 5 on the dvla v5c ...
      also ive had to put some morris cars as rovers as its not come up...

      • Replies to richard farrell.sheffield>

        Comment by M a b posted on

    • Replies to Neil>

      Comment by Matters of Testing posted on

      Hi Neil,

      In these situations you should enter the VIN without the - or / and other special characters (ie anything that's not a number or letter) and you should be able to find the vehicle.

      If you're still having problems finding the vehicle after trying this then create a new vehicle and type in the full VIN including the - or / and other special characters.

      I hope this solves the issues you've been experiencing.



  26. Comment by simon posted on

    It would be helpful if we could alter the make and model details on the register screen if they are incorrect, like we used to be able to on the old system.

    • Replies to simon>

      Comment by Andy posted on

      i'm with you on that one Simon

      • Replies to Andy>

        Comment by Wayne Keough posted on

        The time is out of sink also it would be better if the test number would be printed on the pdf

        • Replies to Wayne Keough>

          Comment by Matters of Testing posted on

          Hi Wayne,

          This time stamp issue has now been fixed and the correct time should now be appearing on the MOT inspection sheets.

          I've also passed on your comments about adding the test number to the PDF to the development team who will look into your suggestions and see if they can be incorporated into the new MOT testing service.



    • Replies to simon>

      Comment by Matters of Testing posted on

      Hi Simon,

      I’ve passed your comment on to our development team who'll look into your suggestions and see if they can be incorporated into the new MOT testing service.



  27. Comment by alan hirdle posted on

    If you dont do this already, ask yourself "should i be testing ?"

  28. Comment by andy posted on

    thanks great idea .