A 45-year tradition is about to come to an end with the phasing out of the MoT certificate. From late April MoT test centres are scheduled to begin switching to online records, and in place of the old-fashioned embossed and watermarked certificate, motorists will be issued with a “receipt”.
All the data about the vehicle, including its registration, VIN (vehicle identification number), make, model and mileage will be held on a mainframe computer near Blackpool by the Bristol-based Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (Vosa). For the first time the new MoT records will include details of work done by a mechanic to the vehicle to get it through the test.
Police believe the computerised system will help to cut theft of MoT certificates and help them track down stolen vehicles.
Vosa said the system as a whole would be more secure, though the receipts themselves would be easier to counterfeit. “Without a doubt it will be easier to fake a new one,” said a Vosa spokesman. “But rather than place the emphasis on a piece of paper which can be stolen or counterfeited, we have shifted the data to a central database where it can be better controlled.”
Car buyers will be advised to ring a hotline to check the MoT details of vehicles they are intending to purchase are correct. The switch to the new system will be phased: 5,000 of approximately 19,200 MoT centres across Britain are due to start using the online forms in about 10 weeks, and the remainder should have switched to the new system by October.