As has now been reported widely both in the national press and the broadcast media earlier this week, the new online MOT Testing system failed catastrophically.
Testing Stations have been forced to provide motorists who present their cars for MOT with a simple paper document – a ‘Contingency MOT Test' Certificate – recording the result of their MOT Test, because they are unabe to access the MOT computer system.
Unfortunately however, the legal record of the MOT Test is officially held on the computer, so to motorists attempting to tax their vehicles online won’t be able to do so, and will have to go to a Post Office with the paper document to get their vehicle taxed if it has expired.
Police unable to verify contingency MOT vehicles' MOT status
There’s also another problem. Normally, as soon as a car passes the MOT, it is not only recorded on the DVLA’s database for vehicle tax purposes, but also on police databases so that they can quickly check if a vehicle has an MOT. Without that electronic record, a policeman checking a vehicle for which the MOT record held online has apparently expired, even though it may have a legitimate contingency pass document, will assume that it is being driven without a valid MOT. So car drivers who have just had an MOT and who have been provided with a Contingency MOT Test Certificate (see picture), should keep it with the vehicle as proof to the police, if stopped, that it has indeed passed the MOT Test, despite there being no electronic record to prove it.
When the MOT computer is again working normally, the MOT Testing garages will 'catch' up with recording the results of all MOTs carried out while not online, but this may take up to a week. Currently the system is running normally, and most garages should have been able to record the MOT electronically and provide any motorists who have a ‘contingency’ document with the correct pass documentation.
At the moment, as of 20th August, around 15,000 of the approximately 23,000 MOT garages have been switched over to the new system. It is expected that by the middle of September that all MOT garages will have been transferred to the new system.