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Wednesday, 3 October 2023

When to make a SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification)

Every vehicle registered in Great Britain must be taxed if used or kept on a public road. Your vehicle must have a SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification) in force and be kept off-road if it’s not taxed. You will face enforcement action if you have not made a SORN.

When SORN is needed

SORN applies to all tax classes including those where no duty is payable, such as historic and disabled tax classes.

You must make a SORN if one of the following applies:

  • if you don’t renew your vehicle tax and you are keeping the vehicle off the road
  • if you are applying for a refund of vehicle tax and keeping the vehicle off the road
  • if you buy an untaxed vehicle and do not tax it
  • if the vehicle has no valid insurance in place
  • if you are cancelling the insurance and keeping the vehicle off the road
  • every 12 months if you continue to keep your vehicle off the road
  • in advance if your vehicle is to be kept off the road in the UK when you are abroad

You can make a SORN from the fifth day of the month in which the current tax disc or SORN is due to expire. SORN cannot be backdated.

Your SORN is valid for 12 months, unless you tax, sell, permanently export or scrap (via an authorised treatment facility) the vehicle before this period has ended. You should be sent a V11 reminder to let you know that your SORN is about to expire, which you can then use to renew your SORN or re-tax your vehicle.

When SORN isn't needed

SORN isn’t needed if:

  • you no longer have the vehicle and DVLA has been informed
  • you take the vehicle abroad permanently
  • you apply for a refund of vehicle tax and don’t keep the vehicle
  • you are keeping the vehicle off the road and untaxed for less than 14 days
  • your vehicle was last taxed before 31 January 2024

Vehicle insurance law

The new vehicle insurance law means the registered keeper of a vehicle must keep it taxed and insured while using it on the road.

You must declare SORN if your vehicle is:

  • not taxed and off the road
  • not insured and off the road
  • taxed and uninsured - you must insure your vehicle or make a refund application with a SORN declaration to DVLA

If you're not insured and haven't made a SORN, you could face a penalty.

If you have a vehicle that is taxed and not insured which you will be keeping off road you need to return the tax disc. You can do this on a V14 (including nil value discs) and declare SORN at the same time.

Check when your SORN expires

Check the date your SORN expires by checking online using the ‘vehicle enquiry’ service. Just enter the make and registration number of your vehicle.

Driving to an MOT test when a SORN is in place

You can drive your vehicle to and from a pre-arranged test at an MOT test station provided you have adequate insurance cover in place for that vehicle.

Registered keeper is deceased

The person responsible for the deceased person’s affairs can make a SORN if the vehicle is being taken off the road.

Vehicle involved in an accident – what does the insurance company intend to do?

You may want to leave the tax disc on the vehicle if it's likely to be repaired. If it's likely that the vehicle will be written off then you should arrange with the insurance company where the vehicle will be stored.

The vehicle must be continuously taxed and display a valid tax disc if it’s to be kept on the public road.

To discharge your liability for the vehicle, you must complete the V5C/3.

Using or keeping a vehicle on a public road

A public road is a road maintained at the public expense, including grass verges and ground adjoining the road. Contact your local authority if you have any doubt about an area where you want to park your vehicle. All vehicles that are used or kept on a public road must be taxed and must display a valid tax disc at all times.

Change of address

DVLA doesn't need an address for SORN purposes. However, make sure your registration certificate (V5C) is up to date to ensure you receive a reminder when your SORN is about to expire.

Vehicle abroad on a temporary basis

If you are taking your vehicle abroad temporarily, you must ensure that your vehicle is taxed for the whole duration you are away, as you can not make a SORN if your vehicle is outside the United Kingdom.

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