New penalties for motor vehicles without insurance, are you aware?

CIE

From early 2011, a new law will mean that the registered keeper of a vehicle must keep it insured unless they’ve made a SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification). If you’re not insured and haven’t made a SORN, you could face a penalty. Find out what the change in the law means for you.

The new vehicle insurance law – don’t be caught out

In early 2011, the vehicle insurance law will change.

If you’re the registered keeper of a vehicle, it must be insured at all times.

The only exceptions are:

•if you have made a SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification) for the vehicle

•vehicles that have been kept off-road since before SORN came into force on 31 January 1998 – unless they are brought back into use

Could you be breaking the law?

If you’re not using your vehicle, you should make a SORN. If you are using it, it must be insured.

 The change in the law means that you won’t be able to temporarily take a vehicle off the road and cancel your insurance, unless you make the vehicle SORN at the same time.

If you’re not using your vehicle, you should make a SORN. If you are using it, it must be insured.

How does this affect a vehicle used only in the summer?

If you have a vehicle that is not insured, but which is still taxed you could face a penalty. This includes motor caravans, motorbikes and classic cars – all vehicles that people sometimes leave uninsured for part of the year.

What if you have a personalised registration on your vehicle?

You should inform your insurance company if you change the registration number of your vehicle at any time. If you do not you could receive an IAL letter to say your vehicle is not shown as insured.

Where does the new law apply?

The new law will apply in England, Scotland and Wales. It will not apply in Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

Does this change affect the Off Road Register?

Off road bikes and construction machinery on the Off Road Register are not affected by the change in the law unless they are registered for use on the public road.

Are classic cars affected?

The change in law will affect your classic car if it’s taxed but not insured. If you have a vehicle that was manufactured before 01 January 1973 that has a ‘nil value’ tax disc, it is still considered by DVLA as taxed. So, you should make a SORN if it’s uninsured and keep it off the road.

How does this affect pre-SORN vehicles?

Vehicles which have been kept off-road since before SORN came into force on 31 January 1998 are exempt from this law unless they are brought back into use. If you want to bring the vehicle back into use, you will need to tax and insure it.

 DVLA records will be compared with the details of vehicles on the Motor Insurance Database (MID) – the UK’s central record of vehicle insurance. The details of all insured vehicles should be on the MID.

You can check that your motor insurance details are on the database and are correct.

If the details aren’t correct, or are not on the database at all, you should contact your insurer immediately, as only they can update the MID’s information.

If a vehicle does not have insurance, the registered keeper of it could:

receive a fixed penalty of £100

•have their vehicle wheel-clamped, impounded, or destroyed

•face a court prosecution, with a possible maximum penalty of £1000

An Insurance Advisory Letter (IAL) will be sent to inform the registered keeper of a vehicle that appears to have no insurance. It advises the keeper what actions to take to avoid receiving a Fixed Penalty Notice.

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