Changes to the MOT – What You Need to Know


To bring NI in line with the rest of the UK and Europe, there have been some changes to the MOT test and the new regulations are now in force.

New tested items

The following items were not previously tested, but are now part of the test…

Reversing Lamps – Reversing lamps are now tested if the vehicle was first used from September 1st 2009.

Daytime Running Lamps – Running lamps are now tested on vehicles first used from March 1st 2018.

Front Fog Lights – Front fitted fog lights will now be inspected on any vehicle first used from March 1st 2018.

Brake Fluid Contamination – All vehicles will now have a visual check for contamination of the contents of the brake fluid reservoir.

Engine Malfunction Indicator Lamp – Between 20th May 2018 and 19th May 2019, an illuminated engine malfunction lamp will result in a minor defect being recorded. This is still classed as a pass. But after May 19th 2019, this will then be recorded as a major defect and will result in a failed test.

Additionally, there are now stricter emission limits for diesel engines first used from January 1st 2014 with a reduced smoke test limit of 0.7m-1

New categorisation

Defects now fall into three categories…

Minor – A defect that has no significant impact on the safety of the vehicle, or the environment. This is a PASS.

Major – A defect that may affect the safety of the vehicle, or the environment. This is a FAIL.

Dangerous – A defect that has a direct and immediate effect on safety or the environment. This is a FAIL.

Goods Vehicles Testing

All vehicles on a goods vehicle chassis will now be tested as a goods vehicle. This will include several types of vehicle that were previously exempt, including, but not limited to mobile cranes, electric goods vehicles, and vehicles used for display or educational purposes. The goods vehicle test for these vehicles will be due at the same time as the Road Fund License.

Heavy Goods Vehicles

Heavy goods vehicles will now require a speed limiter, side guards, rear underrun protection and spray suppression equipment.

The New Certificate

The style of the MOT certificate is also changing. The new certificate is a single page which lists any minor defects, along with the vehicle’s previous year’s mileage reading.


Retests must be done within 60 days of the first test and must be paid for within 21 days of the original test.