DVLA SORN – Everything You Need To Know
You have decided to take your vehicle off the road, the reason doesn’t really matter, but the problem that faces you does. The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) need to know, why?
Because it can cost you, and that is something that you will want to avoid. This is where a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) comes in to play, and it is extremely important that you follow the procedure to the letter.
The reason that the SORN is so vital to you is that it enables you to cease all tax and insurance payments while the vehicle is garaged. 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. In the eyes of the law your vehicle does not have the tax or insurance required for the use on public roads. So therefore by doing so you are breaking the law.
Secondly, should your vehicle require an MOT inspection at any time while the SORN is in effect, then make sure that you have pre-booked it. This way you can take the vehicle to your chosen garage and should you be pulled over by law enforcement 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.
DVLA SORN: The Reason Why
For whatever the reason, you have decided that it is time to take your vehicle off the road. The decision may have been made because you have determined that public transport is more efficient and cost effective, or you plan on restoring the vehicle, either way you will require submitting the SORN documentation.
There could be several reasons why you may want to store your vehicle in a garage or driveway, but remember, not on any public road. Here are some common examples.
Things like 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, as you could be fined if you fail to do so.
Restoration or wrecking.
Something to keep in mind: If your SORN vehicle is gathering dust or rust in your yard, or it is just a plain old eye sore, then why not donate it to Giveacar. The money raised from donating your vehicle to this fantastic organisation will go to helping others by being forwarded to any number of U.K. registered charities.
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.
There is no reason to have your vehicle sitting idly while you are paying tax and insurance, the SORN is there for you to take advantage of, so use it.
Did you know: 75% of all SORN registered vehicles in the UK are Ford Sierra’s, does this mean that they are a restorers dream, or the everyday driver’s nightmare?
SORN: Ok what’s it going to cost me?
There is always a little light at the end of a tunnel, and the DVLA are making the whole process quite easy. For a start, applying and receiving the SORN documentation is completely free, let’s face it, why would you want to spend money to save money, it doesn’t make any financial sense.
SORN: What happens with insurance and tax?
This is a very good question, and is important that you be aware of the process when applying for the SORN documentation.
Just because you have applied for and received the SORN you MUST cancel any insurance with your provider yourself. This is something that is NOT done automatically. 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, then the DVLA will take an extremely grim view of this and probably assume that you are indeed, trying to avoid your legal responsibilities.
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 basically 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 Department of Transport statistics, there are over 1.9 million vehicles registered as Off-Road in the UK today!
SORN: Everything has an expiry date right?
Once-upon-a-time the SORN was a renewable document. It was something that lasted 12 months, then the process would begin again, but that hasn’t been the case for some years now. The good news, the SORN is now not limited to time so it has become an indefinite notice.
SORN: Buying and selling
If you are in the market for a used car and you have decided to buy one privately, then you need to take some things into consideration if a SORN is involved.
Be aware that the SORN document is NOT a transferable item. If you have the intention of keeping the vehicle off the road after purchase, then you MUST apply for a new SORN, one that is in your name. The DVLA will assume that once you have officially become the new owner, then the vehicle is on the road.
You can check on a vehicle’s SORN status by visiting www.gov.uk/get-vehicle-information-from-dvla a good idea before committing to any purchase of a used vehicle.
On the flip side, should you be selling a vehicle that has a SORN attached to it, then be sure to inform any potential buyer so that they then have the time to apply for their own documentation before taking delivery of the vehicle.
IMPORTANT: remember, if the vehicle has a SORN then it cannot be driven on any public road. Keep this in mind before driving your newly purchased vehicle home.
SORN: Getting one
The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) are there to help. If you require a SORN then direct contact with them is preferable.
If you don’t mind listening to “on-hold” music then call the DVLA service line on 0300 123 4321, this is a 24 hour service, If you have the time you can bop while-you-wait. Visit this site for a list of charges. www.gov.uk/call-charges
Option two is to 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 off to.
In your application, include the date that you intend taking 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. If it is going to be in the next month or two, then you will need to submit in writing why you cannot apply closer to the time.
Something to be aware of: 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 log book be inaccurate, then this is how to rectify that problem.
If you have the new style log book, the one with the multi-coloured numbered blocks on the front cover, then head to section 3.
If you have the old style log book then, section 6 is the area you should be looking at. You will need to send in your log book, along with the filled in V890 form.
If you don’t have a log book 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 that 4 weeks to arrive. Should this not be the case, then it is wise to contact the DVLA directly to make sure that everything is correct with the application, and that there should be no reasons for any delays.
If you have recently had the pleasure of receiving your vehicle tax reminder letter, then it will be beneficial to you to apply for the SORN sooner than later.
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 on line or by phone, then your SORN will have an immediate effect.
If you have used your V11 reference on line or by phone, then the SORN will become effective as from the first day of the following month from application.
If you apply by post, then it comes into effect on the date that you have placed onto the submitted form.
SORN: On the road again
Ok, so your stint with the public transport system wasn’t what it was cracked up to be, or your restoration is complete, and it’s now time to get that vehicle back on the road, well here’s what to do.
Firstly, and this is extremely important, make sure that the vehicle’s insurance is valid. There is no point driving the vehicle if the insurance is not up to date, this will only lead to heartache.
Secondly, have the tax payments on your vehicle arranged again. The simplest way to do this is to go to the DVLA website, find the Vehicle Tax section, then follow the prompts.
Thirdly, make sure that the vehicles MOT is still valid. Don’t forget, booking a MOT inspection is the only exemption for taking a SORN documented vehicle onto any public road legally, so don’t panic if you require an inspection on your vehicle.
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.
So there you have it, the dos and don’ts of the Statutory Off Road Notification process. At first it looks a little daunting, but in reality the DVLA have made it as simple as they can to save you the worry any ramifications garaging your vehicle may have caused. If you have read this basic guide, then you should have no problems what-so-ever applying for and receiving your SORN documentation. It’s an easy do-it-yourself process that should cost you absolutely nothing.
Should you require any further information on the Statutory Off Road Notification application, then visit the official U.K. Government website
SORN: The numbers
Top car models with the highest proportion registered as off the road
|Make & Model||Total in the UK||Number Registered as SORN||% of Total Registered as SORN|
|Make & Model||Number Registered as SORN||Total in the UK||% of Total Registered as SORN|
|BMW 3 Series||50,447||705,022||7%|
If you have an old Austin Mini or VW Golf on the driveway, we can auction or recycle the car depending on its age, condition and millage.