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How Do I Get My Car Back on the Road After SORN?

Written by, Marija Petkova

Updated September, 22, 2022

How do I get my car back on the road after SORN?

Getting your vehicle back on the road is as simple as paying taxes, although you will need to consider things like insurance and MOT to avoid a fine. 

If you’re wondering what is the meaning of SORN, when you need to apply for SORN, and how to cancel the SORN status on your vehicle, read on.

What Does SORN Mean?

SORN, which stands for Statutory Off Road Notification, is a legal process in which the owner of the vehicle officially informs the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency(DVLA) that they will no longer drive the vehicle on public roads. 

When a car is declared as SORN, the owner stops paying vehicle taxes. A SORN also means they won’t need an up-to-date MOT certificate

However, you can only stop paying vehicle taxes once the DVLA officially confirms that the car is SORN. Until that happens, you’ll have to continue to pay vehicle taxes, regardless of whether you drive the car or not. When the process is finished, you’ll be refunded for the months you’ve paid in vehicle taxes.

Worth noting: A SORNed vehicle must be kept on private property. A SORN vehicle cannot be parked on a public road.

When Do You Need To Make a SORN?

You should change your vehicle status to SORN,

  • If your vehicle is not taxed.
  • If your vehicle is uninsured (including during the renewal period of your policy)
  • If you’re breaking down the vehicle for parts before scrapping it.
  • If you’ve received or bought a vehicle that you want to keep off the road.

Does SORN transfer over to the new owner?

The SORN of vehicles doesn’t transfer from one owner to another. If you purchase or receive a SORNed vehicle (a vehicle that has been registered as SORN by the previous owner), you’ll have to make a SORN when the ownership transfers to you.

How to SORN a car with the DVLA?

The process of registering a vehicle as SORN is pretty straightforward but might take longer if you need to make changes to your log book. 

  1. Get a log book

To register your vehicle as SORN, you’ll first need a log book

A log book is an important legal document that tracks the taxation and registration history of a vehicle. If you don’t have one, you’ll need to apply for a log book with a V62 and a V890 form. A new log book costs £25.

  1. Make necessary changes

If the vehicle is not registered in your name, you’ll need to include that in the log book and send it to the DVLA alongside a V890 form. 

You’ll also have to change any information on the log book that’s no longer true. For example, if you no longer live at the address listed on your log book, you’ll need to change it online and then send the log book and a V890 form to the DVLA.

  1. Choose when SORN starts

The DVLA allows owners to choose when they want their vehicle to be registered as SORN.

If you want to take your vehicle off the road immediately, you’ll need to use the 11-digit number on the log book (V5C). Those who plan to stop driving their vehicle on public roads next month should use the 16-digit number on their vehicle tax reminder letter (V11).

You can apply for SORN online, by post, or over the phone. If you’re not the owner of the vehicle, you’ll have to do that by post.

There is no need to remove the SORN from your vehicle until you decide to scrap it, sell it, or return it to the road. The DVLA doesn’t require car owners to unSORN a vehicle they’ve already sold, but they will need to inform the agency that they have made the sale. 

How To unSORN Your Car?

All you need to do to unSORN a car is renew your tax online. Taxing a car that is SORN automatically cancels the SORN status and labels the vehicle as roadworthy.

You can retax your car after SORN on the DVLA’s website. You will need the 11-digit reference number from your registration document (V5C) or the 16-digit number from your tax renewal letter to take the car off SORN.

Although a tax on your car after SORN will change its status, you’ll need to take out insurance on the vehicle and update the MOT before you can come back on public roads with it. 

In the UK, it is illegal to drive without insurance.

Can you drive a SORN car to MOT?

You can only drive a SORN vehicle to MOT testing if you’ve pre-booked the appointment.

A pre-booked appointment will ensure that you won’t get fined if the police stopped on your way to the testing site. Otherwise, you might face a fine of up to £2,500.

Bottom Line

Getting your car back on the road after SORN is a straightforward process– if you want to take your vehicle back on the road, you simply need to pay taxes. The car also loses SORN status if it changes ownership, in which case the new owner will need to apply for SORN, provided that they want to keep it off-road.

Frequently Asked Questions And Their Answers

How to tax a SORN car?

A SORN status means that the owner doesn’t have to pay vehicle taxes. You only pay taxes if you take the vehicle off SORN. Taxing a SORN car will negate its SORN status.

For how long is a SORN valid?

A SORN lasts until the vehicle changes ownership, is returned to the road, or gets scrapped. 

If you have no intention of getting a SORN car back on the road, then there’s no need to renew or update a SORN.

Does SORN cancel insurance?

Taking your car off the road won’t automatically cancel your car insurance. You might be able to cancel your insurance without having to pay a cancellation fee if you’ve added a clause (regarding a SORN status) to your policy.

Can I SORN my car off the road online?

You can apply for a SORN online by filling out the online SORN registration form. 

How do you unSORN a car without a V5?

You can unSORN a vehicle with a V11. You’ll need to use the 16-digit number on the vehicle tax reminder letter.

How do I get my car back on the road after SORN?

Retaxing after SORN will automatically cancel the SORN status. Keep in mind that you’ll need an up-to-date MOT and insurance to drive it on public roads.

My name is Marija, and I'm a financial writer at DontDisappointMe. Although finance might not be everyone's cup of tea, my 10+ years of working in one of the biggest banks in my country, and my interest in extensive research on everything finance/investment-related, have made me somewhat of an expert in the field (if I do say so myself). No longer having the passion to work in a corporate setting, I decided that I couldn't let all of this knowledge go to waste so I started writing. And, here I am! Today I try to share my knowledge with my audience in the hopes of making this topic as simple and interesting as possible. In my leisure time, I like spending time with my family and travelling to new locations.