SORN (Statutory Off Road Notice)

A complete guide to how you SORN your Vehicle

If you are not using your car or vehicle you do not need to tax it or pay for insurance, so long as you are not using it on a public road.

You will, however, need to declare your vehicle as SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification) to ensure that you do not get fined for or worse still, prosecuted for having an untaxed or uninsured vehicle. Historically, you could just park your car up on private land or put it in a garage, this is not the case anymore.

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What if I forget to SORN my vehicle?

Due to the recent introduction of the Continuous Insurance Enforcement (CIE) regulations it is important to ensure that you officially declare your car as off the road by applying for it to be SORN.

If you do not go through the process of applying to SORN your vehicle you will receive a letter in the post called an Insurance Advisory Letter or an IAL for short.

This letter will confirm your vehicle is uninsured and threaten you with a penalty if you don’t resolve insure it or apply for it to be SORN as quickly as possible.

The penalties can be tough, ranging from a fixed fine of £100 all the way up to prosecution, seizure of your car and even a fine of up to £1,000. So, it’s not a situation to take lightly.

There are highly intelligent computer systems in place to track down untaxed and uninsured motor vehicles, even if they are not being driven on the public roads.

A comparison is made between the data held on the Motor Insurance Database (MID) with the details held by the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) is used to detect offending vehicles, so it is crucial that you take the required action of you are not using your car.


How do I apply for SORN?

Applying to SORN your vehicle can be done both online via the DVLA website or by calling them on the following number: 0300 123 4321.

You will need to make sure you are prepared with two pieces of information.

  • Your 11-digit reference number, which can be found on your vehicles log book (V5C)
  • The 16-digit reference number from your car tax renewal letter also known as your V11 form.

There is no feed to pay and once you have informed the DVLA you will receive a letter in approximately 4 weeks confirming the SORN status of your vehicle.

SORN is a yearly application so if your car is going to be off the road for more than a year, remember that you will need to apply to make it SORN again in 12 months to maintain its SORN status.

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How do I cancel my SORN status?

If you wish to start using your car again after it has been declared SORN, and before the SORN status expires – the process is simple.

All that is required is for you to insure and tax your vehicle and contact the DVLA to let them know you wish to use your car again. They may require you to send them your V5C log book.

Once you have completed these simple steps, the SORN status on your car will be automatically removed and you will be free to drive your car on public roads again.

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