Think on chaps by Raistlin

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I was chairing a vehicle licensing Court today and it became painfully obvious that people just don't read information sent to them.

We had a number of people charged with failing to provide information upon change of Keeper. The DVLA recommends that, if you send off your part of the V5 and do not get a confirmation of receipt within 28 days, then you should contact them to enquire.

Many people, including myself, would use the word "send" interchangeably with the word "deliver" when thinking about documents going to the DVLA. Unfortunately, case law from just over 100 years ago states otherwise. To send means merely to put a document in an envelop and drop it in the post box.

To deliver, within the terms of the appropriate Act, is taken to mean that you ensure that the DVLA receives the document. A defence would be to show that you contacted DVLA after 28 days to raise concern if you hadn't received a letter from them.

Luckily, today, the defendants concerned were prepared to listen to broad hints from me and my clerk and were able to take advantage of the generosity of the DVLA prosecutor in arranging an out of court settlement for £35, rather than going to trial and ending up owing hundreds of pounds.

With the meaning of "deliver" circumscribed thus, any defendant who offers a defence of "I posted it and I can prove it" would be bound to fail and be found guilty, regardless of how aggrieved they felt, and regardless of the fact that they were not intending to commit an offence.

So if you send your V5 away and don't hear anything within 28 days, please don't just ignore it.

Alternatively, if you are as cynical as I am, and trust neither the Post Office nor the DVLA, send documents by recorded delivery and keep the receipt until DVLA sends you the confirmatory letter.

Just to inject a smile at the end of this missive, my diplomatic skills were put to the test today when I managed to convince a defendant of the folly of going to trial, even after his first words were:- "Of course, you may not be aware, but legally I'm not obliged to do anything other than stick the V5 in the post box." Now isn't that a confident (or foolhardy) statement to make in a Court room :lol:

Cogito ergo sum... maybe?

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Posted 28 Aug 2013, 19:11 #1 

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Interesting one this. My Dad didn't get a renewal reminder for his car tax, because he'd never received the V5 registration document. He is quite adamant it's completely the dealerships fault. Personally I make a note in my diary to remind me if I haven't received it.

Posted 28 Aug 2013, 19:35 #2 

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Personally, I think dvla has had it too easy for too long. I once viewed it as a respectable public service but I now regard it as a money grabbing racket with a flog-it mentality which harasses people on pure technicalities for easy money. It rubs its hands with glee at the likes of sorn where the need for annual repetition serves no honest purpose, and many said so at the time sorn was being mooted. :mad1: :whump:

Posted 29 Aug 2013, 14:14 #3