Looking to SORN your scooter or motorcycle? Well, you're in the right place because in this article, we will be running through a complete guide on how to SORN your motorcycle while off the roads...

What does it mean to SORN a motorbike?

SORN stands for ‘Statutory Off-Road Notification'. SORN was first introduced on 31st January 1998 applying to all vehicles licensed on or after that date, giving the government an accurate idea of which vehicles are on or off the road. 

When you SORN your motorcycle it means that you are telling the DVLA that your bike is not being used and has been taken off the public highway. Doing this to your bike can stop any potential automated fines when it comes to things such as vehicle tax.

However, if you decide to tax your bike or sell it, SORN is automatically cancelled and cannot be transferred. 

When do I need to SORN my motorcycle?

When you declare your bike as SORN, it means that your bike must be entirely off the road. This means that you cannot have your bike parked on the side of the road, and it must always be stored on private property. 

The only time you can drive your SORN motorcycle on the road is to a pre-booked MOT appointment ONLY. However, you need to be insured to take it there.

There are many reasons why you may choose to SORN your motorcycle or motorcycles, such as:

  • You may have several motorcycles in your collection and you cannot ride them all.
  • The bike may not be roadworthy, or work is currently being carried out on it.
  • You don't expect to ride during the winter months - For more on storing your motorcycle in the winter check out how to store your motorcycle in the winter
  • You have bought a bike and have chosen not to ride it on the roads.

Under any of these circumstances, it would make sense to decide to take your motorcycle off the road. Especially as this could help to save you money on both tax and insurance costs.

How to SORN a motorcycle

In order to SORN your motorcycle, you will need to declare your vehicle as SORN to the DVLA.

It is free to apply and can be done via post (by submitting a V890 form), phone, or online, depending on whichever option is accessible to you. 

You will need:

  • Your 11-digit logbook V5C number (if you don’t have one you can apply for a V5C via the DVLA website or by phone, and it will cost you around £25)
  • Or, your V11 tax reminder letter
  • Plus, your registration plate details

You can either choose to SORN your vehicle immediately or for the first day of the next month.

To avoid any trouble while SORN-ing your bike, check that your logbook has the correct information on it, such as the right name and address. 

How long does SORN last on a motorcycle?

According to the DVLA, a SORN declaration does not expire, and will only end when you retax the bike, or when you decide to sell it. 

If your motorcycle has been declared as SORN, it is still important to insure it, as fire and theft are still very much a risk, even when your bike is off the road.

To un-SORN your motorcycle, you will need to tax your vehicle again through the government website

What happens if you do not declare SORN?

If you fail to inform the DVLA that you have taken your motorcycle off the road, you can be fined £80 (reduced to £40 if paid in 28 days) or prosecuted. Simply taking your bike off the roads and stopping paying vehicle tax is not enough. 

Penalties for failure to SORN your motorcycle can vary, so it’s important to check.

How do I insure a motorbike which is SORN?

Regardless of SORN status, it is advisable that you insure your motorcycle. 

As mentioned earlier, while your bike may not be on the road, this does not prevent potential fires or theft of your bike.

Choosing laid-up insurance may be a good option in order to protect your bike while saving yourself a bit of money too. Now if you are wondering whether laid-up insurance and SORN insurance are the same things - the answer is YES. 

Once you are ready to get your bike on the roads again, your policy can be upgraded, just remember to check with your insurer as this may vary.

The Last Stop!

If you are thinking about SORN-ing your bike as the sunny weather comes to an end - make sure to get a Laid-Up Insurance quote direct with Lexham!

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