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Shining a Light on Disputed Licences

December 16, 2009


Disputed UK Driving/Riding Licences Remain an Issue

Berwick Upon Tweed, England – Disputed licence entitlements, a cause celebre for UK bikers, have again been headlining.

BRR believes that, despite announcements from UK Riders Rights Groups and features in the motorcycling press, little has been achieved to assist the small minority of riders who lose their entitlement to ride because of Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) errors.

What’s new? In the future the DVLA, on request, will return original licences to motorcyclists whenever a replacement licence is issued due to change of address, loss, renewal etc. The original licence will have a hole punched through it to invalidate it.

Can’t I get my old licence back now? Well yes, you can actually. It’s a bit cheeky but if you tick the lost or stolen box on the licence application form you can actually keep your old licence.

So this means that I will automatically get a new licence showing entitlement to ride a motorcycle i.e. Category A, if I send in my licence with a Category A entitlement on it? Well the answer to that depends who you wish to believe.

The British Motorcyclists Federation (BMF) said on December 8 09 “cutting the corner off the old licence and returning the old with its replacement would provide proof of entitlement”.

Motorcycle News (MCN) said on December 8 09 “It means that if motorcycle entitlement is missing from the new licence, riders will have the old one to prove it”.

However  the confirmed position of the DVLA on December 14 09 was “Referring to motorcycle licences, it is now the intention of the DVLA, if requested, to return original licences to motorcyclists whenever a replacement licence is issued, with a hole punched through the photograph of the ‘old’ licence to ensure that it is invalid. If however on interrogation of the DVLA data base the applicant is found not to have Category A entitlement a full investigation will take place, before a replacement licence is issued, to ensure that the applicant is entitled to a licence showing Category A.

The DVLA added “The Agency endeavours to ensure that licences showing full entitlement to any category are only issued to those individuals that can prove that they have passed the relevant driving test”.

So what’s changed? Well if the DVLA database shows you have Category A entitlement you get a new licence with the old one returned, if you request it.

But what if I send in my licence showing Category A entitlement and the DVLA refuse to issue a new one because a database error has removed my entitlement, won’t my original licence prove I have Category A entitlement? Well as I said that depends on whom you want to believe, the DVLA, the campaign spinners or people with journalistic licence.

So that’s position. Unless you know better of course. I really hope someone does!

Idea!! Appoint an independent arbitrator to look at the available evidence and decide if the people claiming loss of entitlement to ride a bike actually took a test. The result to be binding on all parties.

© Back Roads Rider 2009

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