Vehicle yearly test 2017

MOT or “vistoria” vehicle testing for yearly licensing 

Line for test bays

Line for test bays

The Ministry of Transport test (usually abbreviated to MOT test) is an annual test for automobile safety, roadworthiness aspects and exhaust emissions required for most vehicles over three years old used on public roads in the United Kingdom.

In Rio it is called “vistoria veicular” and you are supposed to take your car for testing within a period defined by the final number of your “placa” or number plate. DETRAN RJ, the Rio transport authority, has published its calendar for 2017 on its website adapting to alterations caused by the changes in the calendar for paying the vehicle tax, or IPVA, which must be paid before you take your car for testing. In fact, whatever your number, you should have paid the IPVA by the end of April if you are paying in installments. You can pay it later, with the addition of a small fine.

They change the numbers and dates around each year. This year the first to be tested are cars with placas with the last numbers 0 and 1, but you have until June 30. The rest follow two per month until October 31 for 8 and 9.

 Booking the test is very easily done on the DETRAN website.

This year the testing posts will be open from Monday to Saturday, from 7.15am to 6pm. They say that this is due to the need to perfect the quality of service to customers. DETRAN reckons it will perform around four million test procedures in 2017, including, apart from the basic test, change of ownership, change of jurisdiction, changes in characteristics of the car etc. There are various posts around town. The only two I have used are in Catete and Barra. The Barra post is in the middle of the “cebolão” at the start of the Av Airton Senna. You go round the cebolão until you find the entrance to the DETRAN post, which this year is in a different place, due to the Transcarioca road works.

Things they can catch you on: Check your tires, including the spare. There is a mark between the treads, beyond which the tire must not be worn. Also check the validity of your fire extinguisher – it now has to be ‘tipo A, B, C. – though how it keeps the pressure up for so long I can’t imagine.  One year I was caught by a scratch on the front bumper. A taxi had “fechar’d” me, and just touched the bumper. A tiny corner of the bodywork was sticking out, and this was considered dangerous. I hadn’t even seen it. It took about two minutes to fix, and I also rubbed off the yellow taxi paint. I found the common kitchen sponge – the green side – best for this, with a bit of soap. Polish such as Grand Prix cleans as well as polishes. Wet and dry emery paper takes the shine off, but the sponge doesn’t. I had to go back within five days, and wait once again in the queue/line, but things went much faster this time.

The test is a bore, and can waste a whole morning, but it is best to do it on time, to avoid embarrassing questions at police check points.