Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN)

If you don't need to use your car on a public road, or keep it on public land, then you can register your vehicle as off the road by making a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) to the DVLA.

If you have an untaxed vehicle without a SORN, you’ll automatically be fined £80, so make sure you apply for SORN if you are not using your car.

In 2011 the 'continuous insurance enforcement' scheme came into force making it illegal a keep a vehicle without the correct insurance, unless it is declared as being off the road. An exception to this being when a motor trader has registered the vehicle as ‘in trade’ with the DVLA.

The DVLA cross-reference their database with the Motor Insurance database (MID), issuing 'Insurance Advisory Letters' to registered keepers of uninsured cars, explaining how to avoid enforcement action.

If your vehicle has no insurance and has not been declared off the road, you could:

  • get a fixed penalty of £100
  • have your vehicle clamped, impounded or destroyed
  • face a court prosecution, with a maximum fine of £1,000

How do you apply for SORN?

You can apply online with the DVLA if you wish to take your vehicle off the road. You will receive a refund for any full months of road tax that you have remaining.

If you have received a V11 tax renewal reminder you can use the 16-digit reference number to take the vehicle off the road from the first day of the next month.

Alternatively you can use the 11-digit code on the front of your V5C log book to take the vehicle off the road with immediate effect

How do you remove SORN?

If you are ready to get your vehicle back on the road, you will need to ensure that your vehicle is insured, taxed and has a valid MOT.

When you apply for road tax, the SORN will immediately expire. You can tax your vehicle online using the 11 digit reference number on the front of your V5C log book.

Can I drive a SORN car to get an MOT?

You can drive a SORN vehicle on a public road to go to or from a pre-booked MOT appointment. It must be pre-booked, so that you have proof that your journey is for the purposes of obtaining an MOT should you be stopped by the police. You must also ensure you have the correct insurance.

If you drive a SORN vehicle for any other reason you could face court prosecution, with a maximum fine of £2500.

Does a SORN transfer if I buy a car?

The SORN is not transferred from the seller when you buy a vehicle. If you buy a vehicle that is presently SORN, you will need to either insure it or apply for SORN again with DVLA.

Can I park my SORN vehicle on the road?

If you have SORN your vehicle it must be kept on private land, like a driveway or garage. You can not park a SORN vehicle on publicly owned land, like a road or grass verge.

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