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How to SORN a car with the DVLA

December 10, 2021 by

If you’re planning on parking your car up for a long time, you’ll need to SORN it with the DVLA.

SORN stands for Statutory Off-Road Notice and essentially tells the DVLA that you won’t be using your car on the road.

This guide will walk you through how to SORN a car.

When to SORN a car

If you’re planning on parking your car up for more than two weeks, you can apply for a SORN. This will take your car off the road and means you don’t have to pay any tax or insurance.

It’s worth bearing in mind that you can’t park your car on the road if you have a SORN. All cars parked or used on the road have to have tax and insurance.

Situations where you would SORN your car include:

  • You’ve not taxed it and don’t plan on driving it
  • You don’t have insurance and you don’t plan on driving
  • You have a project car that isn’t running
  • You plan on scrapping your car or breaking it for parts
  • You’ve bought a new car but don’t want to drive it yet

If you don’t have tax or insurance on your car, you must declare it SORN and park it off the road. If you don’t you may get a ticket come through automatically and the fines can rise to £1000.

How to declare a car SORN

You can declare your car SORN over the phone, by post or online. Online will be the fastest way to do it, and you’ll need your V5C logbook.


You can declare your car SORN through the Government’s website. If you want to SORN the car straight away, you’ll need the 11-digit reference number on the front of your V5C.

If you want the car to be SORNed from the start of the following month, you can use the reference number from your V11 tax reminder. Once you have declared your car as SORN you’ll get a refund for the tax you haven’t used.

By post

To SORN your car by post you’ll need a V890 form, which you can be downloaded from the Government’s website or be collected from a post office.

Once you’ve filled this form in, you need to post it to DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1AR. You should receive confirmation within four weeks that your car is SORN, but if you don’t then you need to chase it up.

By phone

To SORN your car over the phone, you’ll need to have the details to hand, including either the V5C reference number or the V11 tax reminder. Simply ring the DVLA on 0300 123 4321 and explain that you wish to SORN your car.

You should receive confirmation within four weeks that your car is SORN, but if you don’t hear anything then give them another ring. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Do you have to pay to SORN your car?

Declaring your car as SORN will not cost you anything, and you may even get a tax refund depending on how long it has left.

How long does it take to SORN a car?

If you’ve notified the DVLA that your car is SORN using the V5C, it will take effect immediately. If you used the V11 tax reminder it will be from the 1st of the following month.

You should receive confirmation within four weeks of notifying the DVLA that your car is SORN. If you haven’t heard anything after four weeks, you’ll need to chase it up.

Don’t just assume that your SORN has taken effect because you could be liable for tax and insurance if there’s been an error.

How to SORN my car FAQs

Can I SORN my car without the V5C logbook?

If you don’t have a V5C logbook, you’ll need to apply for a new one before you can SORN your car.
You can do this by filling out a V62 form and posting it to the DVLA along with your V890 form to SORN the car. There is a £25 fee for a new logbook.

Does a SORN car need to be taxed?

No, a SORN car has been taken off the road and therefore you won’t need to pay tax on it.

Just remember that the car has to be parked off the road on private land, or you could still be fined for not taxing it.

Does a SORN car need to be insured?

The same applies to insurance as the tax, the car doesn’t need to be insured if it’s SORN. It still needs to be parked off the road on private land though.

Can I drive my car if it’s declared SORN?

If your car is SORN, it must be kept off the road and therefore you cannot drive it. This is because all cars used on the public road must be taxed and insured.

How long does a SORN last?

Once you’ve SORNed your car, it lasts indefinitely. You don’t need to renew the SORN and it will stay in place until you choose to get it back on the road.

How do I unSORN my car?

If you decide that you want to start driving your car again, all you have to do is tax and insure it. Once you’ve done this the SORN will automatically be lifted.

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