What is a V11 reminder?

    The V11 is an important document that is issued by the DVLA. If you are yet to pay road tax on your car, or apply for a SORN, then you may receive a V11. Despite its name being so similar to the V5C, the V11 is simply a letter sent as a reminder.

    What is a V11 form?

    A V11 form needs to be completed if you want to either tax or SORN your car. Previously, the V11 was issued in a different format. Feedback to the DVLA found that it was unclear and text-heavy. As of January 2019, the V11 has been in a new style. The V11 form will be set out in three sections:

    • The top section should display the car owner’s name and address. It will also include their vehicle registration, and the expiry date of their road tax
    • The middle section is where you can inform the DVLA of your decision about your car tax. You can choose either to pay your road tax or register it as SORN. If you have sold the car, you can also inform the DVLA that you no longer own the vehicle.
    • The final section will inform you of options to tax your car by phone, online, or at a post office.

    When do I receive a V11?

    You should get a V11 form any time after the 5th day of the month before your road tax renewal is due. So if your tax is due on June 7th, you can receive your V11 anytime from May 5th. 

    You should never rely on the V11 to be your only prompt to pay your road tax. It should be treated as your last warning. Not receiving your V11, losing it, or not acting on it immediately are not excuses to be driving without valid road tax. 

    This is why it is a good idea to pay your road tax by direct debit if you know that you’ll be using your car frequently year after year. Remember to cancel this when you sell your car, and reapply with the details of your next vehicle. Road tax does not transfer with cars. The amount you need to pay will also vary depending on your vehicle, its emissions, or its engine size

    Where is the 16 digit reference number on V11?

    You can find the 16 digit reference number at the top of your V11. You’ll need this to use the DVLA’s phone or online process to complete your road tax payment or declare your car as SORN. 

    How to SORN a car without V11

    You don’t need a V11 to SORN your vehicle, you can complete the process online or by using your V5C. A V11 will be sent to you when your road tax is due, so it’s a reminder rather than an essential document.

    How to tax a car without V5 or V11 forms

    Yes, you can tax a car without a V11 form, you can use one of the following instead:

    • V5C 
    • V62 application for a registration 
    • A green ‘new keeper’ slip if the car has just been purchased 

    You will need either your V5C 11 digit reference number or the 12 digit reference number from your new keeper slip.

    Picking a date to SORN your vehicle

    Using a V11 to SORN your car can give you a bit more flexibility on its start date. SORNing a car online or by phone by quoting your V5C will mean your SORN will start as soon as you’ve finished applying. With a V11, it will start at the beginning at the following month. If you apply by post, you may be able to pick a specific start date. 

    Can I tax my car in advance?

    You can pay your car’s annual road tax up to two months before it is due. You can SORN your vehicle anytime, and if you have months left on your vehicle tax, you will receive a road tax refund.

    What happens if my V11 is lost in the post?

    There is no longer any grace period on car tax — once it’s expired, it must be renewed. If you have no intention of using your vehicle on the road, you must let the DVLA know and apply for SORN before your tax expires if you want to avoid a fine. Fines start at £80 if you are found to be driving your car without road tax, but depending on the case, this can increase to £1,000. 

    Your V11 not arriving in time, or at all, is not an excuse for not paying your road tax. Make sure you stay on top of your dates and know when your tax renewal is due. 

    Ready to sell?

    Need to sell your car, or want to understand more about documentation or maintenance? Check out more of our guides here, covering everything from the paperwork you need when buying and selling, to various notices you may need to file with the UK’s driver and vehicle licensing agency.