A common question which often causes confusion is whether a foreign registered vehicle, such as an English registered car for example, whose MOT is due, can have an ITV in Spain.

The simple answer is no, a foreign registered vehicle cannot have an ITV inspection. The mandatory vehicle inspection must be done in the country where the vehicle is registered, so in our example, it can only be an MOT inspection conducted in the UK.

It is however true that a foreign vehicle can undergo an ITV test. If you take any vehicle to an ITV test centre and pay the appropriate fee they will conduct an inspection, but this inspection is considered voluntary, and does not satisfy the mandatory legal requirements for the vehicle. In fact, the report issued by the ITV centre will state that it is a voluntary ITV at the top of the document, which is why there are cases of foreign cars being issued with the report, the problem being that it is not legal.

It is perfectly legal to drive a foreign registered vehicle in a country where it does not normally reside, such as if you are on holiday for example, but if the new country is to become a permanent location for the vehicle, then it must be re-registered in that country.

By the way, in case you are wondering, the same situation in reverse applies in the UK. Every day the British traffic police are dealing with foreign registered vehicles driving on the UK´s roads which should have been reregistered.

Whatever country you are driving in, you must return to the vehicle´s registered country to satisfy the mandatory requirements such as the vehicle testing relevant to that country.

If however you have lost the MOT certificate for your British registered vehicle, a new service has been launched to allow you to obtain a replacement, for free, from an official UK Government website, https://www.gov.uk/replacing-lost-damaged-mot-certificate. You can get a replacement MOT certificate online if you’ve lost or damaged the original by visiting the website and submitting the vehicle registration (number plate) and the 11-digit number from the vehicle log book (V5C).

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