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The Rules and Laws Governing Car Tax

It is a legal requirement that all vehicles on UK roads display a valid tax disc. If you're not using your vehicle on the road, you must declare this to DVLA to avoid penalties, which include impoundment or wheel clamping.

On this page:
How to Display your Tax Disc
Penalties for not Taxing or Declaring SORN
Continuous Registration

How to Display your Tax Disc

Tax discs must always be displayed on the passenger/kerb side of the vehicle windscreen.

For motorcycles display the disc on the passenger side using whatever fittings were designed by the manufacturer of the vehicle.

Tax discs are non-transferable, which means they can only be used for the car to which they are registered. This is shown on the tax disc. You cannot use the disc on any other vehicle.

If you've just bought a new tax disc, do not use it until it is valid.

The maximum penalty for failure to display a current tax disc is £200.

You have five days grace when applying online or by telephone. The application still has to have been made before the current tax disc expires.

Penalties for not Taxing or Declaring SORN

DVLA are diligent in their checking of vehicles without tax. Checks include monthly computer checks along with checks on the roadside.

Automatic fines of £80 apply, along with a maximum fine of £1000. Vehicles can be impounded, wheel clamped or destroyed. You could even receive a County Court Judgement.

The maximum penalty for making a false SORN is £5,000 and imprisonment.

The DVLA urge motorists to keep their documents up to date as this will allow reminders to be sent in a timely way.

See also Penalties for not declaring your vehicle off road.

Continuous Registration

It's really important to inform DVLA if you sell, transfer, scrap, or export a vehicle that's registered to you. If you don't do this, the vehicle will be under your responsibility - and this includes tax.

Inform DVLA of any changes using your vehicle registration certificate (V5C).

Last updated: Friday 22nd July 2011

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