Frequently Asked Questions

Why was CIE introduced?

Continuous Insurance Enforcement (CIE) - was introduced to combat the high numbers of uninsured drivers... More

About 30,000 claims are made to the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) each year for accidents caused by uninsured drivers and those that leave the scene. MIB manages a fund to compensate the innocent victims of these accidents. Unfortunately, legitimate drivers must carry the cost of funding this compensation, and this adds about £30 to every honest motorist’s insurance premium.

What will happen if I don't get insurance?

As the registered keeper of a vehicle that has no insurance, you could face:... More

- A £100 penalty;

- Your vehicle being clamped, seized and destroyed

- Court prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000, and

- The Police will also continue to seize vehicle that are driven without insurance - different penalties apply for this offence.

Payment of a penalty does not replace the need for motor insurance.

What do I do if I get a warning letter but I know I have insurance?

Contact your insurance provider straight away ... More

If you get a warning letter , but know you have insurance, contact your insurance provider straight away and ask them to check, and if needs be, update your records on the MID. Providing you have a current motor insurance policy and it appears on then no fixed penalty will be issued to you.

Does CIE law apply to all types of vehicles?

CIE applies to all types of motor vehicles in England, Scotland and Wales... More

This includes cars, vans, motorbikes, motorhomes or HGV's.

Are there any occasions when a vehicle can have no insurance?

A vehicle can have no insurance if it ... More

- Has a valid SORN

- Was exempted from SORN (as untaxed on or before 31/10/1998 and has had no tax or SORN activity since)

- Is recorded as 'stolen and not recovered' by the Police

- Is between keepers

- Is scrapped

What happens if I get a letter and I'm no longer the registered keeper?

You will need to fill in the relevant section on the Registration Certificate (V5C) and send it to the DVLA. ... More

If you do not have the V5C, write to DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1BD with the vehicle registration number, make, model, date you sold it and the name and address of the person you sold or transferred it to, together with any supporting documents or evidence of the sale.

What if the car is kept in a garage or away from my home address?

You will still need to have insurance in place at all times regardless of where the vehicle is kept ... More

unless a valid SORN is in place.

Who is responsible for the insurance if I hire a car?

In many cases, car hire companies will include insurance as part of their hire package, however ... More

it is your responsibility to check that you are insured for the time you are using the vehicle.

Who is responsible for the insurance if I use someone else's car?

The registered keeper is responsible for ensuring the car is insured, however... More

You are responsible for checking that your insurance allows you to drive another vehicle.

Who will get a letter if my company car is not insured?

If you are not the official owner, then if the company is listed as the vehicle's registered keeper ... More

they will receive a warning letter, followed by a penalty if there is no valid insurance policy. You should check with your employer.

How do I declare my vehicle as off the road (SORN)?

If your vehicle is taxed and you would like to take it "off the road", you should ... More

visit to find out how to make a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) either online, by phone or by post.

What do I do if my vehicle isn’t showing on the MID when I do a search?

You have a number of options depending on your circumstances. ... More

- If you believe you are insured but your vehicle is not appearing on the MID you must contact your insurance provider to submit your policy details immediately. askMID cannot change these details.

- If you have recently taken out a new policy, please try again in a few days to allow time for the new policy to reach the MID.

- If you do not have vehicle insurance (and you haven’t declared your vehicle “off the road”), you must contact an insurance provider to purchase a valid motor insurance policy.

- If you do not want to use the vehicle, you must declare it “off the road” by making a SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification) with the DVLA. You can check your vehicle record by using the Vehicle Enquiry service at

Is it an offence to keep a SORNed car on the road outside my house?

This is a different offence to continuous insurance enforcement... More

A Statutory Off Road Notice (SORN) is a statutory declaration and the DVLA can take enforcement action if it is not valid.

Are Motor Trade plates acceptable evidence of insurance?

The trade plate must be registered on the Motor Insurance Database (MID)... More

as this demonstrates to the authorities that a trader has a motor insurance policy in place which covers the use of the vehicles that are temporarily in their possession.

Does CIE affect vehicles registered at DVLA as being "in trade"?

Vehicles recorded with DVLA as "in trade" may be held by a motor trader for up to 90 days before they need to be registered... More

Thereafter the normal requirements for vehicle usage by a trader apply, that is to tax, insure or declare SORN.

Which motor trade vehicles should be added to the MID?

All vehicles insured on your motor trade policy and all trade plates owned by you should be added to the MID, including... More

- All permanent vehicles registered to, owned by or leased to you

- Temporary vehicles such as courtesy or short term hire vehicles

- Customers’ vehicles whilst in your custody or control for your motor trade business

- Other vehicles, irrespective of the duration, regularly covered under your policy for your motor trade business

The MIB recommendation is that all vehicle records that have road cover included are sent to the MID regardless of the period of cover in order to minimise the risk of being stopped by the police and a possible vehicle seizure.

If a vehicle has no insurance - how long before a warning letter is sent?

The DVLA and Motor Insurance Database (MID) records are compared systematically ... More

and warning letters have been issued daily since 20 June 2011. The requirement of the new law is for registered keepers to make sure their vehicle is continuously insured unless the vehicle is declared off road (SORN).

How long after sending a warning letter is a Fixed Penalty is issued?

The Insurance Advisory Letter (IAL) is a warning for the registered keeper to take action immediately... More

The process of comparing records is continuous and uses the records kept with the DVLA and on the Motor Insurance Database (MID). Sufficient checks and balances are built into the scheme to ensure it is both fair and effective.

Taking a vehicle abroad for under 12 months (temporary export)

If a UK registered vehicle is taken abroad temporarily, it remains subject to UK Law.... More

This means that you must, by law, make sure the vehicle stays taxed and insured whilst it is overseas. Provided the vehicle has a current MOT certificate and insurance with an authorised UK insurer who is a member of the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) you will be able to tax it. You should contact your insurance provider before you leave to find out if you need a Green Card and/or extension to your policy cover.

If your vehicle is insured by a foreign insurer who is not a member of MIB, it will not be on the Motor Insurance Database (MID) as having a valid insurance policy. You will be more likely to be stopped by the police on return to the UK and could be prosecuted for not having insurance to comply with UK Law. Furthermore you could receive a letter or a fine under the new Continuous Insurance Enforcement Law..

Taking a vehicle abroad for more than 12 months (permanent export)

When a vehicle registered in the UK is taken out of the country for 12 months or more, it is regarded as being permanently exported from the UK..... More

You will need to ensure your insurance details are added to the equivalent of the MID in the country that you are travelling to. The local insurance provider should be able to help you with this.

You can tell DVLA by filling in the section ‘Notification of Permanent Export’ (V5C/4) of the vehicle registration certificate (V5C), and send it to DVLA, Swansea SA99 1BD. Keep the rest of the registration certificate, as you may need this to re-register the vehicle abroad. Your vehicle will become subject to the legal requirements of the new country when exported.

If you don’t have a registration certificate you will need to get a certificate of permanent export (V561). Download and complete the V756 ‘Application for certificate or permanent export’ and send to DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1AG.

You should ensure that you have adequate insurance if the vehicle is being driven out of the country. If the vehicle is being exported to another EEA state (the EEA comprises EU countries plus Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein), an insurer in that state can give cover on the vehicle for 30 days to allow for the period of export.

On arrival in country of destination you should re-register the vehicle and obtain permanent insurance.