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Court from a SORN!


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I bought an old camper van to do up. When the MOT ran out, it wasn't going to pass at that time, so I declared it SORN, as without an MOT, you can't get road tax. It was insured.


It was kept in a car park space in a layby outside my house.

I came home form work and it had been clamped! I paid the £80 fee and £120 surety that night, and the vehicle was unclamped the next morning, when I moved it to a garage.


DVLA said that the space it was in counted as being on the public road. They are now prosecuting me and I am to receive a court summons in due course!


I've never been in trouble with the law before, ever. I didn't realise that the space counted as being on the public highway. I now have court to face as well as losing the £200 I've already paid. I am scared witless.


Will I get a criminal record from this? I honestly had no idea and as soon as I knew that it was 'on the road' I moved it. And I still get taken to court! I thought I was obeying the law by declaring it SORN.


Any advice gratefully received!

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For the purposes of VED, a public road is defined as "a road maintained at public expense"


Regardless of whether or not the layby forms part of the carriageway, if the Council maintain it, it is public highway.

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I came unstuck in the same way, declaring SORN and then leaving the car in my parking space outside of the house whilst I worked on it. I was prosecuted and sent a letter of mitigation (not being driven, declared SORN, not a thoroughfare but parking space in a a cul de sac) but the result was always going to be a fine as I had to concede that it was defined as a public highway. Was fined plus costs which added up to just over £100 for two offences (seen twice in two days by Council Wardens). Phoned up and paid by card on receipt of the details. Mitigation may be taken into account as far as the fine goes, but I think that the offence is absolute.


I (or my wife as she was the RK :oops:) never had to attend court and don't believe that you will either. Nor (as far as I am aware but stand to be corrected) will you have a Criminal Record - naturally is is recorded but does not need to be disclosed to prospective employers, nor does it affect US entry Visa waiver status.

Any advice given is done so on the assumption that recipients will also take professional advice where appropriate.






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