Photos: MOT database targets illegal cars

Photos: MOT database targets illegal cars

Summary: 18,500 garages finally linked to delayed system

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TOPICS: Tech Industry
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  • Each authorised user of the MOT system in the garages and testing stations is provided with a smartcard with a contactless chip, which has their personal photograph on the front.

    The tester can access the system by placing the smartcard in the reader provided and entering their password.

    The vehicle is then registered for a test by entering the registration mark and chassis number to match the DVLA record, which will provide the tester with all the information relevant for the vehicle being tested. If a match cannot be found with a DVLA record, a new record is created based on the vehicle details presented.

    Photo credit: Siemens Business Services

  • The equipment provided to the garages is all ruggedised to prevent oil, grease and grime damaging the PC or keyboard.

    Training is provided for mechanics in the garages as well as back-up support from a Vosa helpline, which currently receives around 1,400 calls a day. But Vosa claims most garages - even the less computer literate ones - are able to get up to speed with the computer system within two weeks of installation.

    Once the test is completed the mechanic enters the results before printing off either a pass certificate or failure notice, together with any advisories such as items that have not failed but are close to doing so and should attended to in the near future.

    The garage then securely connects to the central MOT database using a dial-up modem supplied by Vosa, and the information is updated in just a few seconds. Most garages typically carry out around six MOT tests each day.

    The system also checks the tester and garage are authorised to test that class of vehicle and that the calibration of the test equipment is up-to-date.

    Photo credit: Siemens Business Services

  • Once a vehicle has been tested using the new MOT system, the owner will no longer need to take their MOT certificate to the Post Office when re-licensing their vehicle. Instead when the owner applies for Road Tax, the Post Office will automatically check the database to confirm the vehicle has a current MOT.

    The MOT computerisation project is the final part of the electronic vehicle licensing initiative that allows the authorities to check a vehicle is registered with the DVLA, and has valid insurance and a current MOT through links with the Association of British Insurers and DVLA systems.

    The free online public enquiry service also allows people to check the MOT status and history of a vehicle, including mileage, which will provide protection against buying 'clocked' cars where the mileage has been tampered with.

    Vosa hopes to extend the system in future to include 'virtual MOTs' where motorists will be able to go online to check for the most common reasons for MOT failures on their make of vehicle and to locate an authorised garage or testing station and make a booking.

    Photo credit: Siemens Business Services

Topic: Tech Industry

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