VED exempt classics being pulled up by police for having no MOT

Classic car owners caught out in this way have included a Triumph owner in ended up being prosecuted by Suffolk Police for not having a valid MOT on his VHI-eligible 1973 2.4 PI estate. Here we set out the precautions members should take with an MGV8 eligible for VED exemptions

More information on VED exemption
See our information gateway

When can the police stop a vehicle?

The police can stop a vehicle for any reason. If they ask you to stop, you should always pull over when it’s safe to do so. You’re breaking the law if you do not stop.

If you’re stopped, the police can ask to see your:
> driving licence
> insurance certificate
> MOT certificate

If you do not have these documents with you, you have 7 days to take them to a police station. You’re breaking the law if you do not show the requested documents within 7 days. The police can also give you an on-the-spot fixed penalty notice for many minor offences and make you take a breath test in certain circumstances. You can also have your vehicle seized if you’re stopped on suspicion of driving without insurance and for some other offences. More

Posted: 190125

The Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs (FBHVC) has issued advice after it emerged that some police are stopping some owners of classic cars more than 40 years old for appearing not to have a valid MOT, which it fears is due to official records on these vehicles not making the exemption clear. The FBHVC advice is encouraging owners of classics to carry with them a copy of a recent letter from the Department for Transport (DfT) in case they are stopped by police officers unaware of the VED exemption changes for classics more than 40 years old.

The Federation has argued that the DVLA process for enabling the declaration of a vehicle as "not having undergone substantial change in the technical characteristics of its main components" at the time of re-licensing, was one which could put drivers at risk of bureaucratic misunderstanding and leave them at risk from ill-briefed policemen. In a NEWS item posted on the FBHVC website says "we became aware that a real example that had arisen and that the driver of a historic vehicle had received a Notice of Prosecution. The Federation urgently sought clarification of the position from the Department for Transport. We are glad to confirm that they responded promptly and positively and have provided us with the statement we copy here, which we think sets out the position clearly and succinctly and will be of real use to our members. It may be that some members who have concerns about this will wish to carry a copy of the DfT statement in their vehicle".

See a copy of the letter issued by DfT to the FBHVC dated 11th January 2019 headed "Vehicle of Historic Interest MOT Exemption". Print off a copy now.

The FBHVC adds they 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 MOT exemption form or checked the MOT exemption declaration page during online licensing. Currently the VES report simply says, if the vehicle does not have an MOT, that no MOT information is available.

What is the DVLA position on this?
An item in this weeks Classic Car Weekly reports "a spokesperson for DVLA said "the DVLA is not responsible for the policies or governance surrounding MOT" adding "from the DVLA's perspective, the purpose of the VHI declaration is for the purpose of VED and has to be made on the point of re-licensing. As there is no requirement to capture the 40-year MOT exemption, the DVLA cannot and do not confirm via the Vehicle Enquiry Service (VES) that a vehicle is MOT exempt".

Do you have to declare MOT exemption for a vehicle 40 years old or more?
The simple answer is no - you can continue having your classic car presented for an annual MOT test and obtain the certificate as the car passes the test. For many classic car enthusiasts continuing to have an annual MOT test is both a sensible and responsible thing to do. Our TABS - test and be safer - promotion encouraged that despite some dismissive comments from a few clueless numpties who felt they knew better!

Check your classic car status on the GOV.UK website:
VES check for road tax status
VES check for MOT status check for insurance status
Sensible precautions for a classic car owner
Carry copies of the following documents with you in your car - they can be kept in a plastic sleeve in the car:
> Print out of the VES report on your car showing the road tax and MOT status.
> Current insurance certificate.
> Current MOT certificate if you haven't declared your car MOT exempt.
> MOT exemption application - either on a V112 form or a copy of your online application.
> Copy of the letter issued by DfT to the FBHVC dated 11th January 2019 headed "Vehicle of Historic Interest MOT Exemption".

In addition carry:
> Your driving licence now usually a convenient card (debit card sized)