Reg Plates And SORN Road Tax For Vehicles
All cars registered in the UK have to be taxed annually. Not renewing car tax is a criminal offence, and is picked up very quickly by the police. If you plan to have your car off the road for an extended period of time, you need to apply for something called a Statutory Off Road Notice (SORN) to avoid being liable for tax during that time.
You could be fined up to £2,500 if you drive a car that’s subject to a SORN on the road. One exception to this rule is allowed: if you can prove you’re driving your car to its MoT test.
It makes no difference if your car spends all its time parked up on your drive; it still needs be taxed. If you don’t want to tax it and you’re not going to use it for a while, your only option is to apply to the DVLA for a SORN.
Having one of these means you don’t have to tax your car, as long as you keep it off the road. It could save you a lot of money if you don’t plan to drive your car for a long period of time, like if you’re travelling abroad for more than a month or if it’s not roadworthy for whatever reason. But as soon as the vehicle even touches a road, you’ll need to pay tax, as driving it would overturn the SORN.
What do I need to do to SORN a vehicle?
If you’re absolutely sure you won’t use the vehicle, it’s easy to do by going to www.gov.uk/make-a-sorn, calling the DVLA on 0300 123 4321 or by posting a completed V90 form to its HQ in Swansea.
The 11-digit reference number from your car’s V5C (logbook) or 16-digit reference number from a road-tax renewal letter will be necessary here. Your car’s registration number, make and model will also be required. Enter the date you wish the SORN to begin as well. The DVLA will refund you any unused road tax.
You won’t need to renew the SORN each year. Instead, it’ll lapse when you notify the DVLA you wish to start paying road tax on it again, or it has a change of owner (you might sell it).
Because a SORN cannot be transferred from one owner to another, if you buy a car that’s the subject of a SORN, you have to apply to the DVLA to have it cancelled. Either way, the DVLA will regard the SORN as having ended with the change of owner and road tax will become due once more.
As long as they adhere to a few special conditions, vehicle testers and motor traders don’t have to apply for a SORN.
Retaining a Registration Number
This process involves getting a retention certificate for your registration number. It lasts for 10 years and costs £80. As with the vehicle to vehicle transfer process, the easiest way to do this is online. You will need the vehicle registration certificate for the vehicle you are transferring the registration number away from. Use this form to complete the details in the online process.
Once complete, you will get an email confirmation. This email will also give you the new registration number for the vehicle. Shortly after this you will receive (by post) a vehicle registration certificate for the vehicle with the new registration number. You will also get the retention certificate for your registration number.
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