Sometimes, there may be a reason why you do not want to, or are unable to ride your bike on the road. This may also mean you no longer want to tax or insure the bike, and instead keep it off road for a period of time until you are able to repair or sell it.
In this instance, there are legal obligations you must adhere to. As the registered owner of the bike, you are legally required to pay vehicle tax, hold a valid MOT certificate and have the bike covered by a suitable insurance policy, even if it is not being used.
In order to ameliorate your obligations in respect of the above, you need to declare the vehicle as being SORN.
A SORN, or Statutory Off Road Notification, is a statement of fact that you need to make to the DVLA when your bike, car, or other vehicle is taken “off the road”. This means that you are not taxing or insuring it, and that it is literally being kept away from public roads in a garage, a driveway or on private land.
This is actually a fairly simple process, but one that is heavily governed, so you need to apply as soon as possible.
If you are registered as the legal keeper or owner of the bike, you can apply for a SORN by contacting the DVLA vehicle service on 0300 123 4321, or you can apply online at www.gov.uk
You can also apply by post, by completing a V890 application form and sending it to the DVLA direct. You will need to apply by post if you are not yet registered as the legal keeper, along with the applicable section of the V5C log book.
If your bike has failed an MOT, or had an accident that needs repairs you cannot yet afford, you would need to declare it off-road immediately. To do this, you will need the 11-digit number that can be found on the V5C, the vehicle log book.
If, however, you are simply intending to not renew the road tax and leave it off-road for a period of time, then you can apply for the SORN notification to start on the first day of the following month. To do this, you would need to have the 16-digit number that is displayed on the V11 – the vehicle tax reminder document.
You can find out all about how and when you should declare your bike as SORN on the www.gov.uk website. It is straightforward to use, and offers various ways to contact advisors if you are unsure of your position in respect of the same.
You do not need to renew your SORN following changes in the law in 2013. Your SORN is automatically cancelled when you tax your vehicle again or it is sold or scrapped.
Because of the way in which vehicle tax duty is recorded, the DVLA have the technology to search their records every month for vehicles which are un-taxed or un-SORNed.
If your bike is found to have neither, you WILL be contacted by the DVLA. The penalties for not declaring your bike as being SORN include:
Be smart, and avoid the fine – SORN your vehicle anytime you need to take it off the road.