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What is SORN? Statutory Off Road Notifications explained

Published: 09 September 2018

► What is SORN for cars?
► What does it stand for?
► How it affects UK motorists 

We often get asked the question: what is SORN? It stands for Statutory Off Road Notification and it's the process you must follow if you want to suspend road tax on your car in the United Kingdom. 

In short, if you want to stop using your car for an extended period - maybe over the winter or if you've been posted overseas for a while - then you need to apply for a SORN.

The scheme is administered by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), the govermnet body responsible for licensing and registering all motor vehicles in the UK. It also oversees vehicle taxation, hence why SORN is vital if you want to stop using a car for a period of time and legally not have to pay vehicle excise duty (VED), or annual road tax.

How do I apply for SORN?

It's very quick and easy to apply for a Statutory Off Road Notification. Simply visit the government's SORN page here.

How to apply for SORN on your car or classic car

You simply enter the 11-digit number from your V5C vehicle logbook and you can apply to take your car off the road immediately. Alternatively, you can use the 16-digit number from the government's V11 vehicle tax reminder form to take the car off the road from the first day of the next month.

Can I apply for a Statutory Off Road Notification over the telephone or by post?

For sure. Telephone 0300 123 4321 from the UK 24 hours a day to apply for a SORN. Or you can go to a Post Office, request a V890 form and post it to the DVLA, Swansea SA99 1AR.

It's very easy to apply for a SORN and once you've followed the process you will not have to pay the VED. Just remember that means you cannot drive your car on the public road, though - so don't be tempted to nip out for even a short journey. 

If you do, and your car isn't taxed, you could be detected by an ANPR camera or police car - and land up in court for driving without road tax. 

Car tax and UK road tax bands explained

By CAR's road test team

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