If you own a car which is not being used and you don’t leave it on the road, than you can get away with not paying for the road tax and car insurance subject to applying for a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN).
By filling out the SORN, you have effectively notified the authorities that your car is off the road and no longer being used, hence the risk of a fine and/or prosecution is not applicable to you.
Continuous Insurance Enforcement (CIE)
According to the Continuous Insurance Enforcement regulation, motorists who don’t have insurance and haven’t declared their car off road are liable for prosecution. In accordance with the law, DVLA car records are compared against the Motor Insurance Database (MID) to catch motorists who haven’t got car insurance all year round. So always be compliant with the law by either buying the car insurance or applying for the SORN.
What happens if I haven’t declared the vehicle off the road?
If you fail to have car insurance and fail to apply for SORN, then you will be sent an Insurance Advisory Letter (IAL), which will highlight that the vehicle’s insurance status and that you must get the car insurance immediately. You will also need to pay the road tax and any other tax arrears too.
Should you fail to be compliant after the IAL, the police could give you a fixed penalty of £300 and 6 points on your license. Should the matter progress to court, you could be disqualified from driving and have to pay a fine of up to £5000. In some instances, the police may seize and destroy the uninsured vehicle.
How do I declare the vehicle off road / SORN?
When you contact the DVLA to apply for SORN, you will be required to provide the reference number which is on the V5C registration document, V85/1 or V11 reminder form. The process is fairly simple and you can do it over the phone or online.
Once the application is submitted, you will receive a letter from the DVLA within 4 weeks highlighting the expiration date. Should you be away during the expiration period, you can fill out a V890 form to the DVLA 2 months in advance of the expiry date.
To obtain further information on the matter, you should visit direct.gov.uk.
I want to un-SORN my car
To be able to legally drive the car again, you will need to obtain car insurance, make sure the car has a valid MOT certificate and pay the road tax. When you go to pay your road tax with the V5C document, the SORN will effectively expire allowing you to drive the car on the road legally.
Additionally if you buy a car that is already SORN, than the SORN will expire when the purchase has completed. Should you wish to SORN the car again, you will need to make a separate application as highlighted above.
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