MOT Testing Terminology Explained

MOT Testing Terminology Explained

MOT Testing Terminology Explained by AP Autocare, probably Bristol’s best MOT testing station.

Like many industries, the MOT Testers, MOT documentation and the guidelines themselves use terminology the definitions of which may not be obvious to vehicle owners. Here is a guide on the most commonly used:


The term is used when a test cannot be completed because the Tester considers it unsafe to continue or because it becomes apparent during the test that certain items cannot be satisfactorily inspected. An appropriate fee may be charged for the test.


The term is used when a test cannot be completed because of a problem with the VTS/DC testing equipment or the Tester. No fee may be charged for the test.


Authorised Examiner – the organisation that operates and manages one or more VTSs and is responsible for controlling the quality of testing carried out. Except in the case of a ‘sole trader’ the AE is not a person but a legal entity. For example, a company or partnership.


The AE Delegate is a Person appointed by the AE Designated Manager to act on their behalf on a temporary or permanent basis. Note: this does not devolve the ultimate responsibility held by the AE.


The AE Designated Manager is the person who represents the AE and who has normally attended the MOT Management Course. Typically, an AE Principal but in larger organisations may be a senior manager with responsibility for the totality of the entity’s MOT testing operations.


The Authorised Examiner Principal is a person who is legally responsible for the entity. For example, every partner in a partnership; every director in a company; or the sole trader in person.


The Authorised Examiner Consultant is a non-mandatory role. AE’s may assign this role to consultants they use to provide advice on MOT standards and how to run the MOT centre.


Automated Test Lane. These are authorised by DVSA for use in the automated mode and where the tester has the option of not using an assistant if so desired.

Catch up

The process where test data recorded while testing under Contingency Testing is subsequently entered.


The process by which an authorisation, approval or designation is brought to an end. Cessation is used in place of the previous terms for termination/surrender or withdrawal of an Authorisation/Designation or disqualification of a Tester/Inspector.

Connected equipment

Equipment that can send test results from the MOT test equipment directly to the MOT testing service.


Contingency Testing is the process by which testing may continue when the computerised system is not available due to a wide-scale failure affecting a significant number of VTSs.


An MOT Test Certificate for issue during a period of Contingency Testing.


A notice of refusal of an MOT Test Certificate for issue during a period of Contingency Testing.


Designated Council. Local Authorities that are authorised to carry out MOT tests.

Department (the)

Department for Transport. The Government Department, which carries out the functions of the Secretary of State and under which DVSA operates.


Design Gross Weight – the maximum gross weight at which the vehicle was designed to operate. This is normally found on a plate fixed to the vehicle by the manufacturer or in the case of older or heavier vehicles by a Ministry Plate. Such plates are not required on all vehicles.

Duplicate test documents

A copy of the documents issued at the time of the test for which the duplicate is required. VT20/VT20W, VT30/VT30W


Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency. An agency of the Department for Transport responsible for driver and vehicle licensing.


The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency.

Group A

Collectively describes test classes 1 and 2.

Group B

Collectively describes test classes 3, 4, 5 and 7.

Issue of test documents

When the record is electronically accepted or a CT test document is signed by the Tester.

MOT tester qualification course

Level 2 Award in MOT Testing awarded to an applicant following the successful completion of an MOT course. The award is for testing classes 1 and 2 or classes 4 and 7. Previously the Nominated Tester Training course.

MOT manager course

Level 3 Award in MOT Test Centre Management awarded following the successful completion of the MOT Managers course. The course is typically for AEs and AEDMs. This course is also available for other staff to develop their knowledge of MOT management. An AE must, unless exempted, have one person who has attended this course. Previously the MOT Managers course or AE course.

MOT manager

A person filling a VTS management function – AEDM, AED or SM.

MOT service

Formally known as the MOT Scheme or MOT Testing Scheme.

MOT testing service

The computer system and database used to manage MOT test records. Sometimes abbreviated to MTS.

Notify DVSA

Inform DVSA office in writing, by letter, email or fax.

Officer of a company

An officer of a company is as defined in Section 744 of the Companies Act 1985, as amended or replaced by later legislation. An officer is a director, manager or secretary. In particular, note that a manager has a specific meaning in that Act rather than its more normal meaning. Details of all officers are generally required to be notified to the registrar of companies.


One Person Test Lane. These are lanes authorised by DVSA to conduct testing where the tester has the option of not using an assistant if so desired.


Pass after Rectification at Station – The process where defects may be rectified within one hour after the test, but before recording the results on the MOT Testing Service.


Quality Control.


Quality Management. The system or processes used by the AE to manage the quality of testing and operations in their VTSs.


Roller Brake Tester.

Regulations (the)

The Motor Vehicles (Tests) Regulations 1981 as amended.


A site Administrator is a person who can carry out VTS administrative functions, also known as VTS Administrator.

Secretary of State

Refers to the Secretary of State for Transport.


Site Manager responsible for the day to day running of one or more VTSs.

Security code

Is a 6 digit code generated by a security card, email or authentication app. The code is entered into MTS by users who have roles assigned to their MTS profile.


Special Notice –- an official notice issued from time to time by DVSA to inform AEs, Testers and other system users of changes to the MOT testing service. SNs may also be used to highlight areas of concern and to advise of developments to the Service.

Sole trader

An individual carrying out business on their own behalf rather than on behalf of a partnership, company or other body.


MOT Tester – a person appointed by an AE to carry out tests, Inspectors appointed by Designated Councils to carry out tests, all of which are approved by DVSA. Also, DVSA staff who are appointed under section 66A of the Road Traffic Act.

Test slots

A test slot is a chargeable unit that enables the registration of a computerised test. A test slot is only used when the test result is a pass.


Unladen weight – The weight of the vehicle inclusive of the body and all parts which are ordinarily used with the vehicle when working on a road. (Unladen weight does not include the weight of water or fuel used for the propulsion of the vehicle, or of loose tools and loose equipment).


Vehicle Registration Certificate issued by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency.


An MOT Test Certificate, which includes separate English and Welsh language versions (VT20W) and which may also incorporate advisory information.


An MOT Inspection Check List used by a Tester during a test for vehicles other than motor bicycles (see VT29M).


Motorcycle MOT Inspection Check List used by a Tester during a motor bicycle test.


A notice of refusal of an MOT Test Certificate which includes separate English and Welsh language versions (VT30W) and which may also incorporate advisory information.


An advisory notice issued to the vehicle presenter advising the outcome of an inspection carried out by a DVSA examiner. Includes the English/Welsh dual-language version (VT32W).


Vehicle Identification Number also includes chassis or frame number.


Vehicle Registration Mark.


Vehicle Testing Station.

Working days

Working days exclude Saturdays, Sundays, Good Friday, Christmas Day or a bank holiday under the Banking and Financial Dealings Act 1971.

Written or in writing

Wherever the terms ‘written’ or ‘in writing’ are used they should be taken to include correspondence via e-mail or recorded electronically.

AP Autocare MOT Test Centre Bristol

AP Autocare carry out class 4, class 5 and class 7 MOT tests. During your MOT test our vehicle technicians will ensure that you are fully informed of our progress and any costs. We can also advise on how to pass your MOT before you bring your car into us. So call us now to book your MOT or for further advice and information on 0117 963 8916

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