check if a vehicle has a SORN
5 minutes

If you have a vehicle you don’t want to drive anymore, save the road tax and insurance premium by declaring it SORN. DVLA SORN check reveals the status of the car if you need to know if a vehicle has a SORN.

Here’s the full guide to how SORN is declared to a vehicle and its importance.

What does SORN mean?

SORN means Statutory Off-Road Notification. You have to apply with the DVLA to notify that you are putting the vehicle off the road. If you aren’t driving the car, then paying for tax and insurance is an extra expense.

Thus, declare SORN and keep the vehicle in a garage, driveway or private property.

How long does a SORN last for my car?

Once SORN is registered, it will last forever until you plan to sell the car, go back to the road (re-tax), export or scrap it. Hence, there are no renewals or updates required. You can’t transfer your vehicle SORN to anyone.

If you’re considering buying a used car, it’s crucial to check its SORN staus if it has been off the road for an extended period. Knowing whether a used car has a current SORN declaration can help you understand its history and whether you’ll need to take steps to tax and insure it when you become the new owner, ensuring a smooth transition for used cars.

Why & when would you SORN a vehicle?

People mostly keep their vehicles off the road for specific reasons. As you might have seen, the vehicle SORN rate has been quite high during the pandemic period. Other than this, there are common reasons for declaring their vehicle SORN. It includes,

  • If the car is not taxed or uninsured
  • Intend to scrap your car
  • Plan to buy a car but decide to drive later
  • If your vehicle needs mechanical change or works on it
  • Before you go on vacation or leave

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How to check if your vehicle is SORN?

There are three options to check the SORN status of the car. It includes:

Identify SORN through a governmental portal:

The easiest way to check if the vehicle is SORN is through the by providing the vehicle registration number. Once you declare SORN, it might take a minimum of five days to update the new records.

Additionally, you can keep track of the car tax status if needed.

Use to check if the vehicle is insured:

Suppose the vehicle registered in the UK has to get registered with the Motor Insurance Database. You will receive an Insurance Advisory letter from the DVLA when you forget to insure your vehicle or declare the vehicle SORN.

The letter informs you that you need to insure the car as soon as possible or accept the fixed penalty notice.

Track if the vehicle has valid insurance and check the SORN status through the askMID database.

Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency:

Yes, the DVLA SORN check helps you to track vehicle information easily. Find detailed information regarding the vehicle and its history in a single click.

The information includes MOT status, tax rates, and carbon emissions. When the report mentions the current tax status, then the vehicle isn’t declared SORN lastly.

The plus is by checking the vehicle details, you can keep staying alert from the highly risky vehicle, even if it is for selling or buying a used car.

  • Seasonal use of the vehicle based on its condition.
  • Intend to keep the vehicle on a driveway, garage or private land for a certain period.

How to declare my car SORN?

When you are the registered owner of your vehicle, apply for the SORN of any of this one.

  • Directly contact the DVLA at 0300 123 4321
  • Inform through the online portal (

Send the form to DVLA by post to DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1AR. This application might take a month to process. SORN activates once you receive the email or letter from the DVLA.

Until you get off the road notification, check the vehicle tax status and if it’s insured.

Does it costly to SORN a car?

There is no charge for applying the vehicle SORN. However, when you lose or misplace the logbook, you have to apply for a logbook online before registering for SORN, and it might cost you £25. The logbook acts as evident as it holds the vehicle information and also needs a DVLA tax reminder letter for your application.

How much does it cost to SORN a car?

The DVLA does not charge you to apply for a SORN. However, if your logbook is lost or misplaced, you may have to apply for a logbook online before you can register for SORN.

The reason is you need to provide certain information from your logbook or the DVLA tax reminder letter for your application. The logbook may cost you £25.

How much will the penalty be for driving a SORN car?

When you are driving an untaxed vehicle, then it will come with an £80 fine. Driving a SORN car without a valid reason (driving it for the MOT test centre) will take you directly to the courtroom with a fine of up to £2,500.

So, it is better to keep a SORN vehicle on your private property (garage, driveway, land, etc.). If the car is found on a street, you have to face the penalty.

Answering your questions

Can I buy a car with a SORN status?

If you buy a vehicle with SORN status made by the previous car owner, it will automatically expire when you purchase the car. You need to apply for tax and insure your car to bring the car back onto the road.

Does SORN affect my insurance?

If your vehicle met with an accident due to a storm or bad weather conditions, but you declare your car SORN. Then, your vehicle won’t cover under your insurance claims. It’s better to keep the insurance even if you declare SORN.

Can I drive a car with a SORN?

No, once your vehicle is declared off the road, you can’t drive it on public roads until you have taxed and insured your vehicle.

How to get proof of SORN?

Details. If you act as the vehicle’s keeper, you can submit a SORN online or by calling 0300 123 4321. You must submit a SORN by mail using a V890 form if you do not yet appear as the vehicle’s owner.

What is a SORN certificate?

Whenever you take a vehicle “off the road” and want to stop paying taxes and insurance, you must submit a SORN certificate(Statutory Off Road Notification). When you SORN your vehicle, you simply need to notify the DVLA once, and you don’t need to renew this every year. The SORN certificate is in effect until the car is re-taxed, sold, exported permanently, or scrapped.

Without a SORN, what happens?

If you don’t SORN a car and it isn’t insured and taxed, you risk getting penalised. Untaxed vehicles will be subject to an £80 charge, while uninsured vehicles may face a fixed £100 fine. 

The ongoing insurance enforcement laws also impose additional sanctions for uninsured automobiles. Driving a SORN car on the road is also punishable by a £2,500 fine, although you can do so if you have an appointment at an MOT testing facility. 

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