WHILE we’re all used to getting written reminders when our road tax is due, it’s always been your own responsibility to remember when your MOT is set to expire.
But with all MOT records now held on computer and checkable online, it was only ever going to be a small step to create an automatic reminder system. That’s a step the government has now taken.
Its MOT reminder service has launched today in a public ‘beta test’ form. Upon signing up, you get text messages or emailed reminders to let you know that your MOT is about to expire. The first reminder comes four weeks before your MOT runs out. That’s the point at which you can renew your MOT while retaining the same anniversary date for the test.
If you still haven’t had it tested two weeks after that first reminder, the service will send you another nudge. And finally, if the MOT expires and you still haven’t done it, you’ll get a notification to tell you exactly that.
Being in beta test form, the system is still being tested and improved. However, while its public launch is today, it’s actually been up and running for some months. Here at Visordown we’ve been using it and hit no problems. So the ‘beta test’ tag is probably there mainly as a disclaimer – they clearly don’t want anyone caught without a valid MOT wriggling out of fines on the basis of not receiving a reminder.
The DVSA reckons that at any one time, 28% of cars are overdue their MOT and that more often than not it’s simply down to forgetfulness on the part of their owners. With no existing reminder system that’s easy to believe.
It’s also worth noting that you don’t have to actually own the vehicle that you’re signing up for. That means you can just as easily get notification’s about a spouse’s car or bike, or perhaps that of an elderly relative, to ensure they don’t forget the MOT either.
The service is free, and given that the DVSA already has all your vehicle MOT and ownership information on record, it doesn’t seem to be a data-harvesting exercise either.
To get your email or mobile number registered for the reminders, simply fill in the details here.
As with the online VED payment system, it’s worth double-checking that you’re on the proper government site before filling details in. Although it’s unlikely that anyone has set up fake versions of the website yet, there have been several scam sites that pose as the official VED renewal page and charge for a normally free service. It’s unlikely to be long before scammers try something similar with the free MOT reminder service, but make sure you’re on the proper ‘www.gov.uk’ site and that won’t be a problem.