The National Traction Engine Trust

From early 2011 a new scheme is being introduced to make sure that all vehicles stay insured or a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) is made.  The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) and the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) are working together to reduce the number of uninsured drivers.

Following comparison of the MID and DVLA records, registered keepers suspected to be without insurance will receive a letter and given the following options:

  • contact their insurance provider to ensure registration on the MID is accurate
  • update their DVLA record
  • declare vehicle SORN (statutory off road notice)
  • buy insurance.

Enforcement will only follow if the keeper fails to comply with one of the above and will result in:

  • an initial fixed penalty fine of £100
  • their vehicle being clamped, seized and disposed of
  • possible court prosecution which carries a maximum fine of £1000

This change in the law may highlight a problem for owners of traction engines that have been long term laid up or are the subject of a long term restoration project particularly if they have not been previously SORNed.  If the latter is the case they will not be on the radar as far as this scheme is concerned i.e. there will be no records on the Motor Insurance Bureau’s database.  Moreover they may not now be on the DVLA vehicle register either.  The issue then becomes that of trying to declare a retrospective SORN for a vehicle that the DVLA no longer knows exists!

The DVLA has been contacted by the Head of the Trust’s Technical Services Unit in order to seek clarification and guidance. A reply has been received from DVLA from the CIE Project Manager:  

When CIE is introduced in early 2011, it will be an offence to be the registered keeper of a vehicle that is taxed, that does not have insurance, unless a valid SORN has been made.

Given the scenario you have stated, any vehicle which has been kept off-road before SORN came into force on 1st February 1998, are exempt from CIE.

If they are brought back into use, i.e. they are taxed, they would need to be insured or a SORN made if taken off the road.



06 Nov 2010