How to SORN your car, van or motorbike

Last updated by on March 15th, 2022

If you own a vehicle in the UK then you need valid insurance, whether it’s a car, van or motorcycle.

That’s because of Continuous Insurance Enforcement (CIE) legislation that was introduced in 2011.

There is one exception where you do not need insurance for your vehicle and it’s called a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN).

We’ve tried to answer some of the most important and frequently asked questions about SORNs in the UK.

What is a Statutory Off Road Notification?

A SORN is essentially written permission from the Drivers and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) to keep your vehicle off the road and uninsured. 

When can I get a Statutory Off Road Notification?

If you keep your vehicle on private land, in a garage for example, and never use it on public roads, you can get a SORN from the DVLA.

A SORN means you do not need to tax or insure your vehicle while it is being kept off the road.

How long is a Statutory Off Road Notification valid for?

In 2013, some changes were made to CIE legislations, one of them concerning SORNs.

The change means that SORNs no longer need to be renewed after 12 months. They are now continuous and last until the vehicle is taxed, sold, scrapped or exported.

Where can I keep my SORN vehicle?

SORN vehicles must be kept on private land and off public roads.

So if you have plans to SORN your vehicle and leave it parked on the road outside your house or flat, think again.

The most common place to keep a SORN vehicle is on a driveway or in a garage as these constitute private land.


Do I need to MOT my vehicle while it is SORN?

If your vehicle is SORN then your MOT is legally allowed to lapse, however you can only allow your MOT to lapse once the SORN is in place.

If you are then selling a SORN vehicle, or want to get it back on the road, then you will need a valid MOT in order to get it taxed and insured.

Can I drive to get an MOT if my vehicle is SORN?

If your vehicle is SORN and you want to get it back on the road, you need to get it taxed and insured to do so.

Unfortunately you cannot get a vehicle taxed without a valid MOT certificate and you can’t get a valid MOT certificate without taking the vehicle to an MOT test centre.

For most people, that means you will need to drive your SORN vehicle on the road to get to a test centre. You must pre-book your MOT test to drive on a public road to go to and from an MOT and have the appropriate insurance cover in place.

Can Statutory Off Road Notification transfer from owner to owner? 

SORNs cannot be transferred from owner to owner so if you buy a vehicle that is legally being kept off the road, you will need to immediately insure it, or get it SORN.

How can I get a Statutory Off Road Notification?

You can apply for a SORN (or V890) online through the DVLA, by post or over the phone.


Can I get insurance while my vehicle is SORN?

Some insurers provide specialist cover to keep your vehicle insured against Third Party Fire and Theft while it is SORN.

These are specialist policies that do not cover you against any incidents and accidents on the road, only covering you for theft or fire damage while the vehicle is off the road.

How do I get a SORN vehicle back on the road?

There are three important steps to getting your SORN vehicle back on the road:

  1. Get an MOT
  2. Get it taxed
  3. Get it insured

As soon as you tax your vehicle, the SORN will automatically lapse.

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