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DVLA SORN Fine Demand **Withdrawn**


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All,

 

I've just received some correspondence from the DVLA which is a bit of a worry and I wondered if anyone could advise?

 

I got a letter back in June saying that a car I own is no longer on the MID and didn't have a SORN against it, and that I must do so. So after taking it off the road I duly filled in the form and sent the tax back on 23rd June.

 

Now I've got two letters, dated the same day (15th July), one saying that I should have informed them by 1st July and that it is my "last chance" to do so, and one demanding £100 (or £50 if I pay by 16th August) or they might take me to court.

 

I've checked the online tax thingy and it shows the vehicle has "SORN in place", but I haven't got a confirmation letter yet. The demand says that I can dispute the penalty, but says:

 

"Please enclose a copy of the acknowledgement you received from the DVLA to confirm this, the acknowledgement must be dated prior to the date of the penalty. If you did not receive confirmation you are still liable for the offence"

 

So without an acknowledgement letter I don't know what to do. Any suggestions?

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Thanks for your reply :)

 

I did think of that and have taken a screenshot from the DVLA web search, but obviously that is dated today (19th) and it says on the form that the "date of offence" was the 15th and that any acknowledgement must be dated prior to this.

 

I'm just concerned about them sticking to the letter and disregarding it as irrelevant, just in case I only get one chance to dispute the penalty.

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Hi DaKlone,

 

I've just joined this forum as I saw your post and I want to let you know that I am having the exact same issue as yourself, but what gets weirder is that the dates of letters which I have been sent match yours too.

 

In June I also received a letter by askMID informing me to take action and sorn my out of use vehicle to avoid a penalty. I immediately took action and then on the 15th July I received a letter from DVLA which was a penalty notice fine for £100 or £50 if payed in advance.

 

I rang the DVLA several times to the SORN and tax departments and the minute I mentioned 'penalty notice' they didn't want to know. The response was "just fill out the dispute on the back of the letter. I managed to receive my tax refund and the tax deptartment confirmed that a SORN was in place yet they would not tell me when for.

 

According to the DVLA they will only refund tax for a whole month if they receive SORN the month prior to the month they refund. I.e. (Receive letter in June and refund for July onwards) That means that they received my SORN in June and it was in place on the 15th of July. DVLA SORN your vehicle the same day they refund you the money so in my case this should be the 1st of July as that's what I have been told by the tax refund department.

 

The problem starts when you speak to them, as they will not confirm over he phone the actual day they had SORN your vehicle. Like DaKlone, I cannot dispute the fine because they have not sent me an acknowledgement and I have been waiting for some time now. The reason I got a fine from them was because they delayed the processing of my application. This is unfair and by failing to send me an acknowledgement they are hindering my chance of a fair appeal within the time limit.

 

By checking online all the website tells you is that your vehicle is SORN, it does not tell you the date.

 

I am sure the DVLA are playing games with people, but I am not paying as that would admit guilt on my part and i am not guilty of this offence when I took immediate action to avoid a penalty.

 

I am sending the DVLA a stern letter today.

 

I will let you know any further info once I receive it.

 

James

Edited by Jameslawrence
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Hi James,

 

Sorry to hear you're having the same problems.

 

I haven't paid mine yet either, but to be honest I'm not sure what else I can do but pay it.

 

They've set out the valid reasons for disputing the fine on the back of the letter and deliberately or not, I haven't got the required letter to confirm the SORN so I don't see what else I can do. It won't matter now if you get an acknowledgement or not, because it will be dated after the 15th and therefore useless.

 

By the way, I have now got a letter dated 18th July (3 days AFTER the "date of offence") confirming that because there was less than a full month on my tax disc, I won't be getting a refund. Of course there WAS a full month left on it when I sent it, but it obviously took them about three weeks to get around to processing it...a more suspicious person might think that the timings of the letters are such to ensure that they don't pay any refunds AND make some money in fines....

 

dK

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Thank you James!! :)

 

When I went to reply to your message it made me look at that letter again, and I think I have the answer, for me at least :)

 

The letter dated 18th July had attached to it a copy of the V14 form I submitted attached to it. Guess what? It clearly shows:

 

1) That I dated the form 18th June, almost a month before the "date of offence",

 

2) That the SORN box is clearly ticked on the form,

 

3) That it is clearly stamped "HFC 25th June 2014" in Section 5 (return of a nil value disc),

 

4) That it is clearly marked with a number (a document number or such) added at the top, dated 27th June 2014.

 

I can't see how they can deny that they had the form in time now?

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Hi DaKlone,

 

Good to hear you've found some useful evidence! What letter did you receive a copy of your submitted v14 from? I can't understand why they would issue you a copy. What I would say though is that it automatically proves that you DID in fact just like myself send the SORN in before the penalty.

 

The whole process is a complete mess. If you want to find specific information from the DVLa though, you need to fill out a V888 form with a fee of £2.50. It maybe useful, certainly for myself to obtain when they received my letter.

 

I hope they send me a V14 copy that I submitted too with the acknowledgement! :-)

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It was with a letter saying that they were not issuing a refund on the tax disc that I attached to the V14 because there wasn't a full month left on it. Checking again, this is actually correct.

 

When you sent yours in, were you due a refund on it? Either way, you should receive confirmation one way or the other which might include a copy of your V14.

 

Reading back over your post, I note you state that "the DVLA SORN your vehicle on the same day they refund your money", how do you know this? And if so I wonder if in fact my SORN was not put into place until the 18th July, the date of this letter? That is despite the V14 being in their hands for almost a month at that point. It certainly WAS in place on the 19th July, when I checked it online.

 

I think I'll write a draft letter about it to them and see how it hangs together.

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Right, here goes!

 

This is the letter I have drafted:

 

Vehicle Registration Number: ABC 123

 

On 18th July 2014 I received a fixed penalty notice from the DVLA stating that I may be prosecuted for an alleged offence in relation to the above mentioned vehicle, namely “keeping a vehicle with no insurance (under Section 144A of the Road Traffic Act 1988)” unless I pay a penalty of £100. The notice was dated, and the alleged offence said to have taken place, on 15th July 2014.

 

Copied herewith is a letter dated 18th July 2014 from Mr XX of the DVLA’s Central Casework Group. This letter had attached to it a copy of the V14 form I submitted, also copied herewith. The V14 shows:

 

• That the form was correctly completed, then signed and dated in Section 4 on 18th June 2014, 18 working days before the date of the alleged offence and that the SORN request box in Section 3 is clearly crossed, and

 

• That it was received by the DVLA on or before 25th June 2014, at least 13 working days before the date of the alleged offence, as indicated by the official stamp "HFC 25th June 2014" clearly shown in Section 5.

 

I therefore submit that that I have furnished such particulars and made such declarations as prescribed, at such times and in such manner as prescribed (request of SORN on V14 before the date of the alleged offence) and have therefore not committed an offence under Section 144A of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (as amended) by virtue of compliance with Section 144B, Subsection 5 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (as amended). I am therefore not liable for any penalty.

 

Please confirm in writing that no further action will be taken and that this matter is now closed.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

What do we think?

 

Any "legal eagles" care to cast an eye and give their opinion?

 

TIA,

dK

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Hi again daKlone,

 

Spoke to DVLA today as still no letter of acknowledgement. Their answer: "its been lost in the post", baloney, because when I asked when it had been sent, ironically it has been posted; today....

 

I read the letter you written. Absolutely spot on, not too harsh, not too soft but the right approach to being messed around. Send it off best of luck! I'm hoping that others will read this thread for future purpose so they too do not get scorned by the DVLA's SORN game...

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I did a letter along similar lines a few years ago about SORN, I mentioned that 'I'm not taking too kindly to being called a liar'. They sent me a no further action in reply.

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Hi again daKlone,

 

Spoke to DVLA today as still no letter of acknowledgement. Their answer: "its been lost in the post", baloney, because when I asked when it had been sent, ironically it has been posted; today....

 

I read the letter you written. Absolutely spot on, not too harsh, not too soft but the right approach to being messed around. Send it off best of luck! I'm hoping that others will read this thread for future purpose so they too do not get scorned by the DVLA's SORN game...

 

When I was looking at the Road Traffic Act around this issue, I notice that it states that you have to send them the particulars etc etc but says nothing about a requirement for you to have received an acknowledgement in return. I think the DVLA have added this bit themselves rather than it being in the legislation.

 

As long as you can prove that they got the form before the date of the alleged offence, then they can't hold you to the requirement for an acknowledgement. Could a FOI request reveal anything perhaps?

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I did a letter along similar lines a few years ago about SORN, I mentioned that 'I'm not taking too kindly to being called a liar'. They sent me a no further action in reply.

 

I did have a lot more, shall we say, "emotion" in the initial draft, but ultimately I think just sticking to the facts is (hopefully) the most effective route...if not the most satisfying!

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Yes, I've heard of the interpretations act section 7, and while I think It applies to post only I heard on another forum that a judge ruled out the particular legislation so I am unsure if using it is a good choice. Also there is evidence the DVLA do not take notice of the act via others responses. Still I have not seen it challenged by court appeals.

 

As far FOI goes, I would only use I to request received letter dates by a v888 form.

You had the stamp though :-)

 

James

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I wasn't referring to the interpretations Act (although I have read the same as you about it being discounted), but rather to Subsection 5 of Section 144B of the Road Traffic Act:

 

(1)A person (“the registered keeper”) in whose name a vehicle which does not meet the insurance requirements is registered at any particular time (“the relevant time”) does not commit an offence under section 144A of this Act at that time if any of the following conditions are satisfied.

 

...

 

(5)The fourth condition is that—

(a)the registered keeper is at the relevant time the person keeping the vehicle,

(b)at the relevant time the vehicle is not used on a road or other public place, and

©the registered keeper has by the relevant time complied with any requirements under subsection (7)(a) below that he is required to have complied with by the relevant or any earlier time.

 

...

 

(7)Regulations may make provision—

(a)for the purposes of subsection (4)(b) and (5)© above, requiring a person in whose name a vehicle is registered to furnish such particulars and make such declarations as may be prescribed, and to do so at such times and in such manner as may be prescribed

 

This is what I'm referring to in my letter; the fact that I (we) have "furnished such particulars and made such declarations as may be prescribed". It doesn't say anything about receiving acknowledgements from anyone, just that I make declarations (fill in forms, in this case).

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Couldn't a FOI request get you a copy of your V14, which should have the same dated stamps etc on it by now?

 

I'll be honest, I don't know too much about them, but perhaps it's worth a shot?

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Right, I made final adjustments and put it in the post today...here goes nothing! :)

 

Dear Sir/Madam,

 

Re: Ford Mondeo Ghia TDCI, registration number ABC 123

 

On 18th July 2014 I received a penalty notice from your department stating that I may be prosecuted for an alleged offence in relation to the above mentioned vehicle, namely “keeping a vehicle with no insurance (under Section 144A of the Road Traffic Act 1988)” unless I pay a penalty of £100. The notice was dated and the alleged offence said to have taken place on 15th July 2014.

 

This penalty notice has been issued in error, as no offence has been committed.

 

Copied herewith is a letter dated 18th July 2014 from Mr XX of the DVLA’s Central Casework Group. This letter had attached to it a copy of a V14 form I submitted, also copied herewith. You will see that the V14 shows:

 

• That the form was correctly completed, then signed and dated in Section 4 on 18th June 2014, 18 working days before the date of the alleged offence and that the SORN request box in Section 3 is clearly crossed, and

 

• That it was received by the DVLA on or before 25th June 2014, at least 13 working days before the date of the alleged offence, as indicated by the official stamp "HFC 25th June 2014" clearly shown in Section 5.

 

This document makes it clear that I have furnished such particulars and made such declarations as prescribed, at such time and in such manner as prescribed (i.e. request of SORN using form V14, before the date of the alleged offence), and I have therefore not committed an offence under Section 144A of the Road Traffic Act 1988 by virtue of exception in Subsection 5, Section 144B of that Act.

 

Since no offence has been committed, I am not liable for any penalty.

 

Please confirm in writing that no further action will be taken and that this matter is now closed.

 

Yours sincerely,

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Right, I made final adjustments and put it in the post today...here goes nothing! :)

 

Hi Daklone! Great stuff! I have also sent my letter off. I record all calls and the operator for the tax refund department clearly states on the phone that my letter was received and that the sorn was applied 15 days days before the alleged offence. It's a shame that the system with the SORN department is a shambles. After losing the acknowledgement they were meant to send me, and reposting it on the 27th, I still have not received it.

 

I'm not convinced. I'll await reply and take the evidence to court if they send me an acknowledgement letter with a different date after the alleged day of offence. No more games.

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It's strange that our cases are so close together...perhaps they were having a bad day at the DVLA?

 

I think I'll take the same stance if they persist; I'll present my evidence in court and let the judge decide if an offence has been committed or not.

 

In my experience it seems to take 4 days for letters from the DVLA to arrive, so I'd expect it to arrive in the next day or so. Having said that, I haven't got an acknowledgement either and my SORN was in place no later than 19th July (when I checked online), almost two weeks ago!

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Well, in the immortal words of Cpl Hudson..."It's game over man, game over!" :)

 

Got my SORN acknowledgement through the post today, stating that my SORN started on...27th June 2014, TWO WEEKS before they sent out the penalty notice. Apparently printed on 18th July, three days after the penalty notice was sent, it's taken TWO WEEKS to get to me!

 

The cynic might think that this is a ploy to drum-up some cash. Take your time sending out acknowledgements then send a penalty notice and see how many people pay the "early reduction" of £50 before they realise that they don't owe it and have done nothing wrong?

 

I wonder what would have happened if I'd paid the £50 "early payment" of the penalty when the letter arrived? Would they be keen to refund it?

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Well, in the immortal words of Cpl Hudson..."It's game over man, game over!" :)

 

Got my SORN acknowledgement through the post today, stating that my SORN started on...27th June 2014, TWO WEEKS before they sent out the penalty notice. Apparently printed on 18th July, three days after the penalty notice was sent, it's taken TWO WEEKS to get to me!

 

I also received my acknowledgement letter yesterday. And guess what - same goes - 30th June, 2 weeks before the issue of the penalty.

 

What are they well and truly playing at?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just to close this little saga out from my point of view, I got a letter from the DVLA today simply saying "In view of the information provided to us, no further action will be taken".

 

Job done :)

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