Continuous Insurance Enforcement, often referred to as CIE, came into force in 2011 as an instrument to enforce the new offence created by the Road Traffic Act 2006 of “keeper of an uninsured vehicle”.
The new offence under the RTA makes it an offence to keep a vehicle without a valid policy of motor insurance in force in respect of that vehicle. The legislation was introduced in an attempt to reduce the growing numbers of uninsured drivers on Britain’s roads. Clearly it was already an offence to use a vehicle on the road with valid insurance but the new legislation attempted to fill the gaps created by people who claimed that whilst they owned a vehicle, it was not actually being used….not until it was involved in an accident at least!
Exceptions to the requirements of Continuous Insurance Enforcement
Your vehicle will not be subject to the mandatory insurance requirements under CIE if the vehicle
- is subject to a Statutory Off Road Notification, or SORN, with the DVLA whereby you have informed the DVLA officially that the vehicle is off the road.
- is exempt from the SORN notification by virtue of having been off the road before 31 January 1998 and has not been taxed or used since.
- is officially recorded as scrapped. sold to the trade, exported or stolen and not recovered.
- is owned by the Crown
How does Continuous Insurance Enforcement work?
You do not have to be caught using the motor vehicle in order to fall foul of the legislation. The DVLA records are regularly compared against the insurance information held on the Motor Insuranec Database, or MID, by the Motor Insurance Bureau and where records show that a vehicle does not have a SORN declaration, or one of the above noted recorded statuses, then you will be sent an Insurance Advisery Letter. If you are concerned that the information held about your vehicle and your insurance is not up to date you can actually check this information for yourself on the MID web site.
What does the Insurance Advisery Letter say?
The letter states that the vehicle appears to be uninsured and that you are the registered keeper of it and goes on to point out that if you fail to take action then you will be subject to further proceedings gainst you. At this point you should either take out insurance in respect of the vehicle or make the appropriate notification to the DVLA to resolve the situation.
If you fail to take action following receipt of the Insurance Advisery Letter then you will be subject to further enforcement action which may include;
- a fixed penalty of £100, reduced to £50 if you pay within 21 days
- a fine of up to £1000 if further action is pursued against you
- the vehicle being clamped, seized or even destroyed by the authorities.
These penalties are in addition to and do not replace the existing powers of the police to stop and seize an uninsured vehicle and prosecute the driver for driving a motor vehicle without a valid insurance policy in place.