Sorn Car

Car SORN check: How to check if a car is SORN

In this guide, we will define a SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification) and explain how to check your car’s SORN status. We’ll also clarify when you should SORN your car – and the various methods available for making a SORN.

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What does SORN mean?

A SORN tells the DVLA that a car has been taken off the road. You can make a SORN for your car if you do not plan to drive it, providing you keep it on your property.

You can SORN a car free of charge on the DVLA website, by phone or by post.

Once your vehicle is subject to a SORN, you are no longer legally required to insure it. You should also receive a car tax refund from the DVLA for any full month’s outstanding cover you have for the vehicle.

For a more detailed explanation of this topic, see our guide ‘SORN meaning: What you need to know’.

How to check if your car is SORN

  • Use the DVLA tax checker tool

    The simplest way to check your car’s SORN status is by using the DVLA’s tax checker tool. Click the ‘Start now’ button on the page, then enter the car’s reg number. The tool will then reveal the car’s tax (or SORN status).

  • Check the Motor Insurance Database (MID)

    You will receive an ‘Insurance Advisory Letter’ if the DVLA suspects you are the registered keeper of a vehicle that is not insured or registered as SORN.

    This letter will inform you that your vehicle appears to be uninsured and urge you to take appropriate action (i.e. insure or SORN your car) to avoid a penalty.

    You can use the askMID database to check whether your car is insured or SORN.

How long will a SORN last?

Once you have declared your vehicle SORN, this status will remain indefinitely, unless you sell your car or tax it. When you tax a SORN car, this automatically removes its SORN status.

Please note: If you buy a SORN car, its status will be removed at the point of sale, meaning it is your responsibility to either tax the vehicle or make a new SORN in your name.

When should you SORN your car?

You should make a SORN when:

  • You have a car that you don’t intend to use.
  • You have bought a car but don’t intend to drive it for a significant time.
  • You plan to travel abroad without your car for an extended period.
  • Your insurance policy has expired. In this case, you should make a SORN and arrange a new policy at the earliest opportunity.
  • Your car requires extensive repairs and will be off the road for several weeks or more.

How can I SORN my car?

There are three ways to SORN your car:

These processes are explained in detail in our guide ‘How to SORN your car’.