Declaring your car off the road

If your car is off the road, you'll need to make an official declaration - otherwise you could face a fine for being uninsured or untaxed.

If you don't intend to take your car onto the road, you'll need to apply for a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN).

This officially declares the vehicle as 'off-road', meaning it won't need to be insured or taxed. Without SORN, you'll need to pay for tax and car insurance – even if the vehicle's sitting on a driveway or in a garage.

Making a SORN

To declare your vehicle as off the road, you'll need to contact the DVLA. Depending on your circumstances, there are different ways you'll need to apply:

  • If you're the registered keeper and received your V5C document in the same month you make a SORN, you will need to fill in a V890 Statutory Off Road Notification form and send it to DVLA, Swansea SA99 1AR.
  • If you're the registered keeper and didn't receive your V5C document in the same month you make a SORN, you'll need to contact the DVLA by phone on 0300 123 4321 or make a SORN online
  • If you're not registered as the vehicle's keeper you must fill in section 6 and sign section 8 on the V5C and fill in a V890 Statutory Off Road Notification form. If you don't have a V5C certificate you’ll need to apply for one first.

Once your application has been accepted, you'll receive a letter from the DVLA within 4 weeks. If you don't get this, give them a call to make sure it's been processed.

Make sure you take a note of the SORN's expiry date. If you don't renew it, the vehicle will be treated the same as any other and will need to be insured and taxed.

If you expect to be away when it expires, you can send a V890 form to the DVLA up to 2 months in advance. It's a good idea to include a cover note explaining why you're making the application so far in advance.

Getting the vehicle back onto the road

If you've made a SORN on your vehicle and you want to take it back out on the road, you'll need to insure the vehicle. An MOT is also required.

As soon as you apply for tax using your V5C, the SORN will expire so you can take the car back onto the road once you are insured to do so.

If you buy a vehicle that already has a SORN made by the previous owner, it will expire when you buy the vehicle. You'll need to make a new SORN following the steps above if you want to keep the vehicle off the road.