DVLA SORN – Everything You Need To Know
You have decided to take your vehicle off the road. Now you must notify The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).
The reason the Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) is vital is it enables you to cease all tax and insurance payments whilst the vehicle is off-road. If you do not submit the SORN document the DVLA will assume that the vehicle is still on the road and charge you accordingly. There are some very important things to remember should you decide to submit the SORN documentation.
Firstly, do not drive your vehicle on the road while the SORN is active. It is illegal to do so if your vehicle is not taxed or insured. Second, make sure to pre-book an MOT renewal should it be required. Should you be pulled over by law enforcement on your way to the MOT they can confirm your booking. This is the ONLY exception for taking your SORN documented vehicle onto a public road.
Should you ignore these rules then you could face a fine of up to £2500.
When Do I Need To Apply For a SORN?
There could be several reasons why you may want to apply for a SORN. Remember once your car is registered off-road, it cannot be kept on any public road. Here are some common examples of why you may apply for a SORN.
- Situations such as delays in renewing your insurance policy. These must be unavoidable, not intentional. If your vehicle is not insured you MUST officially declare it as Off-Road even if the vehicle is not in use. Not doing so could result in a fine.
- Restoration or wrecking.
- Purchase of a vehicle with the intention of restoration. If you are a fan or collector of classic, vintage, unique or collectible vehicles then this is the category that you will fall into.
Something to keep in mind: If your SORN vehicle is gathering dust or rust in your yard, or it is just a plain old eyesore, why not donate it to Giveacar. The money raised from donating your vehicle will help others by being forwarded to a U.K. registered charity of your choice.
Is There a Cost?
The DVLA scrap car scheme makes the whole process quite easy and applying for the SORN documentation is completely free.
What Happens With Insurance And Tax?
Once you have applied for and received the SORN you need to cancel any insurance with your provider. This is also applicable to the tax on your vehicle. You must continue paying the tax until you have been officially notified that you can discontinue. Should you stop payments before you have received confirmation, then the DVLA could issue you with a fine.
When applying for your SORN, it is possible to request the lowering of your tax payments, failure to pay can result in an £80 fine if you are found to be reneging on your payments, this can then lead to a £1000 fine if they remain unpaid. Don’t let this put you off, the money that you pay will be fully refunded to you within 6 weeks of receiving your SORN documentation.
What this all means is that while your vehicle is off the road, and your SORN has been approved, you need not pay tax or insurance on the vehicle.
An interesting fact: According to the Department of Transport statistics, there are over 1.9 million vehicles registered as Off-Road in the UK today!
Do I Need To Renew The SORN?
The SORN document used to only cover a 12 months period before needing to be renewed. This has now changed and has become an indefinite notice.
Applying For a SORN
You will need to contact the DVLA to request a SORN for your vehicle. You can call the DVLA service line on 0300 123 4321, this is a 24-hour service.
Alternatively, you can head to the DVLA website, select the “Make A SORN” section, and follow the prompts. www.gov.uk/make-a-sorn
Or, if there is no urgency, you can apply via the post by filling out the V890 application, then post it to:
In your application, include the date that you intend to take the vehicle off the road. If the day is either this month or last month, then you will not receive a vehicle tax refund for the past dates. You will need to submit in writing why you cannot apply closer to the time if it is going to be in the next month or two.
If you have recently purchased a vehicle, and are not yet registered as the owner, you can only apply for a SORN via the post. You can, however, request an official start date for the document by including the 16 digit number attached to the vehicle tax reminder letter, also known as the V11.
IMPORTANT: Be sure that your name and address are correct on the V5C (log book) document.
Should the address in your logbook be inaccurate, then this is how to rectify that problem.
If you have the new style logbook, then head to section 3 of this. If you have the old-style logbook then, section 6 is the area you should be looking at. You will need to send in your logbook, along with the filled-in V890 form.
If you don’t have a logbook then visit www.gov.uk/government/publications/application-for-a-vehicle-registration-certificate fill it in and send it with your V890 form. This will incur a cost of £25.
SORN: I’ve applied, now what?
The SORN application, once submitted, usually takes no longer than 4 weeks to arrive. If you have not received confirmation then you may wish to contact the DVLA.
Your SORN will start at different times, depending on the application process that you have chosen to use.
If you have quoted your V5C reference when applying for your SORN, this will take immediate effect. Alternatively, if you used your V11 reference, the SORN will become effective from the first day of the following month from the application. Or, if you apply by post, it comes into effect on the date that you placed onto the form.
SORN: On the road again
Firstly, you need to make sure the vehicle’s insurance is valid. Second, ensure you have arranged the tax payments on your vehicle. The simplest way to do this is to go to the DVLA website, find the Vehicle Tax section, then follow the prompts. And last, make sure that the vehicle’s MOT is still valid. Booking an MOT inspection is the only exemption for taking a SORN documented vehicle onto any public road legally.
IMPORTANT: Your SORN is automatically cancelled when you resume paying tax again on your vehicle, or it’s sold, scrapped, or permanently exported out of the UK.
Should you require any further information on the Statutory Off Road Notification application, then visit the official U.K. Government website