DVLA urges drivers to use 'simple' method to renew car tax or face £2,500 fine

An untaxed car

Drivers can be fined if they do not have valid car tax

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 26/09/2023

- 12:17

When a vehicle is declared SORN, it must be kept in a garage, driveway or on a private road

Motorists are being urged to make use of an online service that can help them tax their vehicle if it has been off the road.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) is calling on road users to ensure their car is taxed before they get back behind the wheel.

Posting on X, formerly known as Twitter, the DVLA account stated: “Need to drive your car again after telling DVLA it’s off the road?

“Simply tax it online to get back on the road again,” accompanied by a link to the GOV.UK website.

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Drivers can use the GOV.UK website to take their car off the road and declare it SORN – or Statutory Off Road Notification.

This allows motorists to put their cars away for extended periods of time, allowing them to save money and get a refund.

People will get an automatic refund for any full months of remaining tax when they apply to take their car off the road.

The RAC advises drivers to keep their address up to date with the DVLA online to ensure they receive their refund.

The SORN will start immediately if the vehicle tax has expired or if they’re not applying in the month the vehicle tax is due to expire.

When a vehicle is declared SORN, it must be kept in a garage, driveway or on a private road.

This could cause some issues for motorists who do not have access to a private driveway, as they cannot leave the car on the pavement, on the roadside, or in a car park or garden.

If a vehicle is being driven on the road when it has been declared SORN, people could face a maximum fine of £2,500.

The only reason someone can drive a vehicle with a SORN on a public road is to attend a pre-booked MOT.

If a driver no longer requires their car to stay off the road, it is a straightforward process and can be done online.

Motorists will just need to tax their cars again, which requires them to contact the DVLA either online or over the phone.

To be road legal, drivers must also ensure they have a valid car insurance policy in place before going anywhere.

Some vehicles may be declared SORN because they failed an MOT test, with all SORN cars needing to have a valid MOT before getting back out on the road.

For those wanting to keep their cars off the road, they are not required to renew their SORN as it remains in place indefinitely until the vehicle is sold, scrapped or exported.


DVLA sign

Drivers can be refunded for any full months of tax remaining


To apply for a SORN, drivers must use the 11-digit number in the V5C log book and the 16-digit reference number of the car tax reminder.

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