New Car Tax Rules
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What are the changes?
The new car tax (vehicle licensing) rules mean that from 1 January 2004 the registered keeper of a vehicle (the person named on DVLA's record) remains responsible for taxing a vehicle (or making a SORN declaration) until that liability is formally transferred to a new keeper. To avoid liability for taxing it, the keeper needs to inform DVLA when the vehicle is sold, transferred, scrapped or exported. Once DVLA has been notified about a Sale/transfer we will issue an acknowledgement letter, which should be kept as proof that the vehicle record has been changed.

What happens if you do not re-license your vehicle?
The new rules mean that keepers who fail to re-license their vehicle (or declare SORN) will incur an automatic penalty of £80 (reduced to £40 if paid within 28 days). Determined offenders will be faced with prosecution and could be fined a minimum £1000.

DVLA will carry out a computer check each month to identify those vehicles without a valid tax disc. Although the new rules mean that it is no longer necessary for the vehicle to be seen on a public road before a penalty is issued current on-road enforcement will still continue.

Why have the changes been introduced?
The new rules are aimed at cracking down on individuals who do not tax their vehicles. As you need an MOT (for vehicles over 3 years old) and an insurance certificate to buy a tax disc, the measures will reduce the number of unsafe and uninsured vehicles on the road. The new rules also reinforce the requirement for keepers to notify DVLA of changes, thereby improving the accuracy of the record, making it easier for the police to trace the owners of abandoned cars, and those used in criminal activities. This will benefit not just law-abiding motorists but the community as a whole.

To avoid a penalty you must make sure you do the following:

Ensure your tax disc is up to date.
You can keep your tax disc up to date by filling in the relevant section of the renewal reminder form V11 and taking it to a licence-issuing Post Office branch. V85/1s (for Heavy Goods Vehicles) must be submitted to a DVLA Local Office*) or

Apply for a new tax disc using form V10 at a licence-issuing Post Office branch or form V85 (for HGVs) at a DVLA Local Office*. You will need to show your Vehicle Registration Document/Certificate (commonly known as the logbook).

* To find your nearest DVLA Local Office call 0870 243 0444 - you will be asked to provide your postcode.

Ensure you inform DVLA if you sell, transfer, scrap or export the vehicle, otherwise you will remain liable for taxing it even though you have disposed of it. Once DVLA is notified about a Sale/transfer we will issue an acknowledgement letter which you should keep safe.
Keep your record up to date by filling in the relevant sections of the Vehicle Registration Document/Certificate and sending it to DVLA, SA99 1BA.

Make a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) if you do not intend to use or keep the vehicle on a public road. A SORN declaration is valid for 12 months (provided the vehicle is retained off-road) - failure to renew it (or re-license) will also incur a penalty.
You can declare SORN by filling in the relevant section of your renewal reminder form V11 and taking it to a licence-issuing Post Office branch (V85/1s must be submitted to a DVLA Local Office*).

Calling 0870 240 0010, if you are the registered keeper
Filling in a SORN declaration form V890 and sending it to DVLA. These forms are available from all DVLA Local Offices*, licence-issuing Post Office branches, or by calling 0870 240 0010; or

Filling in the declaration on the application for refund forms V14 and V33.

What if I take my vehicle off the road?
If you are the keeper of a vehicle and you do not license it because you do not use it or keep it on a public road, you must tell us as soon as you take the vehicle off the road. Telling us about this is called declaring SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification). You only need to make a SORN for a vehicle that had a licence in force on or after 31 January 1998.

You can use your vehicle licence renewal reminder V11 or V85/1 to do this. The V11 should be taken to a licence issuing Post Office® branch, while the V85/1 should be taken to a DVLA Local Office. Do not post either the V11 or V85/1 to DVLA, Swansea.

You must declare SORN if you take the vehicle off the road and claim a refund of duty on your licence. However, you should only do this if you keep the vehicle. Please do not declare SORN if you have sold, scrapped or exported the vehicle, or if it has been stolen.

If you need to declare SORN and you do not have a V11 or V85/1 and you are not applying for a refund of duty you can use form V890. This form can be obtained from any licence issuing Post Office® branch, all DVLA Local Offices, by telephoning DVLA Customer Enquiries on 0870 240 0010.

If you are abroad but the vehicle is off the road in the UK unlicensed, a SORN declaration must be made. This can be done at a licence issuing Post Office® branch on a V11 or to a DVLA Local Office on form V890. If you cannot get a V890 you may write a letter. Notifications can be made up to six weeks in advance. Someone in the UK can do this on your behalf.

If you are the registered keeper of the vehicle you can also make a SORN declaration verbally by contacting DVLA Customer Enquiries on 0870 240 0010.

Please note it is only the person shown as the registered keeper on DVLA's records who can make a SORN declaration by telephone. You can make a declaration from the 15th day of the month in which the licence or SORN declaration expires. If you make a telephone SORN declaration you will be sent a letter of acknowledgement confirming the details. You cannot backdate a SORN declaration over the telephone.

What will happen if I do nothing?
A vehicle keeper who does nothing on receipt of a V11 or V85/1 may be liable to prosecution as will a vehicle keeper who declares SORN, but is then found to be using the vehicle on the road.

There is a legal obligation to sign and date the forms. The address at which the vehicle is to be kept needs to provided only if the form requests it. SORN declarations are valid for 12 months and must be renewed, if the vehicle is kept off road for a further period. SORN can be renewed by completing the V11, V85/1 or if these are not available a V890 SORN form can be used

How do I declare SORN?
On the road tax reminder
The road tax reminder (V11/V85/1) that is sent to vehicle keepers before the present tax expires includes a tick box for those keepers wanting to declare SORN. This must be done if the vehicle keeper does not buy a tax disc and is keeping the vehicle off the road. It is designed for use at a Post Office® branch allowing quick and convenient payment of vehicle excise duty or to make a SORN declaration. The V11/V85/1 should not be mailed direct to DVLA. (There are other ways to make a SORN declaration. Please see below "At other times.")

Keepers of heavy goods vehicles (HGV's),ny of which may be off the road for periods during a typical working year, can declare SORN on the V85/1. A subsequent licence application at the DVLA Local Office will need to be made on a form V85.

Licensed vehicles and Continuous Registration
If you are/or become the registered keeper of a vehicle, you must ensure that the vehicle is relicensed or a SORN declaration has been made. If it is not, you could face a fine and further penalties. Under the system of Continuous Registration (CR), which commenced in January 2004, it is not necessary for your vehicle to be sighted on the public road, for an offence to have been committed. DVLA now has the authority to carry out enforcement action against the registered keeper directly from information held on the vehicle licence records.

your licence has just expired may ontinue to use your vehicle for up to 14 days after its expiry as long as you have applied for a new licence that must run from the day after the last one expired. This 14-day period of grace is a concession. By law, you must display a current licence at all times the vehicle is in use.

What if I do not license the vehicle or make a SORN declaration?
If you are the registered keeper of an unlicensed vehicle, you can be fined up to £1000, or five times the annual rate of Vehicle Excise Duty (VED), whichever is greater. In addition to this, you will be required to purchase a licence, pay arrears of duty accrued whilst the vehicle was unlicensed and pay a penalty of £80. If you still do not license your vehicle, you may be fined up to ten times the annual rate of VED.

well as this, you could find your vehicle wheel-clamped by our wheel-clamping firm.ould cost you to have your vehicle released and you would also have to produce a valid licence disc or surety fee. If you did not pay this within 24 hours, we would impound your vehicle. If you did not pay the necessary release and storage fees, we would get rid of your vehicle, generally by crushing it. (See "Wheelclamping" on our website for further advice.)

maximum penalty for making a false declaration by declaring SORN
when the vehicle is actually used or kept on a
public road is £5000 and two years imprisonment.

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