This seems like a fairly typical problem on this forum, from what I can tell:
Sell my car and move home on the same day - send of V5C.
3 years later I receive a letter from a debt collection agency saying that I owe court fees and a £250 fine for not returning the log book.
I'm a teacher, and i'm not one to purposefully ignore a summons, fine or any other important notices via post. For whatever reason the DVLA claim they did not receive said document and proceeded to send letters to my previous address, and so did the courts.
Bottom line is: No one can tell me if I have a criminal record now (it seems likely given its gone through a magistrates court) or if it will affect future employment history. A CCJ I can live with to a degree, but a criminal record is damaging to my future prospects.
Is it also legitimate of such a serious 'crime' for the courts to send notification to the registered address of the car?
In all fairness, had there been a fine to pay I would have done - given the chance.
You mentioned the letter was from a debt collection agency. If the case had gone to court then you would have bailliffs appointed by HMCS (court service) after you which would be a wholly different ball game, so it is a possibility that the case has not gone to court in your absence. You have complied with your legal obligations to inform DVLA that you have sold the car, and there is something called the Intepretations Act which covers the posting of items. I don't know that much about it, but I am sure someone will be along soon to give a more detailed run down on it.
There is nothing in law that says you have to check up with DVLA to see they got your V5. DVLA seem to think that because they advise people to check up with them if they have not received a V5 it gives them free rein to then fine people. It does not.