If you are going to take your vehicle „off the road“, you will be needing to make a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN), in order to stop insuring it and taxing it. The term „off the road“ means that the vehicle is not used or kept on any public road, instead it is parked on a drive, private land or in a garage.
Why have SORN?
SORN reduces the opportunity for tax dodgers to skip taxing a vehicle for a month or more while still using or keeping it on the public roads. By law you must either tax your vehicle or make a SORN declaration. There is no ‘do nothing’ option. Enforcement is triggered direct from DVLA without the need for the vehicle to be seen on the public road.There are substantial penalties for those who break the law.
You must remember to sign the form, it is a legal obligation. So, in short, you need to have SORN if: the vehicle is not insured or taxed (even for a little while); you plan to break the vehicle for its parts before you get rid off it; your new vehicle will be kept off the road (SORN is not tranfered from the previous owner). If a vehicle in your possession is taken off road (eg for repair) you must make a SORN declaration. You must also declare SORN if you take your vehicle and claim a refund of duty on your tax disc, but only if the vehicle remains in your possession.
How do I declare SORN ?
If you have received a vehicle licence renewal reminder, V11, and will not use the vehicle on the public road, use the form to declare to SORN. If you need to declare SORN and you do not have a V11, use form V890.
You can get a V890 from the DVLA Customer Enquiry Unit on 01792 772134 or from your nearest Vehicle Registration Office. If you apply for a refund of tax, declare SORN on the refund application form V14. The notes on the form explain what to do.
What happens if I do nothing?
If you use or keep your vehicle untaxed on a public road, you could be fined £1000 or 5 times the annual rate of duty of the vehicle, whichever is the greater. You will also be ordered to pay any unpaid duty on the vehicle.
If you do not make a SORN declaration when you should, you could be fined £1000. The penaplty for a false declaration of SORN when the vehicle is in fact used or kept on a public road untaxed can even go high as 2 years of imprisonment and £5000 fine.