Over the winter months, thousands of riders declare their motorbikes as SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification) – meaning they can keep their bikes off the road without paying tax.
Recent figures from the DVLA show that of those bikers who only ride part of the year, more than half will take their motorbike out at the start of the “bank holiday season”.
The Easter weekend marks the time when many bikers choose to put their motorbikes back on the road. So the DVLA is providing the truth behind some of the myths around ‘SORN’ing and taxing a motorbike.
Myth 1: “I can still keep my motorbike on the road after I’ve SORN’d it - I just can’t drive it.”
Whilst your motorbike is declared ‘SORN’ it can’t be kept on a public road – so it must be kept in a garage, on a drive or on private land.
Myth 2: “If I’m only going out on my motorbike once I don’t need to tax it.”
By law, motorbikes must be taxed before they’re ridden or kept on the public road. If not, you risk being caught and fined a lot more than the annual cost of taxing your motorbike.
However, there is one time this isn’t the case.
You can ride a motorbike to a pre-arranged MOT appointment under ‘SORN’ – but you must have motor insurance.
Myth 3: “Using a motorbike while its SORN’d is not a big deal.”
Using any vehicle on the public road while it’s declared SORN is a criminal offence under Section 29 of the Vehicles Excise & Registration Act 1994. The maximum fine is £2,500.
Myth 4: “There’s a lot of admin and cost involved in taxing again after SORN.”
Taxing online can take minutes and you’ll receive instant confirmation that your motorbike is legal to ride on the road. You can tax online with your log book (V5C) to hand. If you don’t have your V5C, you can go to a post office to apply for one. They can tax for you at the same time.
Myth 5: “I’ve just bought the motorbike so the ‘SORN’ or tax is transferred to me.”
In the same way that tax isn’t transferred when a motorbike is sold, ‘SORN’ is also not transferred to the new keeper. You must tax a vehicle before you put it on the public road. So, if you’re buying a motorbike and want to take it out straight away - remember to tax it. You can do this at the side of the road on your phone – through the website or contact centre - as long as you have the green new keeper’s slip from the V5C.
Myth 6: “I don’t pay for my tax – it’s free, so I don’t need to tax it or ‘SORN’ it.”
Even if your motorbike is ‘nil rate’ and you don’t need to pay anything when you tax it, you still need to renew your vehicle tax each year and will still need to make a ‘SORN’ if you’re not renewing your vehicle tax.
Myth 7: “The motorbike isn’t registered in my name yet. So I can’t tax it or ‘SORN’ it.”
If you’ve just bought the motorbike, you can still do this, as long as you have the green new keeper’s slip from the log book (V5C). If you don’t have any documents, you can apply at a Post Office.
Rohan Gye, Vehicles Service Manager, said,
While there may be a number of myths about SORN the rules are clear and easy to understand – you must tax your motorbike before putting it on the road. If you’ve SORN’d your bike over the winter months the quickest and easiest way to tax is online.
For more information from DVLA on taxing a vehicle and to do it online today visit www.gov.uk/vehicle-tax.