Blog : DVLA shenanigans – guilty until proven innocent?

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

Craig Cheetham

DVLA_Logo

I am not, by nature, an angry person. Indeed, I pass most days with a fairly cheery demeanour because I’m a very lucky individual who has a reasonably good standard of living, a good level of education and a moral compass, a healthy family and a nice home. These are things I take time out to appreciate every day, along with the collection of old chod that I lovingly refer to as my car collection.

But today, I’m angry. I’m angry because a Government department (namely the DVLA) thinks it has the right to ride roughshod over the little man, and I’ve been on the receiving end. Unlike thousands of other victims of what I consider to be extortion, however, I have decided to fight this one – not because the thirty-five quid the DVLA are trying to pry off me would make the difference between food in the fridge or not, but because for many less fortunate people, who may indeed be too worried or scared to defend themselves, it could.

Here’s the background. Back in March, I sold a lovely old Peugeot 205 to a friend. Let’s call him Richard Gunn, as quite a few of you will probably know who he is anyway. As usual, I sent off the V5C to the DVLA as soon as I sold the car, as I have done hundreds of times before and will do hundreds of times again, I’m sure.

I thought nothing more of it until two weeks ago, when I received a demand to pay a fine of fifty-five pounds, reduced to thirty-five if I coughed up quickly, for ‘Failure to Notify Disposal of a Vehicle’. My V5C, it seems, had disappeared either in the post, or possibly under a huge heap of other envelopes at DVLA HQ – after all, March is the busiest month of the year for our friends in Swansea. Just saying…

I filled in the appeal form, giving the date of transfer and new keeper details as requested, assuming this would explain that the V5C had simply got lost in the post, and by keeping the new keeper details I was, indeed, being a responsible motorist. But no.

Yesterday, I received a standard letter, apparently ‘sent without signature’ from the DVLA saying this wasn’t good enough, and that it was incumbent on me to ensure they’d received the V5C. As such, I had just seven days to pay them the smaller of the two amounts, 14 days if I wanted to go for the larger fine, or if not face court proceedings.

So, DVLA, I think I’ll see you in court – nobody likes a bully, least of all me. Unless, of course, you take note of my letter (pasted below) and realise that this practice is downright unfair.

I’m happy to be corrected or hear a different view if anyone has one, so please have a read of the letter below, and let me know what you think. Meantime, I’ll let you know how I get on…

‘Enforcement Officer’

DVLA – Enforcement Centre

D12, DVLA

Longview Road

Swansea

SA99 1AH

Dear Sir/Madam,

Further to your ‘sent unsigned’ letter dated July 10 and regarding your incorrect allegation that I failed to notify the DVLA of the disposal of my Peugeot 205, Dxxx xxx, in March 2014, I write to reiterate the fact that I have no intention of paying this fine, nor any subsequent ‘fine’ that may be pursued on your behalf by a debt collection agency until my case has been represented before a UK court, as is my right as a British Citizen.

As mentioned in my initial appeal, I complied with the wording on the V5C and returned the completed form to you with the new keeper’s details immediately upon selling the vehicle. It is my understanding that failure to notify disposal is considered under UK law to be a criminal offence, and in order to successfully prosecute an individual for such a crime it is incumbent upon the prosecution, and not the defence, to prove that a criminal offence has actually been committed.

If the DVLA can therefore prove I did not fill in, return and send in the V5C pertaining to this vehicle with the new keeper’s details, then like any well-meaning British Citizen I will pay my fine. However, as I know that I took reasonable steps to return the documentation to you, and indeed immediately supplied the new keeper details to you when you did request them, I think any reasonably minded individual would believe I had no criminal intent and indeed had done what was required of me by law in terms of notifying the DVLA.

Interestingly, I note in your correspondence to me that the DVLA ‘issues a letter within 4 weeks of notification’ and that it is a matter for me to pursue this letter. I find that intriguing, as nowhere on the V5C does it say it is my duty to pursue such a letter. If this is the standard by which the DVLA expects the public to conform, might I suggest you state as much on the official documentation so we can take active steps to pursue the letter once we’ve returned the V5C ?

Below are some further legal points I would ask you to consider before determining whether or not to continue pursuing a fine for non-notification.

The Road Vehicles (Registration and Licensing) Regulations 2002

“Change of keeper: registration document issued in Great Britain on or after 24th March 1997 and the new keeper not a vehicle trader

22. (2) The registered keeper of the vehicle –

(a) if the registration document issued in respect of the vehicle is in his possession, shall deliver to the new keeper that part of the document marked as the part which is to be given to the new keeper; and

(b) shall forthwith deliver the remainder of the registration document to the Secretary of State, duly completed to include the following –

(i) the name and address of the new keeper;

(ii) the date on which the vehicle was sold or transferred to the new keeper;

(iii) a declaration signed by the registered keeper that the details given in accordance with paragraph (i) are correct to the best of his knowledge and that the details given in accordance with paragraph (ii) are correct; and

(iv) a declaration signed by the new keeper that the details given in accordance with paragraphs (i) and (ii) are correct.”

Interpretation Act 1978

7 References to service by post

“Where an Act authorises or requires any document to be served by post (whether the expression “serve” or the expression “give” or “send” or any other expression is used) then, unless the contrary intention appears, the service is deemed to be effected by properly addressing, pre-paying and posting a letter containing the document and, unless the contrary is proved, to have been effected at the time at which the letter would be delivered in the ordinary course of post.”

As stated in my appeal, I used Royal Mail first class post to “deliver” the V5 document which complies with both regulations above.

The DVLA states that I have no defence because I did not receive confirmation from them, yet nowhere on any official paperwork do you declare this confirmation letter from the DVLA is a legal requirement.

As stated in Human Rights Act 1998, Schedule 1, Article 6, section 2

“Everyone charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed innocent until proven guilty according to law. ”

I have no proof of posting the V5 document because I sent it via Royal Mail first class post. The law clearly (as above) states that this is an acceptable way in which to deliver a document, and by using a standard postage stamp I cannot produce a receipt.

I also believe that I should not have to prove that I posted the V5 document and if this matter does indeed go to court it should be down to the DVLA to prove that I did not.

Furthermore, my immediate willingness to provide the new keeper details on request clearly illustrates that I kept an appropriate record of the transfer of ownership (as I do when I sell any vehicle), and am not trying to withhold information from the DVLA.

I look forward to receiving your comments on this matter and would ask that this case is not passed on to an automated debt collection agency as despite previous experience of the DVLA’s reluctance to engage in correspondence regarding alleged ownership offences, I am very keen to continue the dialogue until a fair resolution is reached, be that through direct correspondence or in front of a court of law.

Without prejudice, I should also add that as a national motoring journalist with 20 years’ experience, I will also be looking closely at the DVLA’s reaction to this case and sharing the outcome among numerous outlets within the classic vehicle community, as I believe this issue has the potential to be a highly contentious subject of debate which, despite the DVLA issuing automated fines and strongly worded letters for many years, has perhaps not had the media exposure it has deserved since its inception.

Yours faithfully,

Craig Cheetham

Craig Cheetham

A serial impulsive car purchaser, Craig has had his name on over 200 V5s over the past 20 years. 10 per cent of those have been either 800s or Austin Allegros, with between 10 and 20 cars usually owned at any one time. Started out as a local newspaper journalist then worked for car mags including Auto Express, Classic Car Weekly and Land Rover Owner. Worked inside the car industry for a decade as an employee of General Motors, now works for a news distribution agency. Home based, which is dangerously convenient for further irrational heap purchases. Lover of all makes of car since childhood, with a particular leaning towards Austin-Rover... Father of three boys, so hoping to spread the car love. Other passions include rugby union, travelling and eating out.

43 Comments

  1. Life is just not fair is it?

    It’s the worst thing in the world should you make a mistake, but if the DVLA loose something or forget about something (which they’re very good at): no Guv, not our fault Guv.

    Worryingly, the Inland Revenue are even worse.

    • Ah yes, don’t even get me started on that lot. I haven’t had a meaningful tax code for about six years! I always have to keep an income tax ‘slush fund’ just in case they hammer me again…

  2. I just smiled sweetly and after almost 9 months of incompetence, abuse and harassment (including them putting the phone down on me 3 times in one DAY when I asked to speak to a manager) told the girl on the phone that if they continued hassling me about a SORN problem that their monumental incompetence caused the organisation could expect to be prosecuted, for abusive behaviour under the discrimination acts and for damages as a result of the horrible effect its had on my health caused by related stress.

    Oddly enough I got a letter through the post from the Magistrates court concerned to say the case was being pulled..

    What was even more stupid was trying to get me to attend court not less than a 120 mile round trip from where I live.

    It took me 9 MONTHS to talk to someone competent and polite.

  3. Incidentally it gets better – apparently, solely amongst almost the entire planet, the DVLA does not understand the concept of the email being a legal document (despite the fact that whole multinational corporations, governments and the like have been brought down using email as evidence). They will only accept snailmail. They will not accept a phonecall as evidence even though they record them, only snailmail.

    Its utterly ridiculous, not to mention with postal prices as they are, probably noticeably economically damaging.

  4. I work at a dealership and I always instruct the customer to send the notifications back to DVLA by recorded delivery.

    Saved the bacon a few times that has.

  5. Try Essex Police – 25 years of abuse, incompetence, false accusations and downright barefaced lies…

    If I did that to them – I’d be strung up

    But they do that to me – they get off scot free, even better now you cant take them to court via legal aid because thats now illegal (heaven forfend the police should “accidently” shoot a young mother and paralyse her and get punished for it… or abuse religious minorities and have to respect the law…)

    The best bit is… no-one can rely on the Police to protect them in any way shape or form, but its actually illegal to carry ANYTHING with which to protect yourself, so should you get attacked by a serial killer and survive by the Justice Departments rules you are more guilty than the serial killer on the basis you must have been carrying illegal items in order to protect yourself..

    I think the charge would be “Using her knee as an offensive weapon” or “carrying thumbs with intent…”. (amazing the effect a thumb applied to the eyeball at speed can have on a potential rapist).

  6. I wish you well in your endeavours. I’ve had a run-in with the DVLA myself, and trying to deal with them is like talking to a brick wall. I’d almost rather deal with the DWP- it is much easier to appeal an unjust decision with them than the DVLA.

    • Indeed! This isn’t my first run in with the DVLA… To cut a long story short, three years ago we bought the house next door as the building was one house to begin with, and our ultimate aim is to turn it back into one property again. For now, though, we have a tenant in the smaller part, which was my previous address.

      On moving, I sent all my V5s (for I have a few!) off to Swansea, along with our Driving Licences, to be changed to the new address. However, most probably due to a lazy computer operator only looking at the postcode and street address (and not the house number) new V5s and licences were issued but without the address changing. I tried this three times with no success, so gave up – I just kept getting documents back with no.6 on them and not no.4, and when I tried to phone DVLA on the rare occasions I got hold of a human being, I was told to put my concern in writing.

      I’m glad I did, as last year (just before the department canned annual SORN declarations) I was hit with an eighty quid fine for not redeclaring SORN on my old Allegro. The V11 reminder had gone next door and the tenant had obviously ignored it as it wasn’t in his name.

      After three robot-generated letters and two weeks of daily phone calls from a Debt Collection Agency, it took the Debt Collectors themselves to go back to DVLA and advise they didn’t have a leg to stand on. Case dismissed…

      Am I alone, though, in thinking it is improper for a department of a democratically elected government to refuse to enter into correspondence with the citizens of the country they represent? I won then, and I sincerely hope I win again. It’s the principle that upsets me greatly, not the money.

  7. Good luck Craig but, having said that, with the considerable time, effort and expertise you have used in building your case, “luck” should not be a factor.

    Please keep us up to date.

    Alan

  8. What a splendidly cogent argument! The very best of luck with this though I suspect “luck” will not be needed or even be a consideration.

    Maybe the DVLA staff training includes a section a on negative public relations as just about every one has a tale to tell about DVLA’s negative and intransigent dealings with people.

    I know that its a huge organisation and deals with tens of 1000s of items and that most go through with no problem–but surely this is no excuse for the way they deal with folk with either perceived or real “problems”.

    Which reminds me –I must send back by replaced driving license for destruction –its illegal to own two valid licences and only they may destroy the older one………………

  9. Good Luck Craig. I have had the ignomy of the DVLA accusing me of failing to declare a sale of vehicle. The thing that made it stupid was that I had sold the car to my brother and sent off all the V5 documentation in one envelope as we were living at the same address at the time. My brother had got his new V5 but I was being chased by them for not informing them – even though also in the envelope was my new car’s details which they had also returned the V5.
    Unfortunately government local or national, department or agency are badily run beaucratic nightmares – I know I work in it and coming from the private sector it makes you wonder how much money is being wasted.

  10. I used to work for a government agency as a contractor.
    I have to say I agree entirely with the comments above.

    Some Civil Servant types, have a very condesending attitude toward the general public. – “The great unwashed” springs to mind.

    I thought Civil Servants are there to provide a public service, not the other way round….

  11. Brilliant stuff Craig. I had a similar experience to daveh several years ago. however, that was in the days when you were actually able to speak to someone in some authority!

    DVLA are bad, HMRC are worse and the TV License bunch are total scum. They pursued me over several months with demand after demand after we moved house and were threatening to send the bailiffs in until I photocopied their acknowledgement to my change of address letter.

    Hang ’em high!

  12. Interestingly, if you are unlucky enough to get summoned for speeding, the documents are “served” on you by 1st class post, and they self certify the fact they dropped them in the post box – Apparently this is sufficient for them to say they were posted, not received -to be served on you

  13. There is a war against motorists in this country. While mercifully I have had no run ins with the DVLA, many local authorities and parking companies seem to see motorists as an easy target. My sister was fined £ 50 for being a minute late in a deserted car park, and was told by the inadequate who was policing the car park that ” it’s the rules”. Also if you live in Cumbria, we have some of the highest parking charges in the country, £ 1.30 an hour is typical for many car parks and fines of up to £100 should you overstay( probably by a minute). At least when I was in Scotland I was delighted to find a free car park.

  14. A friend of mine is in a similar position trying to bring a car back from Germany. In fairness it’s not the DVLA that’s the problem in his situation but somebody who works in liason with them. I’m glad to see I am not the only person who hates being at the mercy of somebody who quite frankly should not be trusted to run a bath in case they fell in and drowned, yet they have somehow got themselves in a position where they have power over you and by God do they wield it in a way that makes Hitler, Stalin and Saddam Hussain look like amateurs whilst at the same time give it the” I’m only doing my job” routine and hiding behind every last word of their job description. If DVLA gets privatised (and in spite of its faults hopefully not otherwise watch owning a car become far more expensive) these people will be the first out on their ear as in the interests of profit making it will become a dam sight smaller and maybe more efficient. At least whilst it is in Government hands it is keeping people employed even the ones we have to deal with are all the 10 percenters who think the country works for them , not the other way round.

  15. @ Kev, a privatised DVLA would be even worse. Yes probably some of the people in non jobs would be turfed out, but it would mean they would become even more zealous in collecting fines and chasing people as they would need to make money to survive. I agree with private enterprise for running businesses, but not the government.

  16. @Glenn I’ll agree with you on that. Also if and when it happens watch fees come in for car ownership changes, address changes annual fees for having your car registered , and so on and so on. Mark my words it will cost us all dear just the same as all our state owned assets that have been sold off and now we pay more than ever for them.

  17. @ Kev, I doubt even the most hardline free marketeer would advocate privartising the DVLA, although no doubt someone could dream this one up.

  18. Craig

    I had exactly the same problem in 2007 after part exchanging a motorcycle at a dealers.

    I sent off the required for and thought nothing more about it until nearly 6 months later getting a letter of intended prosecution.

    i wrote letters and followed the compalaints proceedure at the time and eventually after no satisfaction form the “jobsworth” employees wrote the letter below to the chief executive.

    the result was that the fine was cancelled as a special one off jesture.

    Good luck

    …………..Letter sent in 2007

    Chief Executive
    DVLA
    Swansea
    SA6 7JL

    Complaint Relating to Late Licensing Penalty

    Dear Mr Bennett

    I have forwarded a complaint regarding a late licensing penalty I received and am dissatisfied with the responses I have received.

    The complaint concerned the late licensing penalty issued in November, regarding a motorcycle I had sold in August 2007.

    The facts briefly are as follows:

    I sold the vehicle on the 11th August 07
    I issued the required V5 notification on the 14th August 07
    I received a late licensing penalty on the 3rd November 07
    I responded to the penalty notification by supplying a copy of my letter forwarding the V5 and a and photocopy of the V5.
    This was not accepted by the Enforcement Centre and they confirmed the penalty was still applicable
    Following this I have written complaining, initially to the officer involved and then to your Customer Services Manager
    I have received detailed letters in response reiterating that under the system of continuous registration it was my job to ensure DVLA issue an acknowledgement.

    I am dissatisfied with the responses as I informed the DVLA of the sale of the bike as I should have. It seems grossly unfair that I am penalised for the inadequacies of either the post office in not delivering the form or the DVLA in losing it or not processing it.

    I accept that I did not contact the DVLA on not receiving an acknowledgement but on selling the vehicle and having sent off the V5 had considered this to be end of my obligations. The instructions for the seller to contact the DVLA if no acknowledgement letter is received are in the small print on the rear of the registration document which I did not have as this of course passes with the vehicle to the new owner.

    I have no doubt that the concept of continuous registration was adopted in order to ensure those who deliberately do not pay their road tax do not escape the net: a concept that I whole heartedly agree with.

    This is definitively not the case here, and I feel am being penalised by applying rules to the letter rather than the spirit.

    I consider the penalty to be both unfair and unreasonable, and I trust you will look into this matter

    Copies of all correspondence have previously been forwarded to Mr Broom but I can forward further copies if you wish..

    Yours faithfully…………….”

  19. Sorry, shoulhave added that from memory I paid the fine at the reduced level and then persued the complaint – eventually getting a refund.

    Also the timescale was three months not six as I mentioned in the previous post

  20. I had the same problem a few years ago now. I sold a Vauxhall Vectra and even taxed it prior to sale. Some months down the line, having moved house I received a phone call from a debt collector claiming an exorbitant amount because I hadn’t taxed the vehicle. Despite my protestations I was deemed to be guilty despite having sent off the V5c as advised with the new keeper’s details.

    Long story short and with three letters to my local MP (2 replies were opened prior to me reading them), DVLA and their anonymous ‘people’ who may or may not actually exist resulted in a lengthy diatribe from the ‘fromage grande’ kindly reducing my fine from £80 to £40.

    Needless to say, I didn’t pay it and never heard anything again.

  21. Motorists are seen as easy targets, that’s the problem. Mercifully the days of wheelclamping have gone, but we are subject to speed scameras on roads that don’t need them, petty parking regulations and expensive car parking enforced by people with all the charm of Pol Pot and mobile cameras to trap the unwary and make money. Also the police seem to find arresting motorists for the most trivial offences far easier than clamping down on street gangs, drug dealers and muggers.

  22. I remember in the 70s when driving licenses moved from Local Authorities to the dvla there was pretty much no such thing as driving without a license. You just had to say it was with the DVLA and the case was dismissed unable to be proved without reasonable doubt. Several years later a man came to the police station complaining a company had refused to hire something to him because he had no license.He had been driving on the red receipt book Dvla had issued which waqs identical to the old red licenses

  23. @ Glenn. Speed camera and Speed humps that aren’t needed. Funny how there’s always funding in the councils coffers for these things whilst the parks go unkempt, schools close , public services get cut etc etc. The Town Planners (term to be used very loosely indeed) in my town (Warrington) are proudly crowing about how they will have the whole town tied down to 20mph soon. As I alluded to before there really are some oxygen thieves masquerading as people in this world that shouldn’t be left in charge of making coffee in case they give themselves 3rd degree burns in the process, but have yet somehow managed to get themselves in positions where their God complexes and dog toffee decisions make life miserable for the rest of us.

  24. @ Kev, also many Labour councils are anti- car as they would much sooner we all went around on state controlled public transport. Unfortunately they don’t realise 80 per cent of the population drive, public transport is inconvenient for families with shopping and people who need to get around in a hurry, and cars create jobs in manufacturing, sales, servicing and repairs, and ironically keep their traffic wardens and camera operators in a job.
    However, we are all at the mercy of cameras, speed bumps, speed limits that are sometimes lowered to make money for scameras, car park attendants who issue tickets for the hell of it and parking meters.

  25. As I understand it, recall from college days you are legally deemed to have returned the document once you place the envelope in the post box with the correct stamp. I’m sure the law recognises that you cannot be held responsible for what happens to said envelope thereafter.

    I’m no lawyer but I did study some law on my Business Studies course, way back.

  26. It works like that the other way Dave Dawson, I have complained about companies not sending me documents only to be told their legal responsibility ends when “Sandra at Reception puts the bag of post in the box” the truth being I don’t believe items get posted when companies claim they have been.

  27. Excellently written letter although the last section could be percieved as a threat of sort’s I suppose. Fully support the sentiment though. DVLA appears to be particularly difficult to deal with & completely impersonal. Luckily the few times that I’ve needed to deal with them I’ve had the good fortune to speak with somebody who is sensible & has actually been able to sort out my concern without any real issue. I do however know of many instances where this hasn’t been the case & your circumstance clearly falls into that camp. Best of luck with the case, I’m sure the court will recognise the fact that despite the facade of DVLA being a well oiled, slick “machine” the realitry is that it is staffed by people who are in some instances less than perfect, have systems which are certainly less than perfect & generally have limited capability to actually deal with customers.

  28. Go for it.

    We were going abroad for a couple of months and sent the tax disc for my wifes car to the DVLA for a refund along with a duly completed form that I also photocopied.

    Arrived back to a letter from DVLA saying ‘no refund because no reason for requesting the refund given.

    My wife phoned the DVLA and must have got the only helpful person at DVLA. He brought up a scanned copy of the form and my wife stated that the Declaring SORN box had been ticked. ‘I can see that’ the helpful man said ‘I cannot see why they have not issued a refund’ and a few days later the refund arrived.

    Always send any documents to the DVLA by Special Delivery and also always photocopy any forms.

    A couple of years ago, think it was a Ester Rantzen consumer programme where they got a whole crowd of people dissatisfied with the DVLA and coached them to Swansea – the DVLA did not seem impressed but it did get results.

  29. Tell them to piss off.
    It worked for me.

    Legal beagles are a good web based resource for stuff like this.

  30. The DVLA are victims of vicious cuts by the evil coalition government who are trying to thwart the attempts of ordinary working people to deliver a top knotch public service.
    So there!

  31. Really is a double edged sword the whole mail box rule. While it should be considered received once posted, it is always easier if you have proof of receipt.

    Having said that, in this day and age, no reason why this could not be all done online, with a confirmation Number And Email Confirmation After Success completion. Not only would an electronic submission system be easier for the end user (seller) but would reduce the work of the DVD. Who are probably manually entering this stuff (incorrectly some times) themselves. With a fully automated system they could confirm the current owner, car details, and anything else they have in thier system today, making it a more efficient process for everyone involved.

    Gotta love bureaucracy. Until they become more efficient, spend the few extra pennies to confirm reciept. Not required, but gets you out of these situations post haste.

  32. What kind of confusion are we going to get when they dispense with the good old tax disc – at least you can prove to the police if your stopped that it’s tax by production. They will obviously assume that their computer screen is correct, that you have not taxed your vehicle, and that your desperate pleas that you paid will fall on deaf ears.

  33. So why can’t I use “https://www.gov.uk/notifying-dvla-if-you-sell-your-vehicle” to nofify DVLA that I’ve sold a vehicle?

  34. The only way round this is paying a few quid extra and having hand to hand delivery which is signed for next day, there can then be no confusion imparted from the sub human jobsworths.

  35. Sad state of affairs that has been the blight of the motor trade as a regular on and off event for years and years, i think since the closure of local regional offices [worst change ever] and the effect on the moral of the staff along with the extra work load on Swansea is the real underlying problem.
    I bet the envelope will suddenly appear as if by magic on some ones desk there!
    God help us when the new tax system starts in October and all the confusion mistakes and cock ups it will undoubtedly bring !

  36. Charlton Mackrell, What planet are you on? the DVLA were just as bad prior to the last bunch of incompetants to receive state benefits at westminster

  37. A few months ago I imported a classic motorcycle to the UK, which I have owned for many years. With clear title and o/seas registration documents.

    In all dealings with the DVLA, I made it clear that I wanted my o/seas registration documents returned to me, as historical documents related to the machine. This included pinning a ‘please return to… ‘ note to the registration paper.

    When I received the new V5C, no documents returned. On ringing the DVLA, I was promised that all documents would be returned within 14 days. What actually arrived was a scanning and printout of all the original documents I had submitted. Including the o/seas registration.

    In the mind of the DVLA, a scanning and print by them is an ‘original document’ – but in no-one else’s. They demanded my original registration document, so that they could destroy it. All trace of the ownership history is now lost. I’m hopping mad.

  38. About a year ago I sent in a copy of Form V888 along with a cheque for £5 asking for copies of all the documented history on my vehicle, including a copy of the original first registration form.

    Ten days later I received a single-sheet of paper listing all the previous owners. That was it. Not happy with this I put in a complaint and asked why they had not given me copies of ALL the documents they held on file. This was acknowledged but no further response was received.

    After a month had passed I sent a formal letter of complaint to the CEO of the DVLA outlining my dissatisfaction and also pointing out a rather obvious oversight in the service they had delivered – their customer services representative had not read the attached supporting sheet outlining all the information I wanted. I was able to prove this as I had photocopied all the paperwork and the cheque before sending it in. I asked for the DVLA to investigate this matter and to provide me with a full refund as they had clearly not delivered what was expected.

    Two weeks later I finally received a copy of all the documents held on file for my vehicle together with a letter of apology and a promise that they would refund me my £5. I am still waiting for the refund although am delighted with the information they eventually provided me with. But what an effort on my part!

    Whenever I deal with the D.V.L.A. I also take a photocopy of everything, including any cheques I send them and send it Recorded Delivery. A shame I have to resort to such defensive behaviour with a large Government organisation.

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