DVLA act unlawfully whilst losing your letters and blaming you for it

May 5th, 2010 70 Comments By Mof Gimmers

dvla 300x158 DVLA act unlawfully whilst losing your letters and blaming you for itMany companies act like complete arseholes when correspondence goes missing. The amount of times I haven’t been sent a letter or the postman has eaten it (or whatever they do with them), to be then chased up with a grouchy phonecall has gone past the point of trying to remember a number.

However, most companies will concede and sort things out with you whilst you’re on the phone. Not quite the case with the DVLA who’s off-road notification system has been described as “a shambles” and “legally unenforceable” and in “administrative chaos” according to The Reg.

Two court cases suggest that the DVLA has been acting unlawfully and, despite what it thinks, doesn’t have the power to push motorists around like they do.

In one case, the DVLA was seeking a judgement against James Collins on the grounds that he had failed to notify it when took his vehicle off the road (SORN). However, Mr Collins had indeed notified them and in fact, it was the DVLA who had dropped a bollock by losing his details. The judge agreed that it wasn’t Mr Collins’ fault and he shouldn’t have to stump up the cash to send correspondence by recorded delivery or any proof of posting for that matter.

If that was the case, and us plebs had to send everything by secure means, then the same would need to be required of any organisation we dealt with and, of course, they wouldn’t want that as their postage costs would go through the roof.

In another similar case, Duncan Peck had a row with the DVLA over lost paperwork. The DVLA tried it on and said that Mr Peck should’ve rung them if he didn’t receive any acknowledgement from them. Once again, the judge in question sided with the public saying that the DVLA have no statutory power requiring anyone to ring them.

This of course, doesn’t stop the DVLA sending out bailiffs should anyone try to cross swords with it. These rulings could well be a serious blow to the organisation.

The simple fact of the matter is that the DVLA do lose mail and correspondence and are still seemingly happy to send out debt collection agencies even while complaints are under investigation.

This simply isn’t good enough from a company that pockets somewhere in the region of £10m per year from penalty notices.

A spokesman for the DVLA: “The DVLA does not impose any requirements for customers to obtain proof of posting or use recorded delivery in their dealings with us. However, and this is a key point, the onus is on the customer to ensure their off-road notification is delivered to DVLA.”

“With reference to non-receipt of acknowledgement letters by customers, there is no legal obligation on the customer to contact DVLA if they do not receive their acknowledgement letter. However, and another key point, we do advise customers to contact us if this happens so that we can confirm if their notification has been delivered to us or advise them otherwise how to comply”.

There are calls to have a more open and transparent appeal system concerning the DVLA as, currently, they are self-regulatory. With these court cases and apparently lack of sympathy for genuine mistakes, the DVLA could lose the support of all motorists.

Comments (70) Jump to most recent comment
  1. Posted by Gary July 4, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    When you sell your car the DVLA will now fine you if you do not inform them about it. This means that if the Royal Mail or the DVLA loose your returned slip from the log book you can expect a nice big fat fine! Hows that for a kick in the teeth? You can phone them and protest but this will achive nothing and if you dont pay up they will take you to court where you will face a £1000 fine plus costs if you loose.

    This means that it is in the interest of the DVLA to loose as many of these returned slips as they can. They will bully you and you will feel you have no option but to pay up.

    Here is what i did on 10/09/2012 …………. I allowed the DVLA to take me to court. At the court i pleaded not guilty. As the law stands in the UK a letter is deemed SENT when it is posted and not when it arrives. This means that the DVLA must prove that you did not post it and that is impossible for them to do! The result being that i won.


  2. Posted by Gary July 4, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    Hi, i am the writer of the origional post following my court victory against the DVLA. I am back again to help you get the facts of this case straight.

    The origional post was written on arrival home straight after the court hearing and was written whilest i was still on a high following the victory.

    Here are the facts incase you should find your self in this situation and need help.

    I sold my car back in Jan 2012 and posted off the slip from the logbook to inform the DVLA of the change of ownership.

    Foolishly i did this by first class mail and the DVLA did not recieve it.

    In future i will be sending them by recorded delivery or will hand them in at a local DVLA office and get a reciept but i suppose you live and learn.

    As is standard practice the DVLA issued me with an £80 for not informing them.

    I called them by phone to protest but was told that the fine had to be paid.

    At this point many people would just pay up – even if they know they posted it off 1st class because they have no proof of posting. I however did nothing and a couple of months later a court summons came.

    On the court summons it says that if found guilty you will be fined up to £1000 plus £90 costs. Another great insentive to pay the £80 fine. Even if you are inocent.

    This court letter is nothing more than an empty threat. The DVLA can NOT win this case in a court of law no matter how much they threaten you as long as you remember to plead NOT GUILTY!

    In the UK a posted letter is deemed SERVED when you pop it in the post box. YOU DO NOT NEED PROOF OF POSTING.

    In court the DVLA would have to prove that you did not post it and not even Paul Daniels could pull off that trick!

    Hence the DVLA will have a case that they have no possible way of winning and will back down.

    In my case they left the backing down until 15mins before the hearing, but i think that they have now learned a good lesson and will back down much sooner in future.

    Just remember – stick to not guilty (no matter what) and you cant loose. You dont need to prove you posted it – they need to prove you didn’t and that is impossible!

    I hope you never need to use this advice but use it and it will save you alot of money.

  3. Posted by Vicky July 15, 2014 at 10:26 pm

    Thanks for info Gary I’m getting threats and a court summonses just arrived. I did inform them and they are saying they didn’t receive it too. Very worried about the whole situation and getting a criminal record

  4. Three times my daughter has not received any notification of summonses but has had the bailiffs turning up for payment THREE times. The origninal fines where for £60, the actual amount she has had to pay has been £450. She wasnt even aware of any court proceedings because she hadnt received any letters. The latest is for £600. What can she do???

  5. Posted by Matt Devlin July 31, 2014 at 10:25 pm

    Hi Gary,

    I have the same situation and I would really like to speak to you regarding this?!
    Is there any way that we can speak? Weird request I know…

    Hoping to speak to you soon.

    Matt Devlin.

  6. I am in exactly same situation now being fined for a car I sold six months previously. Can’t even speak to dvla as automated system produces a pay only option and a seemingly elusive form pack for dispute. How could I comply with taxing a car I don’t own as I have no insurance nor mot to check , both legal requirements so I couldn’t even tax the car if I wanted. The fine is for late taxing yet I would be unable to do this, the fine does not say it is for not informing them! The national dealer I part exchanged the car with confirmed they posted the V5 to the dvla but even this fact seems ignored at Swansea. How does this dissapear?

  7. Posted by Katrina T September 5, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    I sold my car in April/may last year and sent the log book off to dvla within a week, 6-8 weeks later I didn’t receive acknowledgement of this so I rang and sent a letter with all the details they had asked for. I have sent in total 7 letters that “aren’t reaching” the dvla and have had a letter to say I must pay a fine or be taken to court. I refuse to pay when I have done what is legally asked of me but I don’t want to go to court and have a criminal record as I need a clean DBS for my career. What happens if they take me to court but don’t back down? I’m really frustrated and quite honestly scared. I don’t have any spare money to pay fines as I’m a single mum with no family to help me. What do I do?

  8. Posted by Cameron Harper September 6, 2014 at 12:09 am

    Ha, Gary I am in the same situation right now, they haven’t received any evidence of me sending the log book off and have tried to give me a £100 fine, so I ignored them thinking oh they will realise that they have made a mistake. Then bang 5 months later, a court summons and a threat of a £1000 fine, safe to say they are not getting a penny, the current owner who I have contact with does not have the logbook, but still holds their green slip and has been insured on the vehicle since they purchased it, they make me laugh, I said that I was going to say the same thing because plain and simple, it is their fault, so they can suck a fart out of my arse as they are not getting a penny from me lol

  9. Posted by Sheena Vaughan September 11, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    This has been a very insightful page for me.

    I sent off three documents in the ONE envelope to the DVLA by first class post!! Some how only one of the three documents arrived!! I am now required to pay £50 because of the incompetence of their processes. It beggars belief. When I raised my concern I too was asked if I to sent the documents by recorded delivery. As if that mattered given they had received one of the documents BUT not the others? This is a joke. The member of staff also claimed that the DVLA has a zero error rate in their processes!! I think Harvard Business School needs to pay them a visit as this is a miracle and thousands of businesses throughout the world can benefit from this truly outstanding error free Centre.

  10. Posted by Gavhar Khodjaeva October 2, 2014 at 8:43 am

    i sent my biometric residence permit yesterday with the form DVLA sent me. i sent it via express secure delivery and wrote them a cover letter confirming that I sent my document and asking them to send it back with the enclosed envelope! but I completely forgot to pay for that envelope!! I checked the delivery and It’d been delivered! now I’m really worried if I never get my documents back!! what chances that i won’t get my documents back?

  11. Posted by Jessica Mwanzia October 12, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    DVLA have lost identity documents of both my kids!! Earlier this year I applied for a Driving licence for one of my kids, sent birth cert and NINo letter. They arrived, licence arrived to us but documents never came back. Emailing them has resulted in no reply other than acknowledgements of receipt of email. I then applied for DL for other child and sent birth cert and NINO docs recorded delivery and have received an email saying they have not received them, though I have proof of them having been delivered.
    Very disconcerting loss of identity documents and if they don’t find them soon I think the police need to be notified as there is a distinct possibility of identity theft.

  12. Posted by barry best October 18, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    hello we are getting the same they internatation credit ltd say £80 fine for late tax in 2012 ,,as we had moved house they have just found us ,, not that we were hiding ,,, we had scrapped the car before the tax ran out and informed them ,, by sending the logbook in to the dvla ,,, thanks for your letter on here the dvla has never informed us or if they did it went to the house we moved from .. see how we go BARRY BEST

  13. ere try this…..bought a car , sent off the docs immediately. next day car is stolen, police notified next day. 4 working days later log book turns up. 4 days later, police call me, they have found the car but its not registered to me. despite dvla knowing the car was stolen. theif sold car to a guy who then applied for a log book and got it 2 days after mine was issued! took six months to get car back from the police as they couldnt decide who owned the car and whilst in the storage pound, over £1000 of damage was done to it. poor car still sitting outside, lost £1000′s. now in court monday as dvla towed another of my vehicles because it was not sorn and they clocked it (on a private peice of land!) if dvla hadnt cocked up in first place i wouldnt have a battered bmw on my property thus having space for non sorned car where they wouldnt have been able to touch the bloody thing. that car was clamped then towed and i couldnt afford to get it out so thats another £800 outta pocket. should have been a florist!! good day x

  14. Posted by Colin Pattison November 13, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    Hi, I sold my scooter Sept 19, the new owner completed and signed the relevant section of the V5 and I gave him the correct green section for tax/insurance purposes, as required by law. I kept a photocopy of the V5 and posted (ordinary post, not recorded) it to the DVLA to the address on the V5. The DVLA claim they didn’t receive the V5 and are asking me to pay a fine (£35 or more if I don’t pay up quickly) then will take me to court. I sent them a photocopy of the V5, which shows it has been completed by the new owner, making it useless to anyone else and advised them that I did post it to them on Sept 21st. They have ignored this ‘evidence’ and state that’s it’s my responsibility to contact them, if my confirmation notification of new ownership doesn’t arrive within four weeks. I’m tempted to pay the £35, just to get them off my back and not lose any more sleep over it, but I’m also tempted to go to court. Anyone have any advice?

  15. Posted by Abe December 3, 2014 at 9:41 am

    DVLA did the same to me and just got a letter saying me to pay them £35 and £50 if that’s not paid on time, then the court!!, They want money from me over V5 hasn’t been sent! But I did almost 5 months ago and another issue that When I was at Holiday, they clamped my car because road tax was ended and it past few days after of it so I was back home, they said I have to pay fine otherwise they would take the car, it was 10 year old Renault and it wort around £ 600 by that time it was at least 3 times covers the fine I had so they got my car in 2010 I thought everything was fine until 2 months ago in 2014!! someone knocks my door and wait in the White van outside of my house for hours, I didn’t answer the door and I saw he left letter with lots of threatings and huge mount of money like over £2000 something with those all interests!! Then My wife wrote a letter saying we haven’t heared anything from you since then and we thought everything was fine then so on.. Then never heared from them again until last Friday early in the morning at the dark it was like 5 or 6 am they knocked my door like I’m a criminal and they are the police!! My 5 year old little girl was shaking behind of me and my wife and I couldn’t understand what was going on I asked them who they were and They said they are coming from the court and they told me to opend the door and pay the money! I was so angry Shouted at them but my wife paid them like something like £230 then they gone. I feel so unsafe since then we all wake up so early every morning after this happend last week. This DVLA have communication problems with people, they think they can do everything to people and I’m so stress as I have an heart issue myself!!

  16. Posted by David birch December 8, 2014 at 11:53 am

    I bought car 12/09/2014 had car delivered to my home address and put in parking bay following morning I taxed the car online backed dated to oct 1st 2014 in my local library,6wks later I receive letter from DVLA saying had commited an offense of unlawfully keeping motor vrhicle on the road with no roadfund license,and if I don,t pay fine by 18/12/2014 I will be taken to court for the offence! I have written to them pleading my case ; I backed dated to start of the month as this was only thing could do, but they are saying I commited an offence and that’s all that matters.

  17. Posted by Alan Stewart January 18, 2015 at 5:18 pm

    I have had untaxed uninsured car , outside my door for 6 months . Told Police 4 weeks ago , they say DVLA problem . I have e-mailed DVLA 12 times , no response . Local council says it is nothing to do with them ! It all sounds very familiar , in my opinion DVLA and Police are not fit for purpose , like the story of , Somebody , Nobody and Anybody , in other words they could not care less !!

  18. Posted by rob murphy January 22, 2015 at 11:47 pm

    On reading your web thought you might like to hear of another DVLA fiasco.
    My son is diabetic and as such must renew his licence every three years.
    In October 2014 he received a letter to say he had to go for a field vision test at spec savers which he did. The results failed him and as such the DVLA cancelled his licence.
    As my son receives regular eye tests at the Liverpool Royal St Pauls eye Hospital, he found it strange that he as not aware of any changes to his eye sight he made an appointment with the specialists at St Pauls and they carried out full eye tests and field test .
    The results here showed that my son passed the necessary tests as required by the DVLA.

    He sent an appeal to the DVLA with a copy of the new results and highlighted that the eye specialists doctors were satisfied with his eyesight. The DVLA after weeks of waiting sent a reply that my son would have to go back to spec savers to repeat the eye test.

    We are now in the catch 22 situation and going around in circles, we will be informing the DVLA that we will seek to take this case to court as I believe their actions constitute discrimination on the disabled with no regard to the professional evidence submitted in this case.

    If anyone has any experience on this type of issue Please contact me as we will not accept the DVlA decision without fighting the decision that affects my sons future and livellyhood.

    Regards Rob

  19. Posted by Darren January 26, 2015 at 1:38 pm

    Same story here i sold a car back in October received a notice saying it’s due for taxing.. This was a good 10 weeks later so I rang them they told me to write a letter in and put the new owner details on the letter so I did… Got another letter saying I have not taxed the vehicle… Wrote yet another letter then this morning.. I have a fine for not taxing the vehicle Tried ringing them up its impossible to actually speak to someone… F#@k you DVLA

  20. Posted by Rob January 29, 2015 at 2:16 am

    I just had a debtor collector at the door and paid them £560

    My partner got a DVLA fine for £60 for non notification of sale of a vehicle 5 years ago. We argued it and have a copy of the notification we sent. Over 2 years ago Marston Group sent a letter to my parents house saying they were going to cease property for £560 (even though she’s never lived there). We went to Basildon magistrates court and they reversed a magistrates court decision prior which we had no knowledge of and told DVLA they had to reissue the fine for £60 for us to then contest it in court or pay it. At the time and after all the trouble i decided we’d pay it as the trouble that it had caused and lost time was worth more than the £60….. but we never got a bill or demand from the DVLA and today i ended up paying bailiffs £560 as DVLA went to court in Manchester again and court ruled again against us in our absence.

    Question is now ive paid the fine how do i go about getting it back.

    On a separate matter we bought a car last year and paid 12 months road tax only to find the car was a non runner when we collected it. DVLA have the request for refund £225 and have the tax disc when they requested it but havent had any money back from them.

    To be honest i feel DVLA are thieves

Leave a Reply *(required)