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MOT Rule Changes

Article Published - 31/5/2018

The changes will affect cars, vans, motorcycles and other light passenger vehicles.

The MOT rules recently changed in England, Scotland and Wales on Sunday 20th May 2018. 

There are 5 main changes you need to know.

  1. Defects are categorised differently (dangerous, major and minor)
  2. Stricter rules for diesel car emissions
  3. Some new things are included in the MOT, including tyre checks and fluid leaks
  4. The MOT certificate has changed
  5. Some vehicles over 40 years old won't need an MOT

To see an overview of the changes above, please click here.


For number plates, all of the following fall into the 'Major' defects category.

a. Number plate missing from the vehicle
This includes number plates that aren't secure and are likely to fall off. They should not be obscured, excessively damaged, deteriorated or delaminated.

b. Number plate inscription missing or illegible
The inscription is the registration number itself, the digits must be clear to read.

c. Number plate showing an incorrect registration
Registered number plate suppliers should always check documents before producing a number plate.

d. Number plate does not conform to the specified requirements
Registration plates fitted to vehicles manufactured on or after 1st January 1978 must:

  • have black characters on a white background (front)
  • have black characters on a yellow background (rear)
  • be fitted as vertically as possible


For more information, please visit Section 0 Identification of the Vehicle of the MOT manual.