SORN car

Your SORN Questions Answered


In this article, we explain exactly what SORN is and answer some of the most frequently asked questions about SORN.

What is SORN?

So first things first, ‘SORN’ stands for Statutory Off Road Notification.

A statutory off road notification is used to inform the Driver and Vehicle Licence Agency (DVLA) you are registering a vehicle as off-road. This ensures you no longer required to tax or insure it, so it can save you a fair bit if you know you won’t be driving the vehicle for some time.

Other Frequently Asked Questions about SORN

Why would you SORN a car?

There are numerous reasons you may wish to declare your car as being off the road:

  • You plan to travel for a long period of time but not want to sell your car
  • You’ve bought a car but don’t want to tax or insure it immediately
  • You have bought a classic car that requires some work so will be ‘off the road’ while you fix it up
  • Plan to buy a car which is already declared as being off the road and you need to register it as off the road in your name (a SORN is non-transferrable)
  • If a car’s road tax has expired and the car is off the road for more than 14 days

When do you need to declare my car SORN?

You should declare a car as being off the road if you have no intention of driving it on the road. When you register a vehicle as SORN, you no longer need to pay road tax or car insurance.

You should register the vehicle as being off the road before you stop paying insurance or tax. If not you could end up with a fine.

Can you choose when the SORN starts?

When applying to register your car as being off the road, you can choose when the off-road period will start.

If you want the SORN to start on the first day of the following month, you need the 16-digit number on your vehicle tax reminder letter (V11 letter).

However, if you want to declare your car as being off the road immediately (perhaps it’s failed its MOT and is too costly to repair at the moment) you need the 11-digit number on your vehicle log book (V5C).

Can you drive a car with a SORN?

SORN city car

You can only drive a SORN car on the road to go to or from a pre-booked MOT or testing appointment. The appointment should be pre-booked as the police will check to verify that you are heading to a garage for the car to be tested.

If you are driving the car in any other circumstances, you can be prosecuted and fined up to £2,500.

You should also bear in mind that due to Continuous Insurance Enforcement (CIE) legislation it’s an offence to be a registered keeper of a vehicle without car insurance unless you’ve notified the DVLA the car is SORN.

How do I get my car back on the road after SORN?

It’s easy to get a SORN car back on the road, simply tax it again which automatically de-registers it. You can do this online, over the phone or at Post Office branches, but you need your 11 digit reference number on the V5C.

You will also need to make sure the car has a valid MOT and is insured.

Is it free to SORN a vehicle?

It doesn’t cost anything to declare your vehicle as being off the road. If you have paid your road tax upfront, you will get a refund for any full months remaining tax paid.

How long does a SORN last?

SORN clock

You previously had to declare your vehicle as SORN every 12 months, however, now it remains in place indefinitely until the car is sold on. Once you’ve declared the vehicle as being off the road, you don’t need to renew anything.

How to cancel a SORN?

To get your car back on the road, all you need to do is tax your car again. However, as mentioned above, you must also make sure the car has a valid MOT and is covered by insurance.

We hope this article has answered all the questions you have, but, if there’s anything else you’d like to know just let us know in the comments below.

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