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Statutory Off Road Notification

Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) is required by DVLA when a vehicle is not being used on a public road, and therefore does not require vehicle tax.

Declaring SORN informs DVLA the vehicle is off road, so you won't need to pay any duty, or display a tax disc on your vehicle.

You do however have to keep up to date with declaring SORN. DVLA will send reminders to registered keepers.

Statutory Off Road Notification was introduced on 31 January 1998 and applies to vehicles licensed on or after that date. When a vehicle licence expires, and is not being renewed or when a refund is applied for, the keeper of a vehicle must notify DVLA that the vehicle is off-road by making a SORN declaration. Similarly, a new keeper of an unlicensed vehicle must either license or make a SORN declaration. The SORN scheme removes the "do nothing" option.

SORN declarations must be renewed annually. This requirement is designed to ensure that a vehicle keeper provides up-to-date information at least once a year to maintain the accuracy of the vehicle register. Keeping a record of off-road and unlicensed vehicles keeps DVLA records comprehensive.

The police rely on DVLA's records for the investigation of all vehicle-related crime and fraud. Our records also enable enforcement against vehicle excise duty evaders to be direct from the record. Vehicle keepers may make their off-road notification by completing the same form as they would to license. Application forms can also be downloaded from the DVLA website www.dvla.gov.uk.

In addition, the registered keeper of a vehicle can make a verbal declaration by telephoning DVLA's Contact Centre on 0870 240 0010. Once a SORN declaration has been made, keepers will be sent acknowledgement letters within 4 weeks confirming the details. From February 2005, it became even easier to declare SORN. Registered keepers can now log on to www.dvla.gov.uk/vehiclelicence or call 0870 850 4444 to declare the vehicle off road.

To enhance this scheme, a new system of continuous registration was introduced on 1 January 2004. The principle measure is to discourage the late licensing of vehicles by automatically issuing keepers of unlicensed vehicles with enforcement letters, where no SORN declarations have been made. Under this system the registered keeper remains financially responsible for the vehicle until DVLA has been notified that it is off the road or has been sold, transferred, scrapped or exported. Since its introduction, DVLA has received an increase in the number of both licensing applications and SORN declarations, improving the accuracy of the vehicle register.

Read on to find out when and how to make a SORN declaration.

3 articles in this section:

When to Make a SORN

Whether you pay duty or not, vehicle tax is required for every vehicle which is being used on the UK road. If your vehicle is not on the road, you must declare SORN (Stat...

    How to Make a SORN

    Make a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) if your vehicle is not being taxed and you're keeping it off the road. As with tax, a vehicle can be declared SORN online, b...

      Penalties for non SORN

      There are serious penalties if your vehicle is off road and you do not declare it with a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN). The penalties include: An automati...

        By Eric Craggs - Google+