All UK car owners who are not using their car or driving it on public roads are legally required to declare their vehicle as SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification).
We’ve broken down what is SORN, when you should declare a vehicle as SORN, and how to declare SORN.
What is SORN?
SORN is a legal requirement that vehicle owners must follow if they want to take their vehicle off the road and not use it on public roads.
In the UK, all vehicles must be taxed, insured, and have a valid MOT certificate. If a driver declares a vehicle as SORN, it means that the vehicle is not being used and the owner does not need to pay road tax, insurance, or have a valid MOT certificate.
When should you declare a vehicle as SORN?
There are various reasons why you may want to declare your vehicle as SORN. The most common reasons are:
Failing to SORN your car can result in a fine of up to £2,500 if your car is untaxed or uninsured and found on a public road. A SORN declaration is valid for 12 months. You must SORN your car every 12 months if you are still not using it.
Different ways to SORN your car
If you've decided to declare your vehicle as SORN, the process is relatively straightforward and completely free of charge. There are three ways to SORN your vehicle:
You can declare your vehicle as SORN online on the government's website. You'll need your vehicle registration number, your 11-digit reference number from your V5C logbook, or your 16-digit reference number from your V11 reminder.
If you don't have your logbook or V11 reminder, you can still declare your vehicle as SORN by calling the DVLA.
The DVLA vehicle service call lines are open 24 hours a year. You can call them on 0300 123 4321.
You can also declare your vehicle as SORN by filling out a V890 form – the document used to apply for SORN. The V890 form can be obtained either from the DVLA or can be downloaded via the government website.
Fill out the form and post it to the DVLA at this address:
Once you've declared your vehicle as SORN, you'll receive a confirmation letter from the DVLA within four weeks.
Can you SORN without a logbook?
Yes, you can declare your vehicle as SORN without a logbook. You'll need your vehicle registration number and your 16-digit reference number from your V11 reminder. If you don't have your V11 reminder, you can still declare your vehicle as SORN by calling the DVLA.
What happens after you SORN your car?
After you declare your vehicle as SORN, there are certain restrictions that you'll need to follow. These are:
Will you get a car tax refund?
If you have already paid your road tax for the whole year, you may be eligible for a refund for the remaining full months of the tax. You will receive the refund automatically after you declare your vehicle as SORN.
Do you need car insurance for SORN vehicles?
If your vehicle is declared as SORN, you are not legally required to have car insurance.
Do you need to renew a SORN?
Once you SORN your car, you don’t need to renew it for 12 months. If your vehicle is still not in use or being driven on public roads after 12 months, you will need to re-apply and renew your SORN.
How to cancel SORN?
You can cancel your SORN by notifying the DVLA that you want to start using your vehicle on public roads again. The fastest way to do this is by phone, but you can also notify them online or via post.
Phone: 0300 123 4321
Online: via the government website
What happens if you don't declare your car as SORN?
If you don't declare your vehicle as SORN and you're not using it on public roads, you will still be liable to pay road tax and get an MOT.
If you continue to drive the vehicle without road tax or a valid MOT, it could result in a £100 fine or a penalty for non-payment as high as £1,000.
It's important to remember that it is a legal requirement to declare your vehicle as SORN if you're not using it on public roads.
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