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The MOT test certificates are currently issued in Great Britain under the auspices of the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) (formed as a result of the merger between the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) and the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA)), an executive agency of the Department for Transport, and before 1 April 2014 by VOSA.Certificates in Northern Ireland are issued by the Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA).
It is The Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations that prevent an unlit vehicle being used on the road after dark, not the MOT.The test and the pass certificate are often referred to simply as the "MOT".About 20,100 are authorised to perform testing and to issue certificates.The test classes are: All test stations are required to display a "VT9A Fees and Appeals" poster on their premises which must be available to the public.As of 6 April 2010, these are the maximum fees that can be charged. The actual designation for the pass certificate is VT20, and failure is the VT30, with any advisories being the VT32.In principle, any individual in Great Britain can apply to run a MOT station, although in order to gain an authorisation from DVSA, both the individual wanting to run the station, as well as the premises, need to meet minimal criteria set out on the government's website within the so-called VT01 form.
In Northern Ireland tests are performed exclusively at the DVA's own test centres, although currently there is an open project investigating bringing Northern Ireland into line with the rest of the United Kingdom. The test was originally a basic test including brakes, lights and steering check which was to be carried out after the vehicle was ten years old and every year thereafter.
The list of items tested has been continually expanded over the years, including in 1968 – a tyre check; 1977 – checks of windscreen wipers and washers, direction indicators, brakelights, horns, exhaust system and condition of the body structure and chassis; 1991 – checks of the emissions test for petrol engine vehicles, together with checks on the anti-lock braking system, rear wheel bearings, rear wheel steering (where appropriate) and rear seat belts; 1992 – a stricter tyre tread depth requirement for most vehicles; 1994 – a check of emissions for diesel engine vehicles; 2005 – introduction of a computerised administration system for issuing non-secure test certificates.
Also rolled out in 2005 was the creation of the 'Automated Test Bay' this differs from traditional testing by adding additional equipment to the bay to negate the use of an assistant during the test; 2012 – checks of secondary restraint systems, battery and wiring, ESC, speedometers and steering locks.
In 1962, the first commercial vehicle exam was created and a valid certificate was required in order to receive a tax disc, and in April 1967 the testable age for an MOT was reduced to three years.
On 1 January 1983 the testable age for ambulances, taxis and vehicles with more than eight passenger seats, excluding the driver's, was reduced to one year.
The official UK MOT inspection manuals In Great Britain MOT testing centres are regulated and licensed by the Department and Transport and DVSA for the purpose, and the individual testers carrying out the inspections also have to be trained and certified.