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What do you need to know about MOT tests with custom number plates?

You can not drive with an expired MOT. There are some exceptions.

It is possible to purchase a custom numberplate for your car. Here we have compiled some custom plate information you need to know in relation to MOT tests.

Do I need a new MOT test certificate if I get a personalised number plate?

You do not need to re-take the MOT test after registering your car with the new private number plate.
— Your MOT will remain valid after changing the number plate and DVLA will automatically update their records so you just need to remember to book the next test as per your existing MOT expiry date.

You can drive with your new custom numberplates if:

  • You have registered your car and custom number plates with DVLA.
  • Your number plates comply with government guidelines.
  • Your current MOT certificate is still valid
  • No dangerous problems were identified and you are driving to get the fault fixed.
  • Your MOT expired and you are driving to an MOT testing station. Its a good idea to book this in advance.

What to do if you can't drive?

You should consider fixing the issue at the location where the test was carried out.

If your vehicle has no major or dangerous problems, you can drive to a repair shop.

You can get the vehicle towed to a repair centre if the vehicle is not safe to drive.

You can book a mobile repair to get the problem fixed.

Will custom 3D (raised) or 4D number plates fail MOT?

Bespoke 3D number plates need to conform to government regulations in order to pass the MOT test. Learn more about the rules for number plates on the government website:

  • be made from a reflective material
  • display black characters on a white background (front plate)
  • display black characters on a yellow background (rear plate)
  • not have a background pattern
  • be marked to show who supplied the number plate
  • be marked with a British Standard number - this is ‘BS AU 145e’ for plates fitted after 1 September 2021
  • Your number plates can have 3D (raised) characters

Will custom NEON or tinted number plates pass MOT?

  • Custom neon number plates are not considered road worthy at this time and hence won't pass the MOT test.
  • Colours other than white (front plate background), yellow (rear plate background) and black (text) are not allowed on number plates.

To find out more information about the MOT test failures please refer to Failing the MOT page on the UK Government website.

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