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How to SORN a vehicle

12th May 2021

What does SORN stand for?

A SORN – Statutory Off Road Notification – is used to inform the DVLA that you are declaring your vehicle as ‘off the road’. Once you make a SORN for a vehicle, you cannot use the vehicle on the road until you tax it again.

Any vehicle that is being used (or parked) on a public highway is legally required to have road tax. That means if you are either temporarily or permanently not using your car and storing it off-road (such as in garage), you need to inform the government through making a SORN for your vehicle. If you are caught driving a vehicle that is not taxed, you could be fined up to £2,500, or risk having your vehicle seized.

If you fail to make a SORN declaration, the DVLA can cross reference with the national insurance database to identify that you do not have valid insurance, as well as expired road tax – so it’s important to ensure your vehicle is taxed and insured if you are intending on driving it.

How to SORN a car

If you’re looking to apply for a SORN on your vehicle, you can do this in a number of ways:

  • Applying online – you can do this through the SORN services site.
  • Applying via phone – the DVLA vehicle service telephone number is: 0300 123 4321, and this line is open 24 hours a day.
  • Apply via post – you can send your application form to ‘DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1AR’. 

You will need to ensure that your address is up to date, and you are the registered owner of the vehicle in order to complete this application.

If you need to update your address before applying for a SORN, this V890 form needs to be filled in and sent with your log book to the DVLA – and if the vehicle is not registered in your name, you will also need to fill in the appropriate part of the log book. If you do not have a log book, you will need to apply for a log book, which costs £25.

You will also need to specify on your application form the date that the SORN starts – whether that’s immediately, or on the first day of the next month.

How to tax a SORN car

Once your vehicle is declared as SORN, there is no need to pay for road tax or have an insurance policy in place. However, if you’re looking to un-SORN a vehicle in order for you to begin driving it again, you can do this simply by renewing your road tax online using the DVLA website.

In order to do this, you will need your 11-digit reference number from your V5C registration document. Once your tax has been renewed, your vehicle’s SORN will be automatically cancelled – but it’s worth noting that as soon as your car is taxed again, it also needs to be re-insured, too.

Car maintenance checks post SORN

If you’re looking to un-SORN your vehicle, it’s important that it receives the correct car maintenance checks required for optimal performance and safety. This includes booking in for an MOT if your vehicle’s MOT has expired during the period that it has been declared as SORN.

It’s also important to book a car service to ensure everything is in working order. Often, when vehicles are not driven for a prolonged period of time, elements may stop working effectively – such as your car battery. That’s why it’s important to book in for an interim or full car service to ensure your vehicle is road-ready for when you are.

For any more information about making a SORN on your vehicle, or our car servicing maintenance checks, get in touch with our team of experts now.