Skip to main content

We’re developing a new MOT reminder service

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: News and updates

MOT reminder service on a mobile phone

As MOT Service Manager,  I want to tell you about work we’re doing to develop an MOT reminder service to help vehicle owners get their vehicle tested on time.

It's part of our strategy to help people keep their vehicle safe to drive.

Why we’re developing this service

At any one time, up to 28% of cars will be overdue an MOT. Research shows that the vast majority of these aren’t down to people deliberately not getting an MOT – rather, they just need to be reminded to get it done on time.

We want to make sure these vehicles get to you on time so that dangerous faults are found and drivers can get them fixed.

How it works

Drivers will be able to sign up to get an email one month before the MOT is due. They’ll get another email if they still haven’t had the vehicle tested 2 weeks before the MOT is due.

All they'll need to sign up is their vehicle’s registration number and an email address.

We're still hard at work developing the service, so in the version we've built so far, you won’t initially be able to get reminders for a vehicle that:

  • is less than 3 years old
  • doesn’t have a current MOT
  • needs more than one MOT a year, such as taxis
  • needs an annual test instead of an MOT, such as lorries, buses and coaches

However, we're working through this list to make sure that as many people as possible will be able to use the service.

Try it for yourself - and give some feedback

Before we start asking more drivers to test the service, I want to give you the chance to try the new MOT reminder service.

You’ll see that the service has a ‘beta’ label at the top of the page. It means you’re looking at the first version of a new service that’s still being tested - it may not work for everyone. During the beta phase, services are continually tested and improved.

There’s a link to a feedback survey on every page, so do leave your ideas, or leave a comment here on this blog post.

There's more to do

We think that there's a great deal of potential to offer reminders in ways that meet the needs of the millions of drivers in Great Britain.

For example, as well as offering email reminders, we'll also look at other methods, such as text messages.

When we're ready to launch the service

There’s lots more user research and testing to do before we formally launch the service.

When it’s ready to launch, we’ll run a consumer campaign so that drivers know about the service. And we’ll make it really easy to find on GOV.UK.

So until then, do give the MOT reminder service a try, and let us know what you think.

Sharing and comments

Share this page


  1. Comment by Janet Walton posted on

    I have just signed up for MOT reminder by text and received an activation code but can't find what I need to do with this code ?

    • Replies to Janet Walton>

      Comment by Julia (DVSA) posted on

      Hi Janet

      You’ll need to enter the activation code into the box that appears on the reminder service page, which is the next page you come to.

      If you’re having problems doing this, try signing up again from the beginning. You won’t be registered on the system until you enter the code into the box and you’re shown the confirmation page.

  2. Comment by John V posted on

    I posted a comment (see below) yesterday (10Sep17). It was initially flagged as "awaiting moderation" but has now disappeared altogether.
    As I wanted to alert you to a possible bug in your system, I'm very happy to provide details of the registration numbers and email addresses I had entered. If you'd like this information, perhaps you could provide an email address I can send it to?

    Original comment:
    "I've just subscribed three cars, the first two registered in my name, and the third in my wife's name. I gave my email address for all three.

    In the first two cases, I was informed that a confirmation email would be sent, but nothing arrived.

    In the third case, I received an activation email. When I clicked on the link, I received a confirmation email.

    So, I don't know whether my first two cars have been subscribed or not. And if they have, I have no way to unsubscribe! "

  3. Comment by Pete posted on

    Any chance of a poster being drafted for download,to be put in customer waiting areas? Or how about a leaflet in road tax reminders?

    • Replies to Pete>

      Comment by Linda (DVSA) posted on

      Hi Pete, thanks for your recent suggestions, we’ll consider these as part of a PR campaign aimed at drivers that we’re currently developing.

  4. Comment by Steve posted on

    DVSA- "To use a car it needs to have a valid MOT and it needs to be roadworthy."
    So can DVSA please clarify, if a vehicle is presented early but fails, is it being driven illegally if it leaves the premises ?

    • Replies to Steve>

      Comment by Julia (DVSA) posted on

      Hi Steve

      Following an MOT fail when your MOT is still in date you CAN drive the car away, But it’s your responsibility to make sure the car you’re driving is safe and legal. You could be prosecuted if the vehicle is unroadworthy, and you would need to be aware of that.


      • Replies to Julia (DVSA)>

        Comment by Steve posted on

        So, if the vehicle has failed its MOT, it's correct to say that the vehicle is "not roadworthy" and therefore should not be driven on a public road, regardless of any current post dated certificate ?

        • Replies to Steve>

          Comment by Julia (DVSA) posted on

          Hi Steve

          A vehicle being used on the road is governed by the road traffic act. This sets out that vehicles must not be used if they could cause danger.

          This means that even if the vehicle has a valid MOT, it must still be kept safe to drive at all times.

          Certain defects, such as an inoperative headlight, might cause a car to fail an MOT but would not necessarily constitute a driving offence during the day – although such defects should be fixed as soon as possible.

  5. Comment by Jason Ellis posted on

    Great service, how long before a full roll out?

    • Replies to Jason Ellis>

      Comment by Linda (DVSA) posted on

      Hi Jason,

      Thanks for your feedback about the service. We're aiming to launch it more publicly in the near future, once we've gained a bit more feedback.

      • Replies to Linda (DVSA)>

        Comment by Pauline Eccles posted on

        Hi Linda
        do you do a text reminder ? Or so you know a good company that does?

        • Replies to Pauline Eccles>

          Comment by Linda (DVSA) posted on

          Hi Pauline, we’re currently working on this. Look out for more details in the next edition of Neil’s ‘What we’re working on’ blog, which we’re looking to publish soon.

  6. Comment by Angela Hale posted on

    I signed up recently and got my two reminders. Great service. Will be really useful.

  7. Comment by Lowe Autos posted on

    Nothing new, we've been doing this for the last 5 years, either text, Email or post, works very well.

  8. Comment by Graham posted on

    Is it just me or has anyone else noticed that the monthly test quality information percentages dont add up to 100% on tester or national average column. Whats crack there dvsa?

    • Replies to Graham>

      Comment by Julia (DVSA) posted on

      Hi Graham

      The information in the tester and national average columns is not meant to add up to 100%.

      The information for the failures by category screen is displayed in rows. For a given component category we show the % of failed tests that failed for one or more defects within that category. The same principle applies to both the site and national average figures.

      For example, if 10 tests have failed in the relevant period, 2 of which failed for one or more defects within a specific component category, this gives a component failure rate of 20%.

      • Replies to Julia (DVSA)>

        Comment by Graham posted on

        So what your saying is, if i did 10 cars, 8 passed, 2 failed. The two that failed, if i failed each car both on 2 suspension components, 2 lights and 2 brake components. Each of them categorys would show 100%? Surley this is a less accurate way. If it is based on percentage, yet percentage dosn't add up to 100% this is confusing and not accurate. Surely it would make sense to add up all fail categorys at end of month and divide percentage evenly. Thanks

        • Replies to Graham>

          Comment by Julia (DVSA) posted on

          Hi Graham

          The failure rate for the component category looks at the number of failed tests and the component category or categories that the vehicle has failed the test on.

          e.g. if 10 tests have failed and 5 of them failed for one or more defects within a specific category then the failure rate for that component category is 50%

          The component breakdown looks at the % of tests that failed for a specific component category and not the overall failure rate for all categories.



          • Replies to Julia (DVSA)>

            Comment by Graham posted on

            Ok fair enough, thanks for getting back to me

  9. Comment by phil posted on

    Good idea in principle but unfortunately in the long run it wont work.

  10. Comment by Howard Dodd posted on

    can anyone clarify the validity of the previous years MOT if a vehicle fails two or three weeks before the expiry date, does the original expiry date still stand? After all, a car is deemed roadworthy on the day of the test but is not guaranteed to remain so for twelve months

    • Replies to Howard Dodd>

      Comment by Julia (DVSA) posted on

      Hi Howard
      In terms of vehicle condition there are two main requirements for a car – to have an MOT and to be roadworthy. So, a car that fails an MOT but is still in test will meet the first requirement – but would not meet the second. Of course, it is unlikely to have been fully roadworthy for some time before the MOT. The difference after the MOT is that the owner will be aware of the defect(s) through the failure information. DVSA will be trying to do more to educate motorists on this.



  11. Comment by d bradley-scrivener posted on

    we use key rings with date on them when test is due

  12. Comment by Glynn v100523 posted on

    Great. Long overdue. Crack on.

  13. Comment by peter lancaster posted on

    We already have our own text/email (option) reminder service, it's a program on our system that auto completes a expiry date for every vehicle that we've invoiced. We can then display this list & auto send to our customers. When a mot is completed a new date is auto updated & removed from the reminder list.

  14. Comment by John cole posted on

    We started sending letters to customers in 1990 who had an MOT with us the year before by post ,then in 2008/09 we sent the message by text but over the year the take-up was down by 20% so we reverted back to sending letters out.

  15. Comment by Ash posted on

    Why a month beforehand? The idea of having it available one month before it expires should be scrapped. The amount of cars that have come to us 30 days before it expires, to then leave with a fail, is high, They then think they can drive around for x number of days because they still have MOT. Never mind the fact their car has been deemed unroadworthy thus voiding any insurance.

    2 weeks before MoT, reminder. Get it Mot'd on the day of expiry. Simple.

    • Replies to Ash>

      Comment by cheekyboy posted on

      so everyone can get their car mot'd on the day its due???? people do work so not possible, also they have the option so if it fails they have time to fix it before mot runs out, i read some crazy comments on here and that is one sorry to say

      • Replies to cheekyboy>

        Comment by richard posted on

        The trouble is they present their vehicle for an mot say a month/2 weeks early ,It fails and then the customer drives it around either waiting for it to be repaired or they cant afford it, but as they still have a "valid certificate" they assume they are legal, but in reality they are knowingly driving around a vehicle in an un-roadworthy condition as it failed its mot.

        • Replies to richard>

          Comment by Julia (DVSA) posted on

          Hi Richard
          In terms of vehicle condition there are two main requirements for a car – to have an MOT and to be roadworthy. So, a car that fails an MOT but is still in test will meet the first requirement – but would not meet the second. Of course, it is unlikely to have been fully roadworthy for some time before the MOT. The difference after the MOT is that the owner will be aware of the defect(s) through the failure information. DVSA will be trying to do more to educate motorists on this.

  16. Comment by Russ posted on

    Yes, good idea. Should definitely be txt message based though. It would be easier for garages then to register the reminder on behalf of the customer.

  17. Comment by M Dixon posted on

    I think that a free reminder service is a very good idea, however it should be via mobile text, and we see an ever increasing number of customers who's vehicles MOT has already expired and when we test them a large % fail, they then drive away return days later and they have covered 100's of miles, in a vehicle that was unfit for the highway and out of MOT.

    • Replies to M Dixon>

      Comment by Chris (DVSA) posted on


      We are currently working on a text version. And we will update you when we have more news.



  18. Comment by mr taylor posted on

    Its a great idea, might also assits anpr units too, be even better if it could link into mid & do full reminders for all expirys like insurance mot & tax but definately a good start ,support.

  19. Comment by Alan Canham posted on

    Obviously a good idea we allready give this service to customers who we have carried out mot in the last two years and most find it useful, really need to add the text service as well, many use text more than email

  20. Comment by Sanj posted on

    Good thing got to be free though

  21. Comment by Andrew posted on

    Much needed, Thank-you !

  22. Comment by Rich-I-Am posted on

    thumbs up from me (if it works)
    A good idea

  23. Comment by JAVED AKHTAR posted on

    we here at blacker rd garage have been sending out mot reminders to all the customers for years at no cost to the customer by post. for the sake of a 2nd class stamp. we been sending the reminders as well as to let them know that when is the earlist they can bring their vehicle in for the mot.

  24. Comment by Brian crisp posted on

    We are currently, putting mot reminder,stickers into vehicles,

  25. Comment by john posted on

    agree good idea will be trying it out !

  26. Comment by Doug posted on

    Great idea, hope it lasts longer than the text message service offered some years ago.

  27. Comment by garry schofield posted on

    needs to be via text message
    , but also a provision for your garage details if its your customer

  28. Comment by colin bradwick posted on

  29. Comment by karen posted on

    We have been running a free reminder system since 2010,

  30. Comment by nathan posted on

    we thank text message is good idea ever when have mobile phone

  31. Comment by bill hardiman posted on

    Yes , a very good idea however the last time we had a reminder service, think customers had to sign up and pay for the service but that plan was withdrawn. I can remember being at a MOT seminar when it was introduced and did make a comment, instead of the first reminder being one month before due date why not first one being two weeks before and the next saying YOUR MOT HAS EXPIRED, that would surely have a good knee jerk reaction to get it done. I have been reminding my customers (by post) for many years and have found that a reminder 30 days in front can still be forgotten.
    regards. Bill Hardiman (proprietor VTS44780)

  32. Comment by john posted on

    Been well overdue,,great idea.

  33. Comment by Fran Wilkins - AE DELEGATE posted on

    Personally I think this is a great idea. A lot of our customers complain that there is no reminder service and it should be available as with road tax. Keep up the good work DVSA this will help every vehicle owner.

  34. Comment by richard posted on

    Perhaps you could include a reminder in your reminder to remind them to check the basics ie lights, washers & tyres before presenting their vehicle for an mot.
    Also I've been reading in the press about presenting your vehicle for a test a month early to gain the extra month & the vehicle not passing & vehicle owners still driving the vehicle as they assume (rightly/wrongfully ?) they have a valid current MOT,but being prosecuted for driving an un-roadworthy vehicle, perhaps some clarification is needed for this.

    • Replies to richard>

      Comment by Chris (DVSA) posted on


      Reminders about vehicle checks are a good idea. Once we have the reminder service in place and up to speed, we will consider different wording on the reminder itself. We want people to be checking lights, brakes etc. throughout the year.

      In terms of vehicle roadworthiness, there are two things to consider. To use a car it needs to have a valid MOT and it needs to be roadworthy. So, you’re right - we need the public to understand that they not only need a car to have an MOT, but that they also need it to be roadworthy all of the time.



  35. Comment by scott richardson posted on

    add the option to put your mobile number in to receive a text message as not everyone has email but the majourity have mobile phone