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Seminole

Seminole's Dad vs DVLA

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Is there no end to the ways in which this Government thinks it can extract taxes masquerading as fines from people?

 

My Dad, who is now 88, decided to give up driving earlier this year and to give his little Fiesta to me (actually to my wife). We filled in the relevant sections on the V5 and he posted if off to them. We became aware that there was a problem with the registration of the change of ownership when we came to tax the car but we sorted that out and thought that was that.

 

My Dad has today received a notice from the local DVLA Enforcement office generously offering him an out of court settlement of £55 for not notifying them correctly. Alternatively he can go to court and run the risk of paying an awful lot more.

 

I rang the DVLA on my Dad's behalf. They explained that simply sending off the V5 is insufficient. The previous owner of the vehicle is supposed to receive a letter within 4 weeks confirming that the DVLA has updated its records. If they don't receive it they are required by law to ring up the DVLA and ask for it. If they don't they get fined whenever the DVLA becomes aware of the change of ownership. I was told that my Dad would have to appeal in writing which I will now do in a suitably polite and grovelling way on his behalf.

 

This is yet another example of how the middle classes are being criminalised. A fine is supposed to be a punishment for doing something wrong that damages society. Under precisely what circumstances would the seller of a vehicle not want to notify the DVLA that they had sold it? Given that legal liability for car tax etc remains with the owner, they would have to be utterly mad not to notify the DVLA or they may have made a mistake. Of course it's also possible that my Dad didn't make a mistake and it's the DVLA's systems that screwed up. In any event, they think that they can fine someone for, at worst, making a minor mistake.

 

As I said, the appeal letter will be suitably polite. If they turn it down the second letter will be wrapped round a brick.

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They explained that simply sending off the V5 is insufficient. The previous owner of the vehicle is supposed to receive a letter within 4 weeks confirming that the DVLA has updated its records. If they don't receive it they are required by law to ring up the DVLA and ask for it.
This is a lie; it most certainly isn't the law. It is the way that DVLA operate but your only legal obligation is to fill in the form and send it off. Like me, I expect that you don't have any proof of postage/receipt do you?

 

If not your dad is going to have to write to them telling them what happened and advising them that when he posted the V5 he discharged all his legal obligations. (Under the limitations act a letter is deemed to be delivered in the normal course of post after 2 days if sent first class and 4 days if sent second class. DVLA know this as several CAGgers, myself included, have pointed it out to them.)

 

He will then get a reply saying that the act requires him to deliver the V5 to the secretary of state which implies a greater emphasis on ensuring DVLA's receipt. Its nonsense of course but when it gets to that stage if you post up the letter I'll draft a response for you

 

Just remember that failing to notify DVLA is a criminal offence and carries a burden of proof beyond reasonable doubt. DVLA know that they cannot prove beyond reasonable doubt that your dad didn't send the V5 (especially when that's exactly what he did) so they resort to scams like this. If you have a look around this site you'll see loads of other examples

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Oh and don't "appeal" the "fine". It makes your dad look guilty. This is what I wrote -

 

I acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 16/04/2009, in which you accuse me of a criminal offence. The facts of the matter are these:

 

1)I sold the VW Transporter van registration mark V*****L on 01/02/2009.

2)The new owner is G****** R***** of ** ********** ****, *********, *******.

3)Both G***** and I completed our respective parts of the V5C

4)I posted the V5C to DVLA on Monday 02/02/2009

 

As I’m sure you are aware, under the Interpretation Act 1978 s.7, any letter that is properly addressed, pre-paid and posted is deemed to be delivered in the normal course of post. Therefore I delivered to you the change of keeper details on 04/02/2009. As this discharged all my obligations under the Vehicle Excise and Registration Act, I see no reason for our correspondence to go any further than an apology from you for the stress and distress that your letter has caused me.

 

Should you disagree with me please feel free to bring the case to court where I am happy to defend myself. I think it highly unlikely that you will be able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that I didn’t post the V5C, particularly as this is exactly what I did.

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Thanks for this. I don't want to be too aggressive here as I'm dealing with on behalf of my Dad and both he and I want it to go away. However, I'm going to look at my own V5 in detail this evening and if it doesn't say that the four week notification is statutory I'm going to research it. If it isn't statutory then I'm going into battle on that issue separately.

Edited by Seminole

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This comment here

Be specific about timings & penalties - Better Regulation Executive (BRE)

 

is interesting:

 

"To prevent this from occurring when mail has been mislaid, the Agency issues acknowledgement letters to keepers who notify Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) or dispose of their vehicle. These letters provide confirmation that the DVLA record has been amended. It is the responsibility of the keeper to contact DVLA if an acknowledgement has not been received. If individuals do not receive an acknowledgement letter within four weeks of discharging their liability, they must contact DVLA immediately on 0870 240 0010. DVLA is under no statutory obligation to issue acknowledgement letters; however, their issue has obvious benefits for both the Agency and our customers."

 

In other words, you are under an obligation to notify us but we don't have to confirm that you did so. If something goes wrong it's your fault and we'll fine you. As we all know nothing ever goes wrong with the post nor with large faceless bureaucracies!!!!

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So what they are saying is that we motorists are legally obliged to chase up an acknowledgement letter that they are not legally obliged to supply? Utter rubbish.

There is no legislation that states you must chase up an acknowledgement letter. If I were you, Seminole, I would decline their out of court offer and ask that the matter be dealt with by a court.

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Roll this back a little.

 

This has nothing to do with 'ownership'. If your dad agreed to transfer being Registered Keeper to you or your wife, then he needs to sign the form, that he is no longer keeper, and you or the missus add your name and address and sign confirming you are assuming the responsibility as RK for the vehicle.

 

If you didn't do this - then problems arise. Basically, the RK isn;t changed and the existing RK carries the can for things should they go wrong. The form is pretty clear on what requires to be done, and if your Dad was unclear, surely you could have helped him?

 

Pleading ignorance of the registration rules isn't a valid defence but if you can outline what they are actually stating the problem is, we can work out a suitible strategy.

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posted in error

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I am a bit lost as to what the "problem" or "error" the DVLA are accusing anyone of here that they believe entitles them to fine your dad for.

 

If it is simply that he didn't sign the form or that he didn't correctly write in your wife's new details then Ifail to see why this would warrant a fine and not just a simple correction. As, presumably, whether the DVLA wrote to your father or wrote to your wife, or the police did so having got the details from the DVLA, for, lets say a speeding offence, then I am sure within your family you would correctly have identified the driver and dealt with it appropriately.

 

So what's the problem they want money for?

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I agree with Crem on this. As an added bit of "ahhh" factor, you could mention that your father is 88 and finds all this very stressful. If they insist on dragging a frail, elderly man to court, you will happily go with him, but remind them of how it will look to the judge!

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you could mention that your father is 88 and finds all this very stressful!

 

Spend some time in court! I've seen judges being very considerate as they find for the pursuer. You might think there is value in highlighting social issues and being disenfranchised, but thes never means justice isn;t done. Just ask all those single mothers without TV licences.

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you're missing the point buzby, coming back to the point about transferring the vahicle and not chasing up the non-arrival of the acknowledgement letter. How could an 88 years old be expected to know thi when most of use (hopefully younger) contributors don't know. i can't see too many courts taking a hard line about this.

 

BTW I attended a county court last year with my dad over the matter of an unpaid gas bill. The judge couldn't have been nicer and finding no case to answer, gave the gas officials aright telling off for dragging an "elderly gentleman" to court instead of just speaking to him. He argued that not having a gas supply meant he could not be liable for a gas bill, (honestly - it's true) but they refused to believe him and sent over ten threatening letters before sending a debt collector. Even after he had showed the guy his flat was all-electric they continued hassling him culminating in a trip to Chesterfield County Court. When the judge asked why we hadn't pointed out that he had no gas, we advised that we had told them until blue in the face and only then did we invite the court hearing.

 

We were given refreshments in an annexe by the court usher and the court arranged for a taxi to take dad home afterwards, charged to the gas company. That's why I have a positive attitude towards these things.

Edited by rickyd

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I rang the DVLA on my Dad's behalf. They explained that simply sending off the V5 is insufficient. The previous owner of the vehicle is supposed to receive a letter within 4 weeks confirming that the DVLA has updated its records. If they don't receive it they are required by law to ring up the DVLA and ask for it. If they don't they get fined whenever the DVLA becomes aware of the change of ownership. I was told that my Dad would have to appeal in writing which I will now do in a suitably polite and grovelling way on his behalf.

 

For me, the fact still remains that if the above sentence is correctly quoted from the DVLA then I am bemused as to what the supposed "offence" is, coz the highlighted quote is total BS and if that is what the DVLA are going to take to court then I would let them. Presumably they can quote which "law" they ar relying on then.

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this is priceless isn't it? We send off a form but if they don't respond within 4 weeks somehow we are at fault if we don't call them? unbelieveable!

 

Not only do we have to do our bit, they would have us believe that we now have to tell them they've failed in doing their bit and its a legally binding obligation that we have to check on them...

 

This sounds like something out of monty Python!

 

Odd then that the DVLA website says this:-

What happens next

 

Once you have informed DVLA, you will receive an automatic acknowledgement letter, within four weeks, confirming the discharge of liability for your vehicle. Please allow four weeks to receive the letter before contacting the DVLA.

 

 

As there's absolutely nothing about contacting DVLA if nothing has been received after 4 weeks anywhere on the website it seems clear that there can't be any legal obligation either.

 

 

Hoist by their own petard you might say!

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No - you're missing the point. Here we have TWO loads of people, who I must assume to be reasonably literate and able to assist each other in such matters. We have to accept that ignorance is no excuse for breaking the law. I would have thought the more younger members of the family would be looking out for the interests of the elder - but not in this case.

 

So, you are seeking an execption fromn the regulations, citing what? Igntance? Old age? Lack of help?You are asking for an exception to be made because you feel it is'right'.Everyone feels their complaint is justified, that's WHY they complain.

 

However, the law leaves very little to interpretation - especially in matters like these. Your utility court action was a simple action for debt - plenty of room for discretion, but it is not the same here. If you're suggesting that all 80+ can happily ignore laws the rest of us have to follow, you're beimg unrealistic.

 

My main concern, is why the family didn;t bother assisting in this matter to ensure the correct forms were completed and there would have been nothing to worry about.

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My main concern, is why the family didn;t bother assisting in this matter to ensure the correct forms were completed and there would have been nothing to worry about.

 

but we still don't know what the DVLA are "claiming" was wrong with the original info to justify a fine. plus there is no confirmation as yet that the quote from DVLA saying we must ring them after 4 weeks, "by law" is a direct quote or just an interpretation.

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whoa hold old a minute!

 

Nobody is asking for age to be a determining factor is this matter, just for a tiny bit of understanding is all. C'mon, tell me that you knew that if you haven't been informed by DVLA that your transfer has been processed, you would ring them after four weeks to check, knowing that not doing this was somehow illegal?

 

I was simply asking that they give a teensy bit of lattitude instead of trying to give everone a criminal record.

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No - you're missing the point. Here we have TWO loads of people, who I must assume to be reasonably literate and able to assist each other in such matters. We have to accept that ignorance is no excuse for breaking the law. I would have thought the more younger members of the family would be looking out for the interests of the elder - but not in this case.

 

So, you are seeking an execption fromn the regulations, citing what? Igntance? Old age? Lack of help?You are asking for an exception to be made because you feel it is'right'.Everyone feels their complaint is justified, that's WHY they complain.

 

However, the law leaves very little to interpretation - especially in matters like these. Your utility court action was a simple action for debt - plenty of room for discretion, but it is not the same here. If you're suggesting that all 80+ can happily ignore laws the rest of us have to follow, you're beimg unrealistic.

 

My main concern, is why the family didn;t bother assisting in this matter to ensure the correct forms were completed and there would have been nothing to worry about.

 

 

In the first post of this thread it appears to be stated that the V5 was filled out correctly and sent off. So I don't understand your line of questioning on this matter?

 

 

Seminole has stated that the DVLA told him, on the phone, that he needs, "by law", an acknowledgement letter - this is total hogwash. The law simply specifies that the RK must notify them if he / she gets rid of the vehicle. The law specifies that if you address a letter correctly and send it then you can consider that 'notification' has occured. The DVLA ignore this in order to play their silly games. If they had to actually acknowledge the law on this matter then their highly profitable fines [problem] would simply fall apart.

 

 

N.

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Thanks for everyone's comments, especially those of bedlington83. Thinking back I'm not sure that they did tell me that it was a legal requirement to telephone them after 14 days and so I'm sorry if I misled anyone. I was absolutely furious when I found out what had happened and I wasn't completely rational about it yesterday.

 

Having now discussed the matter again with my Dad and my wife I am now absolutely convinced that they followed the correct procedure. I have therefore sent the following letters to the DVLA and to my Dad's MP:

 

DVLA Letter

 

I write on behalf of my father, Mr Semnole's Dad of XXX Bromley, Kent to whom you have sent an enforcement notice with the above reference. My father notified me that he had received this notice on 22 July and I telephoned your office immediately. I was told that I would need to write to you on behalf of my father to appeal against the enforcement notice.

On 4 May 2009 my father gave the above car to my wife Mrs Seminole of [address]. My father and my wife completed the relevant sections of the V5 and my father posted it to the DVLA in Swansea by first class post immediately. Far from committing a criminal offence, my father made every effort to notify the DVLA of the change in keeper of the vehicle.

My father’s appeal is on two grounds:

1) There was no intention to fail to notify the DVLA. Everything was done that should have resulted in a notification being received and acted upon. It is possible that a mistake was made but it could have been made by my father, the Post Office or the DVLA. It is unreasonable to criminalize my father for a mistake that he may not have made. Moreover, it is unreasonable to impose such a penalty on an 88 year old man who has reached the end of his long driving career. In the circumstances I would ask you to exercise whatever discretion you have to cancel this penalty.

2) If you are unable to exercise discretion in this matter then I refer you to Section 7 of the Interpretation Act 1978 which states that any letter that is properly addressed, pre-paid and posted is deemed to be delivered in the normal course of post. The change of keeper details was delivered to you on 4 May 2009. This discharged my father’s obligations to you.

Please confirm your decision regarding this appeal to my father as soon as possible and I would be obliged if you would send a copy to me as well.

I have copied this letter to my father’s Member of Parliament.

Yours faithfully

And to the MP:

Hi Bob

 

It's been some time since we last spoke and I hope you are well.

 

I am writing to you on behalf of my father who lives in your constituency. I have a enclosed a copy of the letter I have today sent to the DVLA and I believe that this sets out the facts of the matter. I have also attached a scan of the letter that my father received from the DVLA.

 

My letter was written with a view to winning the appeal and hoping that the DVLA see sense in resolving this issue. However, I had to restrain myself from expressing outrage at their attempt to criminalise an 88 year old man who has led a blameless life for the last act in his 50-plus year driving career. Moreover I do not understand why what he stands accused of is regarded as a criminal offence.

 

I fully accept the administrative necessity of informing the DVLA when the registered keeper of a vehicle changes as it enables them to keep their records up to date. However, I also cannot think of any circumstances in which the registered keeper would not wish to inform the DVLA given that until the DVLA has amended its records, the former keeper continues to be potentially liable for the vehicle's road fund licence etc. In my opinion, if the change of keeper is not recorded by the DVLA it is likely to be due to a mistake rather than a deliberate act on the part of the former keeper. Furthermore it is possible that a mistake has been committed by the former keeper, the Royal Mail or indeed the DVLA. It is extraordinary that, if the DVLA does not receive notification, that it automatically accuses the former keeper of doing so deliberately and tries to bully them into paying a financial penalty. Why should ordinary citizens be accused of committing a criminal offence when something happens that could very well be the result of an administrative blunder? Just as importantly, why has Parliament criminalised something which is likely to be a mistake in almost all circumstances? Why should the state be allowed to try to bully my father for an administrative error which is at least as likely to have been committed by the state itself in the form of the nationalised Royal Mail or the DVLA bureaucracy?

 

It is very easy to understand why many people have reached the conclusion that the British people have now become the servants of the state rather than it being the other way around. I do appreciate that there is little you can do about the wider policy issues here whilst the current government clings on to office but I hope that this something that could be addressed after the election next year.

 

Regards

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fabulous letters! No emotion, just common sense and basic facts, I love it. If I need help can I call on your expertise?

 

As nehpets states, you have done all that is required to fulfill your obligations here, its just a shame DVLA haven't done theirs.

 

I have a story about DVLA you might find amusing, although at the time it was far from funny.

 

As I live and work in glasgow, I use the city's Vehicle Licensing Office when taxing my car. Back in March I returned my second car back to use on the road and because it had been SORNed for two years anticipated hiccups in the process. Happily all was well and I emerged from the office with my shiny new tax disk.

 

Imagine my suprise and anger then when two days later I got a very stroppy letter advising me that my car had been picked up by an ANPR camera whilst declared SORN and that I had to pay a fine of £80 plus get it taxed, plus pay an extra months back tax to reflect the recent on road use without a tax disk!

 

Obviously I rang them immediately but was told I had to write as they don't do appeals over the phone. The chap helpfully told me not to drive the car as I could be arrested for driving an unlicenced vehicle and it could be impounded. Once my blood pressure had calmed down I decided I would go back to the licencing office and fight with them.

 

Next day, I went in ready for a confrontation but found the most helpful person I have ever met who took me through to meet with the centre manager, who appologised profusely assured me there was no problems with my tax disk and even gave me a letter of comfort to show the police if required. It seems the problem was caused by a failure in the nightly transfer of data to swansea and several dozen other people had been affected in Glasgow. I left there feeling a whole lot better

 

A couple of days later I got a profound apology from a manager at swansea which mostly restored my faith but I still think they were way too keen to accuse me in the first place.

 

I'm sure that the deal with loads of ars*h*les who don't send in forms or bother to tax their cars, but it doesn't mean that they should treat everyone the same way.

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In the first post of this thread it appears to be stated that the V5 was filled out correctly and sent off. So I don't understand your line of questioning on this matter?

 

Apply a little logic to this. Person A sends a form into Organisation B. Organisation B gets huffy and says its not been completed correctly, and as such the required action has not been completed. Faced with this connundrum, who would most likely to be correct, the firm that recieves 1000's of these forms daily, or someone who has just completed one for the first time in years?

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Apply a little logic to this. Person A sends a form into Organisation B. Organisation B gets huffy and says its not been completed correctly, and as such the required action has not been completed. Faced with this connundrum, who would most likely to be correct, the firm that recieves 1000's of these forms daily, or someone who has just completed one for the first time in years?

 

Actually in my dealings with large organisations, they're quite often the ones that make mistakes. Even putting that point aside, why do we as a society seek to penalise simple mistakes (that may in fact have not been made by the citizen at all) with a financial penalty and even a criminal record?

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I'm struggling to see where the error could have been made -

 

Section 6 needs the new keeprs name address and date of birth. (There's also the option to input your driver number and present mileage)

 

Section 8 requires two signatures, old keeper and new keeper and dates.

 

Section 10 (new keeper supplement) is slightly more complicated as it requires a date of transfer and the new keepers address but that doesn't go to DVLA anyway.

 

Gee, wow, that's really hard to fill in, loads of room for error there......doh!

 

As for firms (especially govt departments) receiving 1000 of forms daily, can't see how they could possibly make any mistakes eh?

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Apply a little logic to this. Person A sends a form into Organisation B. Organisation B gets huffy and says its not been completed correctly

Except that's not what they're saying. They're saying that person A, Seminoles dad, didn't send it in the first place. He says he did. Who's more likely to know if he sent it or not?

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Section 6 needs the new keeprs name address and date of birth. (There's also the option to input your driver number and present mileage)

 

Date of birth is optional too. As far as I can find out, there is no minimum age to purchase a motor vehicle. Also, no driving licence is required to purchase a car.

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