The UK Rules
Becoming an MOT Tester

Requirements to Become an MOT Tester

You will need to meet the eligibility criteria and pass several qualifications before you can become an MOT tester in the United Kingdom.

This section explains how to take a tester qualification course and then pass a DVSA demonstration test. To stay qualified as an MOT tester you will also need to complete (and pass) annual training and assessment.

Become an MOT Tester | Table of Contents

The first step will be the most important if you want to carry out MOT tests at an authorised testing station. You can use the section below to check that you meet all the rules relating to the eligibility criteria.

The next step is to complete the MOT tester course (class 1, 2, 4, and 7). The information below explains how to apply and what the theory and practical courses will involve.

After getting the level 2 MOT testing certificate you would need to pass the DVSA MOT demonstration test (class 1, 2, 4, and 7).

As a qualified MOT tester you need to complete your annual training and pass an assessment (between April and March). Another section explains MOT tester training and annual assessments in greater detail.

Eligibility to take an MOT Testing Course

Completing an MOT testing course is a vital part of becoming an authorised examiner. The prerequisites for taking the MOT tester qualification course include:

  • Having a current and full United Kingdom driving licence for the classification of vehicles that you will test.
  • Being a skilled mechanic with a minimum of four (4) years of full-time employment in the servicing and repairing of the vehicle types that you will test.
  • Having no unspent convictions for criminal offences that are connected with:
    • Acts of violence or intimidation
    • MOT testing
    • The motor trade
  • Being a person of 'good repute'. The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) make a decision on whether an individual is suitable to be an MOT tester (or not).

There are further eligibility requirements for becoming a class 3 or 5 MOT tester. In this case, you must already have:

  • A level 2 testing certificate in class 4 and 7 vehicles (group B).
  • Passed an MOT demonstration test after getting the level 2 certificate.

Accepted Qualification or Accreditation

MOT course providers only accept certain types of qualifications or accreditations from candidates wanting to test class 3, 4, 5, or 7 vehicles (meaning cars, private buses, and light commercial vehicles). The list of accepted qualifications includes:

NVQs, SVQs, and VRQs

According to the GOV.UK website you can hold a National Vocational Qualification, Scottish Vocational Qualification, or Vocationally Related Qualification in:

  • Vehicle Mechanical and Electronic Systems, Maintenance and Repair, (light vehicle or heavy vehicle), level 3.
  • Vehicle Technician, Vehicle Maintenance, and Repair (light vehicle or heavy vehicle), level 3.

City and Guilds

A City and Guilds qualification also meets the prerequisites providing it is in:

  • Automotive Qualification, NVQ level 3
  • Repair and Servicing of Road Vehicles, 383 (full level 2 or 3)
  • Motor Vehicle Craft Studies, modular - part 3 (requires 3 modules)
  • Motor Vehicle Craft Studies, 381 (full part 2 or 3)
  • Motor Vehicle Craft Studies, pre 381 syllabus (full part 2)
  • Light or Heavy Vehicle Mechanics Craft Studies (full part 2 or 3)
  • Motor Vehicle Technician’s Certificate (full part 1)

Note: Certain types of other qualifications (and equivalents) also meet the accepted standard for taking the MOT testing course, such as:

  • Business and Technology Education Council (BTEC), National Certificate or Ordinary National Certificate (ONC) in Motor Vehicle Engineering studies.
  • IMI level 3 National Diploma in Vehicle Maintenance and Repair (light vehicle or heavy vehicle).
  • National Craft Certification with a specialism of Vehicle Maintenance and Electronic Systems.
  • Scottish Vocational Educational Council National Certificate in Vehicle Mechanics and Systems (part 3)

Accepted Accreditations

Providing you have a valid IMI or ATA accreditation ID card, you will be accepted for participation in the MOT tester qualification course with an Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) Accreditation or Automotive Technician Accreditation (ATA) in:

  • Light Vehicle Diagnostic Technician
  • Light Vehicle Inspection Technician

Note: As a rule, an ABC Awards Accreditation in Vehicle Technician Accredited Assessment or a City and Guild Pre-Vehicle Testing Assessment (3428-01) would also meet the grade.

Course to Become an MOT Tester

Successful completion of the MOT testing course (class 1, 2, 4 and 7) is a prerequisite of becoming an MOT tester. You will need to show that you meet the eligible requirements before you apply.

MOT Course Application Process

You can search online to find an approved MOT tester qualification course (further details below). The course provider will charge a fee for conducting the MOT tester training.

Note: Course providers set their own prices. But, you should expect to pay at least £1,500 + VAT.

What the Course Covers

Tester training covers a minimum of 29 hours of theory and practical modules. At least eight (8) hours of the course will be 'hands-on' practical training.

The five separate parts of the MOT tester course (class 1, 2, 4, and 7) are:

  1. How to Become an MOT Tester in the United KingdomSafe working practices in the vehicle test centre.
  2. Working relationships within the vehicle test centre.
  3. Managing your own professional development as an MOT tester.
  4. Carrying out pre-test checks for an MOT test.
  5. Carrying out an MOT test.

Assessments during the Training

You will get detailed information from the course provider about how the assessments work. But, you will need to pass (both):

  • A multiple-choice question test.
  • A practical assessment.

After Completing the MOT Tester Course

When you have completed your training the course provider will give you a Level 2 MOT Testing Award in (either):

  • Class 1 and 2 vehicles (group A)
  • Class 4 and 7 vehicles (group B)

Note: The certificate you receive is needed to book and take a Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency MOT demonstration test.


MOT Demonstration Test (class 1, 2, 4, and 7)

You can perform your vehicle testing demonstration once you get the level 2 MOT testing certificate. The MOT demonstration test is free of charge and can be carried out at (either):

  • The MOT testing station where you work (providing it is open and trading for business).
  • The same training centre that conducted your qualification course.

There are several ways you can prepare before booking the demo test. For example, you should:

  • Read through the MOT manuals and special notices for testers found on the GOV.UK website.
  • Practise your inspection routine and the use of test equipment (on different types of vehicles).
  • Watch how an experienced tester carries out tests on different vehicles.

Booking the Demonstration Test

You should have already carried out an MOT test by yourself (without assistance) before you book the demonstration. Follow these five basic steps for booking the test:

  1. Sign in to your MOT testing service account (created for the qualification course).
  2. Go to the section marked [your profile] and select [qualifications].
  3. Add your level 2 MOT testing certificate number and then choose a location for the demonstration test (using the ID number of the training centre or the testing station).
  4. Call the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) to request a test. You need your MOT testing service user ID and the name and ID number of the test location chosen in step 3.
  5. The DVSA will call you to set up a test date (it may take a few weeks). You can call the DVSA for an update if they did not contact you within four (4) weeks.
DVSA Customer Service Centre
Telephone: 0300 123 9000 (choose option 2, then option 4)
Open Monday to Friday: 7:30am to 6pm
Call charges to 0300 numbers.

MOT Demonstration Test Procedures

When taking the actual vehicle testing exam you will need to bring:

  • A vehicle of the same class that you will be tested on (it must be at least three years old).
  • Your UK driving licence. Take a photo ID (e.g. your passport) if you do not have a photocard licence.
  • Your award certificate from level 2 MOT testing.

Important: Failing to bring all these things with you means the DVSA examiner will cancel your test.

The DVSA examiner will provide you with full instructions on what you have to do. But, you will need to:

  • Carry out a demonstration MOT test on the vehicle.
  • Record the test result on the MOT testing service (a practice version).
  • Answer some questions about the MOT.

Getting the Test Result

Passing the demonstration test means you will be able to start doing MOT tests at the testing stations where you are already a registered tester (listed in the MOT testing service).

What happens if you should fail the demonstration test? In this case, the DVSA examiner will provide you with feedback on your performance and give you further advice on what to do next.


Class 3 or 5 MOT Tester Training

You can also become a class 3 or 5 MOT tester by taking another training course and the demonstration test.

The prerequisite for class 3 (e.g. 3-wheeled vehicles over 450 kg unladen weight, minibuses, taxis) and class 5 (e.g. ambulances, private passenger vehicles, motor caravans) tester training includes:

  • Having a group B level 2 testing certificate (class 4 and 7 vehicles).
  • Passing an MOT demonstration test after attaining the level 2 certificate.

Applying for Class 3 or 5 Tester Training

You can find a class 3 or 5 training course by emailing the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA). There will be a fee to pay once you book it with the course provider.

DVSA
Email: [email protected]

Note: Course providers set the prices. Charges can vary depending on where you book the training.

After Completing the Class 3 or 5 Tester Course

A successful completion will result in a certificate. You cannot book and take a DVSA MOT demonstration test without the certificate. You would also need to pass the demo test before working as a class 3 or 5 MOT tester.

Important: Do not enter the details of your certificate on the MOT testing service.

A DVSA examiner will test you at (either):

  • The same training centre that conducted your qualification course.
  • One of the testing centres that carries out MOT tests on class 3 and 5 vehicles.

There are several ways you can prepare for the demonstration test. For example, you should:

  • Read through the MOT testing manuals and special notices (link above).
  • Practice your vehicle inspection routine.
  • Check you have all the required documentation (e.g. the relevant driving licence).

Booking the Demonstration Test

When you call the DVSA (details above) to book your class 3 or 5 test exam you will need:

  • Your unique MOT testing service user ID.
  • To know the VTS number (vehicle test station) of the place you will have the test.

Class 3 or 5 Demonstration Test Procedures

The examiner from the DVSA will check:

  • Your UK driving licence. Take a photo ID (e.g. your passport) if you do not have a photocard licence.
  • Your class 3 or 5 MOT training certificate.

The DVSA examiner will provide you with full instructions on what you have to do. But, you will need to:

  • Carry out a demonstration MOT test on the vehicle.
  • Record the test result on the MOT testing service (a training version).
  • Answer some questions about the MOT.

Getting the Test Result

Passing the demonstration test means you will be able to start doing class 3 or 5 MOT tests at a testing station authorised to test these vehicle classes.

What happens if you should fail the demonstration test? In this case, the DVSA examiner will provide you with feedback on your performance and give you further advice on what to do next.


MOT Annual Training and Assessment

To stay qualified you will need to complete your MOT tester training and annual assessments some time between April the 1st and the 31st of March in the following year.

Despite being able to choose when you complete the training and assessment, as a vehicle tester you are responsible for:

  • Planning and carrying out your own training.
  • Recording your training and keeping evidence that proves you completed it.
  • Making the booking and then taking the annual assessment.

Note: The DVSA published a short video [1:29 seconds] for MOT testers highlighting some of the major changes to the MOT since May 2018.


How to Return to MOT Testing

You can make a return to MOT testing after an absence. But, you would need to have extra training and take a test. The exact procedure for returning to MOT testing will depend on:

  • The reason why you stopped testing.
  • For how long you stopped testing.

Due to a Formal Warning or Disciplinary Period

If you received a formal warning or a disciplinary period you would need to complete all the steps before you can start testing again.

Formal Warning or Disciplinary Period of 28 Days

  1. The first step would be to take the annual training and assessment for the current year.
  2. You would then need to participate in extra training about the subjects for which you were disqualified. As a rule, that would mean reading the MOT inspection manuals or taking a training course. You may need to provide evidence of your participation to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency.
  3. Take a DVSA MOT demonstration test (details above).

Disciplinary Period of 2 or 5 Years

  1. In this case you would need to take an MOT tester qualification course.
  2. You would need to follow that by taking a DVSA MOT demonstration test.

If the Decision to Stop Testing was Voluntary

Testers who stop voluntarily would need to complete all the steps before they can start testing again.

Stopped between 6 Months and 5 Years

  1. The first step would be to take the annual training and assessment for the current year.
  2. You would then need to participate in extra training. As a rule, that would mean reading the inspection manuals or taking a training course. You may need to provide evidence of your participation to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency.
  3. The final step would be to take a 'returning to MOT testing' demonstration test. You can book this by calling the DVSA testing and approval department.
MOT Vehicle Testing and Approval
Telephone: 0300 123 9000
Monday to Friday: 7:30am to 6pm
Information on call charges.

The information that they will ask you for includes:

  • Your MOT testing service user ID.
  • The number of the vehicle test station where you will take the test.
  • What class of vehicle you will test.

Stopped for a Period Over 5 Years

  1. In this case you would need to take an MOT tester qualification course.
  2. You would need to follow that by taking a DVSA MOT demonstration test.

Find an Approved MOT Tester Course

Completing an approved MOT tester (or manager qualification course) is a requirement for becoming an MOT tester (or an MOT manager).

You can search online to find the contact details of a course provider. The GOV.UK website has a page to help you find an MOT tester or manager course near to your location.

Note: After entering your postcode into the online facility it will give you a list of relevant results and how to contact them.


Recording MOT Test Results

Testers can use the online MOT testing service to record test results, update examiner details, and to check and buy MOT slots. You can also:

  • Print off MOT certificates.
  • Buy test slots and check the balance of you test station.
  • Order a replacement MOT testing security card.
  • Record your annual assessment result.

Contact the service desk if you need further help:

MOT Testing Service Desk
Telephone: 0330 123 5654
Monday to Friday: 8am to 6pm
Saturday: 8am to 2pm
Phone call charge rates.

The main overview section has further advice and information for anyone who is running a transport and driving business (e.g. an MOT testing station).


How to Become an MOT Tester in the United Kingdom

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