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Home || Content || Section A || A7) SORN and Historical Vehicle Classification


Statutory Off Road Notification, or SORN as it is known, is a new system which came into effect as at 31st January 1998, as the DVLA were concerned that vehicles not taxed were not stored or used on public roads .

Consequently, when a vehicle's tax runs out and is not renewed or a Tax Disc is returned, the Registered Vehicle Keeper is required to make a Statutory Off Road Notification, that the vehicle is not kept on public roads and the storage arrangements are to be given. Failing to declare an SORN could result in a £1,000 fine or 3 months imprisonment.

Despite misleading information in some preservation Journals, it is the case that only vehicles that were actually taxed on or after 31st January 1998 and not subsequently re-taxed that attract the SORN Rules and we have had to be careful to abide by the SORN Rules when we have buses that are not taxed.

Hence, any preserved vehicles that were not taxed at 31st January 1998, or subsequently, do not require SORN declaration. This means that a number of our long-term preservation projects which we have had for a number of years, and have not been taxed for some considerable time, such as the Mancunians 1142, 1177 and 2220 do not require an SORN declaration.

Where we have had to make sure that we are applying the Regulations, is on vehicles we have recently acquired that were taxed when we acquired them or were taxed immediately prior to our acquisition, such as 4015, 1751 and 6901, etc, where we have had to make SORN declarations, along with vehicles we tax and un-tax from time to time, that do not have Historic Vehicle Classifications, such as 7185 and more recently, 408 and 6990.

The other licensing development is that there was originally introduced, a 25 year exempt class for a vehicle, where taxation was not payable. In this respect we have moved into this classification, 1066 and 7206. Tax discs still need to be acquired with the production of a V5 Document, MOT Certificate and Insurance Document, but there is no fee levied and the fee shown on the tax disc is zero. Consequently, we can afford to have 1066 and 7206 taxed for 12 months at a time, simply by ensuring they are re-MOTed and re-insured, which means they can be taken on public roads at any time, being taxed for 12 months of the year.

There was a period where the Government had abolished this 25 year exemption scheme, and therefore, froze the qualification period at 1st January 1973. This sadly meant that many vehicles we had which became 25 years of age were not exempt.

Rather ironically, 7185, because it was delivered in 1973, and not 1972, like 7206, despite both vehicles being 'L' Registered, does not have the 25 years exempt classification, which itself has been re-named more appropriately, as Historic Vehicle Classification. This means that with 7185 we have to tax it when we wish to take it out, return the tax disc, then re-claim tax when we are not using it, and obviously make an SORN declaration.

Luckily, the Historic Vehicle Classification was resinstated for vehicles over 30 years old, and therefore any vehicles within this catagory can be classed as an Historical Vehicle.

A6) Driving Preserved Buses
A8) SELNEC Preservation Society's Storage Depots
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