What to know before you declare SORN

Every vehicle registered in the UK requires to be taxed, whether it is used regularly on the road, or is not actually driven but is kept on a public road. The exception to this rule is whenever any vehicle is being kept off-road. This is when you must declare SORN.

What is involved when you declare SORN

When you declare SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification), you are basically sending formal notification to the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) that your vehicle is off road and therefore exempt from the standard taxation.

The definition of what constitutes ‘off road’ is that your vehicle is not being kept on a public road, that is any road maintained at public expense, including grass verges and ground adjoining.

A SORN declaration applies when you apply for vehicle tax refund and are also keeping the vehicle off road. You also need SORN if you buy an untaxed vehicle and don’t tax it, or if you have no valid insurance. It must be renewed every 12 months.

Application is straightforward. You apply from the fifth day of the month when your current tax disc (or SORN) is due to expire – you’ll be automatically reminded of this in either the V11 (the vehicle license application or SORN declaration) or the registration certificate (also known as the logbook). The application is valid for 12 months and cannot be backdated.

SORN does not have to be declared if your vehicle has been sold, exported or sent to a scrap dealer.

Following SORN declaration, a confirmation is sent to the registered keeper’s address within four weeks.

What else to know about declaring SORN

A SORN application cannot be made outside the UK, so if you’re travelling abroad you must tax your vehicle. If you change address, this won’t have any affect when you declare SORN. You do have to ensure your vehicle registration certificate (V5C) is up to date in order to receive a reminder when your SORN is nearing its expiry date.

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