I have learned a salutary lesson, to whit - do not trust any government agency to listen to your legitimate questions or pleading of innocence.
Since May of last year I have been hounded (I can’t think of a better expression) by the DVLA. In April I part exchanged a vehicle from a local dealer, we signed the relevant documentation (V5C/3) and sent it post haste to the DVLA stating that I was no longer the owner of the vehicle which was now sitting in the dealer’s showroom. I make this point so as to make other vehicle owners aware that any communication sent by letter or email should be copied, placed on file and making sure one has proof of postage, because that is the only way in which you, the ex-owner, have proof that you are complying with the law.
In my case, from April 17 I trundled around the countryside on my newish motorcycle with not a care in the world, all documentation was in order, my new pride and joy was taxed, MOT’d and insured. Oh the joy of a new bike/car, the pride of ownership, the glances of envy from your peers. Just you and your new polluting, fast two-wheeled bolide that would frighten you if you really, really opened up the go faster buttons.
Or not, as it seems, because the DVLA does not employ people with common sense. If they did then my problem would have been sorted and done with in one letter or one email.
So what is the problem?
Because the DVLA insisted that I was using a vehicle on the road without insurance and a collecting agency, working on their behalf, would extract, for starters a £100 fine. Oh dear me!
So to avoid prosecution I replied that all documentation had been returned to the DVLA and the vehicle in question was in the showroom, I again copied all documents and put them in the post, keeping the originals. Problem sorted.
Not, as it transpires, a further notification that I was in possession of an illegal vehicle followed in two months’ time. I was now so angry I could have torn paper. So with no further ado I once again contacted the DVLA by email and letter, stating what I had already said previously. Job sorted.
No. I was further informed that I now had to appear at York Magistrates at 9.30am on December 9 on the charge of etc, etc, this time I could be fined up to £1,000. Once more unto the breach dear friends. With the assistance of my dealer we finally were able to speak to a person who proclaimed majestically, that all was in order and I should ignore any further communication from the DVLA, excellent, no more problems. Aha dream on Robert, justice must be done and if you the once owner of a vehicle that has run its course regarding insurance and if you have been summoned to appear in court then you jolly well have to appear.
I would imagine by now that the cost of all these shenanigans to the tax payer would be in the thousands of pounds, and the cost of insurance say less than £100, if I was still the owner which I wasn’t and had not been since April and that DVLA were now admitting that there was a fault in the system.
Train tickets were purchased, all my documentation was in order and I was looking forward to putting egg on some faces. On Tuesday December 8 a nice lady from the DVLA phones me to say that the case has been dropped, going further to inform me that my information sent to them in June had only reached her that morning.
Aha then, can I claim costs? Of course I can but I would still have to attend the court hearing in order to do so.
Finally, so it appears, according to the DVLA you are guilty until proven innocent. Your honour I rest my case.