top of page

MOT Exemption of Historic Vehicles


For the latest update please follow the link


The Federation has argued that the DVLA process for enabling declaration of a vehicle as not being significantly changed at the time of re-licensing only, was one which could put drivers at risk of bureaucratic misunderstanding and leave them at risk from ill-briefed police officers.


We became aware of a genuine example that had arisen, whereby the driver of an historic vehicle had received a Notice of Prosecution. The Federation urgently sought clarification of the position from the Department for Transport (DfT), and we are pleased to confirm that they responded promptly and positively and have provided us with the statement we copy here, which we believe sets out the position clearly and succinctly, and will be of real use to our members.


It may be that any member who has a concern about this will wish to carry a copy of the DfT Statement in their vehicle.


We are still unhappy that the Vehicle Enquiry Service cannot show an accurate MOT status even after the registered keeper has filled in a Form V112 or checked the declaration page during online licensing. Currently it simply says, if the vehicle does not have an MOT, then no MOT information is available.



For media enquiries, please contact:

Geoff Lancaster, 07860 562659,


Editor’s notes:

The Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs exists to maintain the freedom of its members to use historic vehicles on the UK’s roads, hence its campaign message: ‘Yesterday’s Vehicles on Tomorrow’s Roads’.  The FBHVC has over 550 member clubs representing over 251,000 individual owners.  

Department for Transport                                                     Mr Bob Owen

Great Minster House                                                              Director - Legislation

33 Horseferry Road                                                                Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs



Tel: 0300 330 3000

Web Site:


Our Ref: MC/232005

11 January 2019


Dear Mr Owen,


RE: Vehicle Of Historic Interest MOT Exemption


The following is a statement of the effect of recent legal changes to requirements for MOT testing of vehicles at least 40 years old.

On 20 May 2018 the Motor Vehicle (Tests) (Amendment) Regulations 2017 came into force. Regulation 7 sets out that any car, van (under 3.5t) or motorcycle which is being used on a public road is to be considered a vehicle of historic interest and therefore no longer required to hold a valid MOT certificate if it:

a)was manufactured or registered for the first time at least 40 years previously

b)is of a type no longer in production, and

c)has been historically preserved or maintained in its original state and has not undergone substantial changes in the technical characteristic of its main components.

This amended the previous exemption from MOT testing for cars, light vans or motorcycles manufactured in 1960 or before. The arrangements for the testing of old larger vehicles are different.

Please find enclosed a copy of this Statutory Instrument and a copy of the Explanatory Memorandum should you wish to refer to these.

There is no requirement, either intended or implied, that at the point a vehicle becomes 40 years old and providing the vehicle has not been substantially changed, for the owner to make a declaration to any statutory body, declaring that the vehicle is a vehicle of historic interest and is therefore no longer required to have a valid MOT certificate.


The Department and DVLA have set up an administrative process (via DVLA form V112 and the equivalent process on-line) which requires at the time of the annual re-licensing of vehicles a declaration that the vehicle is a vehicle of historic interest – in that it has not been substantial modified. This process is in place to help owners of old vehicles that have been substantially modified do not by mistake run them without a valid MOT. The Department has published information about what constitutes a substantial modification in this context and encourages owners who do not know to seek advice.


Yours sincerely,


Duncan Price  

Divisional Manager, Freight, Operator Licensing and Roadworthines

bottom of page