When you need to make a SORN

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Overview

You need to make a SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification) when you take a vehicle ‘off the road’ and you want to stop taxing and insuring it.

Your vehicle is off the road if you do not keep or use it on a public road, for example if it’s in a garage, on a drive or on private land.

You must make a SORN in any of the following situations:

  • your vehicle is not taxed
  • your vehicle is not insured (even for a short time, for example because there’s a delay renewing your policy)
  • you want to break a vehicle down for parts before you scrap it
  • you buy or receive a vehicle and want to keep it off the road (you cannot transfer a SORN from the previous keeper)

If you pay the heavy goods vehicle (HGV) levy, read the guidance about the levy suspension before you make a SORN.

You do not need to make a SORN if you’ve been sent a V11 reminder letter for a vehicle you’ve already sold.

After you tell DVLA you’ve sold your vehicle, you’ll receive confirmation that you no longer have it. It may take longer than usual to receive the confirmation because of coronavirus (COVID-19).

You must insure and tax your vehicle if you do not have a SORN. If you do not, you’ll automatically be fined £80 for not having a SORN. There’s also a fine for having an uninsured vehicle.

Check a vehicle’s SORN status

You can check a vehicle’s SORN status online.

Making a SORN

You can make a SORN online, by phone or by post.

When a SORN starts and ends

When a SORN starts depends on how you apply for it - your SORN will start:

  • immediately if you use your V5C reference to apply online or by phone
  • on the first day of the next month if you use your V11 reference to apply online or by phone
  • on the date you put on the form if you apply by post

You cannot backdate your SORN.

Your SORN is automatically cancelled when you tax your vehicle again or it’s sold, scrapped or permanently exported.

You do not need to renew a SORN.

Your vehicle must stay in the UK for your SORN to be valid. Find out what you need to do if you’re taking a vehicle out of the UK.

After you make a SORN

You’ll automatically get a vehicle tax refund for any full remaining months. It’s currently taking longer than usual to process refunds because of coronavirus.

When you can drive your vehicle

You can only drive a vehicle with a SORN on a public road to go to or from a pre-booked MOT or other testing appointment.

You could face court prosecution and a fine of up to £2,500 if you use it on the road for any other reason.