As of June 20, 2011, owning an uninsured vehicle (as well as driving an uninsured vehicle) is a criminal offense. The new rules mean that every vehicle in your fleet, i.e. in use and not in use (even if parked off-road at the operations centre), must either be insured or declared as the subject of a statutory off-road declaration (" SORN").
The Motor Insurers' Bureau ("MIB") and the DVLA work in partnership to identify uninsured vehicles by comparing DVLA records to those in the Motor Insurance Database. If a vehicle is found to be uninsured and not the subject of a SORN, the MIB will issue an Insurance Advisory Letter (“IAL”) to the registered keeper advising them that their vehicle appears to be uninsured and providing them with the steps to take , which they must undertake in order to avoid a penalty.
If the IAL is ignored and the vehicle's registered keeper does nothing, they are threatened with:
• A fixed fine of £100 (reduced to £50 if paid within 21 days);
• criminal prosecution (if the offense persists), with the penalty if convicted being a potential maximum fine of £1000;
• The vehicle is shut down, confiscated or destroyed.
However, registered owners should note that payment of an imposed penalty does not replace the need to insure the vehicle or declare it the subject of a SORN.
What should operators do?
• If your vehicle and/or fleet is taxed and insured, you do not need to do anything until the tax and insurance expire. However, you should verify that your car insurance details are correct in the Car Insurance Database ( www.askmid.com ) are recorded. If your information is incorrect or not recorded, contact your insurance provider to update this information immediately.
• If your vehicle and/or fleet is taxed but uninsured and in use, you are already committing a crime – get insured immediately.
• If your vehicle and/or fleet is taxed but uninsured and not used (whether for a short period, such as for maintenance or repairs, or for a longer period, such as while the vehicle is held in reserve), you must either:
o take out insurance immediately;
o Submission of a SORN declaration (along with a tax refund application) to the DVLA.
For passionate and pragmatic advice on all aspects of road traffic law, contact Laura Hadzik on 0161 828 1849 or 07831 291538 or email firstname.lastname@example.org