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Moving to a digital first approach in heavy vehicle testing

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Vehicle testing

The front of a lorry

It’s been a while since we updated you on how our digital transformation project for heavy vehicle testing (Commercial Vehicle Service) has progressed. Since that update, we successfully rolled out the new Manage Your Vehicle Testing (MyVT) digital service across vehicle testing. ATFs and pre-funded account holders now have a digital account to manage their transactions with us. 

I want to share how we delivered this new service – by working in partnership with industry – and explain what’s next for heavy vehicle testing in the digital space. You can also have a look at my last blog post on implementing DVSA’s strategy and vision for heavy vehicle testing.

Migrating customers to digital accounts

The purpose of the digital transformation project was to provide a better platform for our vehicle testing services. By doing this, we were able to enhance the user experience and provide clearer, real-time data.  

During last year, we successfully supported all pre-funded account customers to migrate over from their old account onto the MyVT service. Whilst there were a few issues as we migrated everyone over, we’re pleased that the new service is now running smoothly and you should be seeing the benefit of this. 

Customers have been telling us that they like the real-time view of their transactions, and we are now starting to see the benefit of the testing data from our new service, particularly in our ability to analyse why vehicles fail test in finer detail. In time, we want to share that richer information with industry.

View your MOT certificate in real-time

One of the big improvements brought about by our new service is the ability to capture data quickly and make test results available in real-time.  

You can now see your MOT result on the MOT history service as soon as the annual test is completed. You can then view and/or download a copy of your pass certificate as needed. 

Currently only certificates from 2021 are available to download on the MOT history service – but you can see the whole test history of vehicles and trailers from 2018.  

Moving to digital certificates for HGV & PSV testing as standard

Now that we’re able to offer certificates digitally via the MOT history service, we want to move away from issuing a paper copy of pass certificates at the time of test. 

The MOT history service contains the digital test record for every vehicle. It provides the most up to date and secure way to check the MOT history. Using this service also reduces the need for paper and is more environmentally friendly.  

Now that digital certificates are available, from 29 April this year we are going to stop printing MOT pass certificates, by default, at the time of the test. In most cases, you won’t need the physical piece of paper and I’d encourage you to view the vehicle’s record on MOT history instead ensuring the details on the certificate are correct and check for any advisory items. But, by exception, the VSA will still print a copy if you really need one – for example, if you have any difficulties accessing the internet.  

We will continue to print failure certificates for the time being. We are considering whether to take the same approach with failures in the future and it would be useful to receive any thoughts or comments you may have. We will of course let you know if we intend to change or approach moving forward.

Going digital with your records

I’d encourage you to start thinking about how your business can adopt these changes, if you’re not already accessing MOT certificates digitally. We recognise there are responsibilities under your operator’s licence but in nearly all cases, you don’t need the piece of paper if the information is recorded and available digitally - should we or the traffic commissioners need to view it.  

We’ll work with the industry, our testing colleagues who work at ATFs and testing sites, and our enforcement colleagues to make sure everyone is aware of the changes. Until then, you’ll still receive a copy of your MOT certificate as normal at the point of test.  

Publications such as the Inspection Manual and Guide to Maintaining Roadworthiness will be revised to reflect these changes in due course. We’ve also worked with the Traffic Commissioners, so they are aware of these changes and ability to view vehicle records digitally.  

We recognise there may be some circumstances where you will find it useful to print the certificate from the MOT history service, for example, if the vehicle is being used on an international journey.   

Moving forward, we are looking at digitally aligning the whole process across Vehicle Testing including making “Ministry Plates” more easily accessible online and removing the need to display these on vehicles. We are working on this now and will provide further details on this soon. 

A modern, efficient service

I understand this  might be quite a big change for some of you, but it’s important we best use the digital services we have available to provide a modern and efficient vehicle testing service, which meets your needs.  

It also aligns with DVSA’s vision to 2030 and plans to move towards a digital first approach in the light vehicle MOT scheme too.  

If you have any questions about the changes for heavy vehicle testing, or situations where you’re not sure if paper copies would be needed, please drop us a comment below and we will respond to you. 

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  1. Comment by Roy posted on

    So at roadside check with no plating certificate attached to the vehicle or trailer as now proposed, how was the driver supposed to know the vehicle's legal taxation weight and axle weights before setting off? Don't tell me he will be expected to look them up on his smart phone during his walk around check.

  2. Comment by Ian Reid posted on

    whilst I have no issue with the certificate being online, as it's the online part that counts anyway, I am nervous of the prospect of leaving a test station with no official DVSA receipt showing a registration or trailer ID of the test that has just been processed, I have personally had a mistake made whilst inputting the trailer ID number (one digit wrong) which was picked up before I left site and corrected. How would this be corrected if I left site then found out the wrong details had been entered, I had that happen last year and the response was absolute denial that the tester made a mistake even though I could provide tracking data which showed the correct trailer was on site and going through the lane at the test time.

  3. Comment by Steve B posted on

    When the DVLA is notified of a vehicle registration change, the technical record will not be updated with the new registration until the applicant also notifies the DVSA.
    This can create a minor delay in recording the vehicle details at annual test and the test document issued could display the previous registration.

    Is this something the digital transformation project team can look into?

  4. Comment by James Lawton posted on

    Just to clarify - digitisation applies to both the tractor and the trailer ?
    ie a trailer plate displaying a certificate will no linger be required, but may be useful if doing crossing borders?

  5. Comment by Cliff White posted on

    I think this is a great idea, any way we can save word resorces is good thing. This is why I have been printing my Pass/Fail certs on the back of the Brake and smoke print out for quite some time now.

    • Replies to Cliff White>

      Comment by Gordon posted on

      Thanks for taking the time to read the blog Cliff, good to hear the sustainable approach you are taking. Cheers.

  6. Comment by Ron posted on

    "including making “Ministry Plates” more easily accessible online and removing the need to display these on vehicles."

    This is a good move, they are often damaged, pulled out the plate holder, or even missing on some occasions.

    I've been waiting a long time for the HGV test certificates to be real time, I now no longer require the presenter to phone me, I can check online easily to see the result, and update the customer. Having a digital certificate is not a problem either, I can easily download and save a digital copy (except for customers vehicles as I won't have the V5 serial number), where in the past I would need to scan it in, which is what I still do with the smoke and brake test results. I've been emailing our customers digital copies for a long time now, which cuts down on more paperwork, less postage etc.

    • Replies to Ron>

      Comment by Gordon posted on

      Hi Ron, really appreciate the feedback and view on how you are embracing the benefits around the digital approach. We will be considering our approach to other documentation later in the year and of course letting people know if there is going to be any change. With regard to "Ministry Plates", we are hoping to be in a position to provide some further details on this over the next few months.

      • Replies to Gordon>

        Comment by Ron posted on

        Just a thought about digital plating certificates, will anybody be able to access/download the digital version? We as a workshop need the DTp code for brake tests, and we also check it so we know axle weights etc. Its not always easy getting a copy from the customer, so I usually just photograph the one in the cab, but this doesn't show tyre information.

  7. Comment by Simon Robinson posted on

    The MOT History Service is not always accurate, older trailers very often don't show even if it has a current MOT certificate, we had one trailer that showed as untested for a whole year even though it had a current MOT certificate. When personal registration numbers are applied or removed from a vehicle it takes a while for the MOT History Service to update, how can you prove a current MOT if you don't have a certificate in these cases?.

    • Replies to Simon Robinson>

      Comment by Gordon posted on

      Hi Simon thanks for the response, I think similar to the response I sent to Mark, some of the older results (pre 2018) might not necessary show. As always whether with the paper copy or electronic we would encourage Operators to view their record following the test and get in touch if they felt anything wasn't quite right. Regarding cherished transfers, the old certificate will be displayed until the change of registration - so there will be a record to track. The service will be quicker as there is no postage involved in replacements.

      • Replies to Gordon>

        Comment by Simon Robinson posted on

        Sill doesn't explain how a trailer can show as untested when you have a current certificate!

  8. Comment by mark hoddinott posted on

    are there just going to be one data base we are a atf and get loads of calls saying truck mots are not on line this happens at all post offices if i tell them to check under booking a hgv mot and going in to when is my test due you can then find hgv mot due dates but not on the is my vechilce moted which just says no details held

    • Replies to mark hoddinott>

      Comment by Gordon posted on

      Hi Mark, thanks for your post. Records are viewed from MOT History Service through GOV.UK and for heavy vehicles you can see the detail from 2018. However, you can only see the certificate from earlier last year, thus the reason we are moving in this direction now. We wouldn't expect ATFs to get involved in any data questions, if anyone has a question about the accuracy of the data refer them to the DVSA enquiry line as listed on the website.

  9. Comment by Neil Barratt posted on

    The main concern i have with moving mot certificates to digital, is that if a hgv or psv is stopped by the police for any reason. the police computer does not align with that of dvsa, showing a no mot present for these vehicles. This may become a problem if and when of having to produce the current mot certificate at a police station if required to do so.

    • Replies to Neil Barratt>

      Comment by Gordon posted on

      Hi Neil, thanks for the observation. The results of the MOT are available on GOV.UK whenever the test is done and this can be accessed on-line by Operators, enforcement bodies (as well as the Police) and the general public. In general, enforcement bodies no longer rely on the plain piece of paper as this could be easily manipulated. Its the digital record that is the true record of the test, they are used to accessing GOV.UK for light vehicles now. However, if anyone did ask there is the facility to print the certificate from the GOV.UK site.

    • Replies to Neil Barratt>

      Comment by Joe Dutoy posted on

      …and if we fast forward the evolution of these changes, I can see we will arrive at some point with some kind of ANPR being used to check every vehicle passing has the correct VED, O licence, MOT, and insurance in place and if not, automatic fines being issued…Hmm.

  10. Comment by MR DAVID RUTLEDGE posted on

    With heavy vehicle testing how will brake test documents be made available and emission's documents too will these be still printed or available as part of the mot document history ?

    • Replies to MR DAVID RUTLEDGE>

      Comment by Gordon posted on

      Hi David, thanks for the comment. For the time being they will still be printed at the time of test. Longer-term we will work with industry to determine if a digital method might be better and more sustainable.

      • Replies to Gordon>

        Comment by Roy posted on

        I want the actual RBT figures on paper at the time of test to check FWA imbalance, locks and axle weights so I can advise the customer the relevance of these figures on return. And no, I'm not buying a smart phone.

  11. Comment by A Massey posted on

    wrong approach , cost saving will no doubt not be passed on to end user , in the example of a service provider carrying out the mot on behalf of the customer , they expect us to issue them the certificate or up load and send with service documents , you are now taking away that facility with out inductry consultation ? when it is your responsibilty to provide a service to the customer ? seems you are passing your work load onto the customer and giving less for the test fee , nothing to do with going digiltal , which again should be the customers choice , not forced upon them

    • Replies to A Massey>

      Comment by Gordon posted on

      Thanks for your comments. Feedback from industry on this change has been positive and, in most cases, Operators are telling us they don't want unnecessary pieces of paper. There is a recognition that the digital record of the test is the most secure and up to date record. We will be doing further communications with Operators to ensure that they are aware of the change and that there is no need to retain paper copies, this should help the expectation of the documentation you provide. However, we will be retaining a service to print a certificate if the presenter specifically requests one.

  12. Comment by Geoff Tonks posted on

    Are you looking at removing the need to display operators license discs in the vehicle on w windscreen? Surely if all other requirements have been digitised,including vehicle tax discs then this is an unessesry requirement

    • Replies to Geoff Tonks>

      Comment by Olivia (DVSA) posted on

      Hello, removing the requirement would require changes to the legislation. This is a matter for the Government and DfT to consider alongside other priorities and to consult on.

  13. Comment by Joe O posted on

    Will ADR test certificates still be issued at time of test, or will these go digital also?

    • Replies to Joe O>

      Comment by Gordon posted on

      ADR Certificates will still be issued as paper documents for the time being. We are however considering our approach to all documents issued in conjunction with stakeholders and industry. If there are any changes to ADR certificates moving forward we will of course communicate that.

  14. Comment by Trevor posted on

    Just as a matter of interest whose computer system are you using?

    • Replies to Trevor>

      Comment by Gordon posted on

      Hi Trevor, our new service is operated by DVSA and interfaces with GOV.UK. It complies with all Government Digital Service standards, including security.

      • Replies to Gordon>

        Comment by Trevor posted on

        Manufacturer of the system?

        • Replies to Trevor>

          Comment by Gordon posted on

          Hi Trevor, in line with government ‘Cloud First’ policy our CVS service is hosted in the public cloud across two providers: AWS and Microsoft Azure. We use software from Microsoft Dynamics, with minor customisation, to provide the Manage Your Vehicle Testing on-line service to our customers.

  15. Comment by Joe Dutoy posted on

    This “vision” sounds a perfectly reasonable development.
    But, as an HGV driver how practical will it be or safe even is it to expect a driver to accept the vehicle condition as being legal and to road going standard before being expected to use the vehicle ?…the multiple use of hgv trailers in particular ?

    • Replies to Joe Dutoy>

      Comment by Gordon posted on

      Thanks for the comment Joe. The MOT History Service provides the most up to date and secure way of checking a vehicle or trailer test history, as a driver you can access this on-line for any vehicle or trailer used at any time.

    • Replies to Joe Dutoy>

      Comment by Jack Chandler posted on

      Just out of interest Joe, does you current employer present you with the current MOT certificate for vehicles you will be using then? Maybe they do, but i have never heard of this before. Surely this way you will have access to see thee documents for any vehicle you are assigned to, including trailers?