Drivers are being warned to renew their vehicle tax and declare any unused motor as "off the road" - or risk facing hefty fines.
Driving an untaxed vehicle is considered an offence and can even void your insurance. Any cars without tax that aren't being driven must be officially registered with a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN).
The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) issued a fresh reminder on Thursday, writing on Twitter: "Remember to always tax your vehicle on time."
You can only drive a vehicle with a SORN on a public road to go to or from a pre-booked MOT or other testing appointment. You could face court prosecution and a fine of up to £2,500 if you use it on the road for any other reason.
So, even if your car stays in the garage, you must make officials aware. According to the DVLA, you must make a SORN in any of the following situations:
- your vehicle is not taxed
- your vehicle is not insured - even for a short time, for example because there’s a delay renewing your policy
- you want to break a vehicle down for parts before you scrap it
- you buy or receive a vehicle and want to keep it off the road
If caught driving an untaxed car without a SORN, the DVLA will issue an out of court settlement (OCS) of £30 "plus one and half times the outstanding vehicle tax."
However, if the OCS is not paid, you will be committing a criminal offence, which will likely result in a court appearance. If found guilty, he penalty is either £1,000 or five times the amount of tax chargeable - whichever is greater.
Your vehicle may also be clamped and face additional charges for removal.
The DVLA is responsible for creating and maintaining vehicle records and regularly remind motorists of important updates. Recently drivers over 70 were warned that they must renew their licence every three years, or risk fines and even a ceased motor.
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