DVLA busts 9 myths around SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification)

March 2020 saw the highest number of SORNs (Statutory Off Road Notifications) made of any month in the past decade, so we’ve busted 9 common myths about it.

DVLA is helping motorists by uncovering and busting the common myths that exist around SORN.

Myth 1: You can keep your vehicle on the road – just don’t drive it

The clue is in the name. When you SORN your vehicle, it can’t be kept on a public road – so it must be kept in a garage, on a driveway or on private land.

Myth 2: SORN is transferrable to the next vehicle keeper

In the same way vehicle tax isn’t transferred to the new keeper, when you buy a vehicle, SORN is also not transferred. So, if you’re buying a vehicle and want to keep it off the road, remember to make a SORN with DVLA.

Myth 3: You need to make a SORN annually

You only need to tell DVLA once when you SORN your vehicle, and you don’t need to renew this every year. The SORN lasts until the vehicle is re-taxed, sold, permanently exported or scrapped.

Myth 4: You can’t drive vehicle to have an MOT if it’s SORN

You can drive to a pre-arranged MOT appointment under SORN.

Myth 5: There’s a lot of admin and cost to make a SORN

It’s free to make a SORN – and takes just a few minutes online. You just need your vehicle’s registration certificate (V5C) to hand. You will receive instant confirmation from DVLA. If you don’t have your V5C and need to order a replacement, it’s quick and easy to do this using DVLA’s new online service – you should receive your new certificate within 5 working days if you apply online.

Myth 6: I have an electric vehicle so I don’t need to pay for my vehicle tax, so there’s no need for me to SORN it

Even if you don’t need to pay anything to tax your vehicle, for example because you’re exempt because you’re disabled or you drive an electric vehicle, you still need to tax it each year. If you take a vehicle off the road and don’t intend to tax it, you’ll still need to make a SORN – even if there is no tax to pay. You’ll also need to tax your vehicle before you return it to the road.

Myth 7: If you SORN your vehicle you can’t get a refund on your tax

The registered keeper will automatically get a refund for any full months of remaining tax when you make a SORN. It is important that you keep your address up to date with DVLA to receive your refund – the quickest and simplest way to do this is by using our online service on GOV.UK.

Myth 8: You can’t tell the DVLA in advance if you want to make a SORN later

If you know that you’ll soon want to keep your vehicle off the road, you can tell DVLA up to 2 months in advance. If you want the SORN to start on the first day of the next month, you just need to go online and use the 16 digit number on your V11 reminder letter.

Myth 9: It is really difficult to ‘unSORN’

There is no such thing as ‘unSORNing’. When you want to start using your vehicle again simply tax it online in minutes and you’re good to go.

DVLA Chief Executive Julie Lennard said:

Myth busting aims to help motorists understand what they need to do with a vehicle when it is declared SORN, including taxing it before using or keeping it on the road again. It’s really easy to check online if a vehicle is taxed. And motorists can even check by asking Amazon Alexa or Google Home. It takes just a matter of minutes to tax it.”