How to Register Your Vehicle as Off the Road Using the DVLA SORN System
If you’re not planning on driving your car or motorbike for a prolonged period of time, you can avoid having to pay for tax and insurance for your vehicle by registering it as off the road. You can do that by making a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). By declaring your vehicle as SORN, you are stating that you will not be using or parking your car or bike on a public road for as long as the SORN is in force.
Why Make a SORN if Your Vehicle is Off the Road?
If your vehicle is registered as being in use, it’s compulsory to have valid road tax, insurance and an MOT certificate, even if you don’t intend to drive it for a while. If you just allow your tax and insurance expire without renewing them, you can be fined £80.
That’s why it’s important to register the vehicle as being off the road with the DVLA using a SORN. If there are any full months of tax left, you’ll be refunded. Under a SORN, you can also allow your MOT to expire without penalty. Even if you’re not using the vehicle, it’s advisable to have the minimum insurance in case of a fire or theft.
How to Make a SORN
To make a SORN declaration, you can use the DVLA’s online service or call 0300 123 4321, as long as you’re the vehicle’s registered keeper. You can give up to two months’ notice of wanting to take your car off the road.
If you want the SORN to start immediately, you’ll need the 11-digit number from the vehicle’s V5C log book. To declare your vehicle will be off the road from the first day of the following month, you use the 16-digit number from your road tax reminder letter.
If you’ve only recently acquired the vehicle and you’re also applying to be the new registered keeper, you must apply by post. You’ll need to complete the ‘new keeper’ section of the log book and send it to the DVLA along with a V890 SORN application form.
Conditions of a SORN
Once your vehicle is under a SORN, it must not be used or parked on a public highway. You have to park it in a private location like a garage, driveway, or storage facility. If you park a vehicle outside your home with no tax or insurance, you could be subject to heavy fines.
The only reason you can drive on a public road in a vehicle under a SORN is to take it to a pre-booked MOT test, and the vehicle must be insured. Driving on a public road for any other reason can get you a £2,500 fine.
To End the SORN
When you want to use a vehicle that’s been under a SORN, you simply apply to tax it using the DVLA’s online service and pay with a debit or credit card. You’ll need the 11-digit number from the log book.
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