Continuous Insurance Enforcement FAQs

Does everyone have to buy insurance?

A vehicle has to be insured unless it:

  • has a valid SORN (Statutory Off Road Notice)
  • is exempted from SORN (as untaxed before 31/01/98 and has had no tax or SORN activity since)
  • is recorded by the DVLA as scrapped
  • is recorded by the DVLA as stolen and not recovered
  • is recorded by the DVLA as disposed to the motor trade
  • is recorded by the DVLA as disposed
  • is recorded by the DVLA as exported
  • is owned by the Crown.
What should I do if I receive an Insurance Advisory Letter (IAL) but I have insurance?

Check your vehicle registration is listed on the Motor Insurance Database (MID) online at – don’t worry, it’s free. If the vehicle is missing or incorrect, or if you don’t have access to the internet, please give us a call straight away to check that the registration number of your car is recorded correctly.

Could my car be clamped if I've just received an IAL?

Yes, unfortunately your car could be liable to be clamped or you could receive a Fixed Penalty – as well as possible further enforcement action.

My wife owns the car but I'm the registered keeper. Which of us would get the IAL?

As the registered keeper of the car, you would receive the IAL and be liable for any enforcement action unless your wife insures the car or makes a SORN declaration. Please remember though that our insurance only covers vehicles owned by your spouse if they are a named driver under the policy.

What happens if I do nothing?

If you ignore the letter, the DVLA will begin enforcement action. This could include:

  • a £100 fine (Fixed Penalty Notice)
  • your details being added to the DVLA’s wheel clamping partners list
  • a court prosecution that carries a maximum fine of £1000
  • crushing the vehicle.

To find out more, head to

How can I tell if my vehicle is on the Motor Insurers Database (MID) correctly?

To check that your vehicle is correctly recorded as ‘insured’ on the MID, use the free service at If you cannot find it, please let us know.

How does Continuous Insurance Enforcement (CIE) affect the motor trade industry?

To help you understand the impact, the Motor Insurers Bureau have released a guide: Motor Trade and the MID. This explains in what ways CIE will affect various aspects of buying, selling, repairing and generally working with vehicles in the motor trade and we recommend you take a look.

I only use my car in summertime – do I have to insure my car for 12 months now?

If you won’t be using your car in the winter, you must either make a SORN declaration or insure the car for the full time. If you don’t, you will receive an IAL and enforcement action will be started against you.

If I pay the Fixed Penalty do I still have to buy insurance?

Yes, you’ll still need to buy a valid motor insurance policy if you want to keep the vehicle and don’t declare a SORN. If the vehicle remains uninsured and it’s identified by the database comparison, you could still – without any further warning – face more enforcement action.

What if I lease my car?

If you lease your car you will be the registered keeper and so would receive the IAL and any other letters. Even if your car is in somebody else’s care, you would still be at risk of enforcement action if you do not insure the car or make a SORN declaration.

Why were CIE rules introduced?

The laws were introduced to try to cut down on the number of uninsured drivers and riders on the road, who were forcing the price of insurance premiums up for others.

When the laws were first introduced in February 2011, uninsured vehicle owners cost motorists £30 per annual premium on average – that’s more than £500m every year in total.

What’s more, uninsured motorists injure around 26,500 people every year, with 130 fatalities. If you combine that with the fact that uninsured motorists are five times more likely to be involved in road accidents, criminal activity and ignore road laws (source: Motor Insurers’ Bureau), then you can see how uninsured drivers are not only dangerous to other road users but drive up the cost for responsible motorists who do take out insurance.

It’s anticipated that CIE, alongside continued police enforcement activity, will reduce the level of uninsured driving on British roads by around 40%. This will help keep the overall cost of insurance premiums down, which is good news for the majority of motorists.

You can find out more online at