Will I be penalised for having no MOT? Police give some advice

The PSNI has issued some advice to motorists who are struggling to get MOT appointments before their current certificate expires.

In a Facebook post police in Ards and North Down say they have been getting plenty of questions about the current situation regarding MOT bookings.

The post continued: “At the moment there seems to be a couple of scenarios that are causing folk worry.

“First one is when you get your normal reminder letter for MOT but you cannot get an appointment for several weeks or even months. The following advice can be found at NI Direct for this situation -


“The PSNI has agreed not to penalise drivers whose MOT has expired so long as:

- Your vehicle is in a roadworthy and safe condition and doesn’t have a statutory off-road notification (SORN) declaration

- Your vehicle is properly insured

- You can prove (by showing an MOT appointment notification/reminder, either in electronic or paper form) that a test appointment has been booked for your vehicle.

“The ABI has confirmed that the lack of a valid MOT certificate would not necessarily invalidate a motor insurance policy. However they say that if you can’t get a test appointment until after the current certificate expires, you should check your policy documents or speak to your insurer.

“The second one is where your MOT runs out and your tax also expires. Unless you have an active MOT you will not be able to tax your car and potentially receive a fine if detected on the roads. If you pay your tax by direct debit then that also will fail to renew.

“If you get to within five days of the expiry date of your tax and you have been unable to secure an MOT appointment or your tax has expired, contact the DVA customer services team at [email protected] with the following information:

- Vehicle registration number

- MOT booking reference number

- Preferred test centre

“The MOT staff will do their best to secure you an emergency booking to allow you to keep the car taxed.

“Hopefully that helps answer some questions and all the info is over on the link to NI Direct,” the post ended