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Jan 09

Posts: 109

Mikeinho says:

SORN lost & now I have a penalty notice. What to do?

I hope this meets the right audience, as I'm in a bit of a pickle. I've not been on the forum in ages, as I've simply not been riding.

Last summer when my insurance was due for renewal, I put it off as I had only been out on the bike about 3 or 4 times all year to that point and my bike was just taking up room in the garage.

I completed the V14 (for SORN reasons) and sent my tax disc back to the DVLA, completely forgetting about the £25 tax refund due (half of the full year tax value).

About 4 weeks ago I got a very threatening letter from the DVLA telling me I had to pay £100 fixed penalty notice for not insuring my bike. So, I gave them a ring to advise them that it was SORN and that I'd sent the tax disc back months ago.

After going round the houses calling this department and the next, finally someone was able to tell me that they never received (or lost) my SORN declaration. I sent them copies of the completed SORN and tax disc, and asked them to ensure this was processed so I could put the matter to bed.

I wrote to the department dealing with the penalty notice explaining what had happened, and enclosed copies of everything I had to confirm that my bike was off the road, etc. A few days later, I received a 'blah blah' letter in reply which completed avoided anything I asked them to investigate. All it said was "you should have done this... you should have done that... blah, blah, blah". You get the point.

I then received a letter from the department that deal with SORN asking me to completed the enclosed statement (that the bike had been off the road), and the enclosed V33 form... which wasn't actually enclosed... which I had to call their office to get a copy.

I've since written to the penalty office to complain about the reply they sent, as it was just a 'blah blah' and didn't answer any of the real issues of my case. I've sent a letter of complaint to the SORN office as they have delayed matters by not sending out the V33.

I've also sent back everything asked to sort out the SORN issue. I've now got 3 or 4 days to resolve the matter before they escalate matters, but neither department I've been dealing with have replied to the letters and documents sent.

Is there anything else I can do? I don't feel like paying the penalty notice, as I've not operated outside the law and sent them all the documents as required. Quite happy to take the matter to court, as there must be others in my position that are getting a raw deal from a new law that’s supposed to keep proper nasty uninsured drivers off our roads.

I want to have the chance to turn round to the MIB and DVLA and say, “hey... you work for us law abiding punters... not the other way around”. Anyone know of a number to call to speak to someone who can resolve the issue quickly? I’ll take the case to my MP, but I don’t think they have another local surgery for some weeks.

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  • Posted 3 years ago (07 February 2012 23:05)

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Aug 09

Posts: 2705

MarcusMarsh says:


Unfortunately, those of us that have issues with the DVLA are always onto a looser.  The system is neither fair or fairly applied.

Last year I was late in taxing one of my bikes - my fault fair enough.  One was taxed but I forgot the other.  The fine exceeded the annual tax and I was only just over a month late.  So, it cost me £70 for the tax and £100 for the fine. 

I have just had the renewal through for this year having recently changed by registration number.  (My girlfriend got me a personalised plate for Christmas)  Now having changed the reg, received the new log book AND replacement tax disc with the correct reg number on it - they sent me a tax reminder with the old reg on it. 

We make a mistake and pay through the nose.  They make a mistake and we have to spend time and money making numerous calls in order to sort their cock-ups.  

It sucks but that's DVLA for you. 

[This Reply has been modified by the Author]

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Aug 02

Posts: 3264

eatcs01 says:

too late now

I know it's too late now, but they tried a similar thing on with me. I told them that I'd sent the details by REGISTERED post, so they had obviously lost it (this was a fib) and they dropped the whole thing.

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May 10

Posts: 127

soapes says:

sorn declarations

This type of cock up was featured on BBC's watchdog a while ago, seems it's not an uncommon mistake they make.

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Apr 12

Posts: 12

Challenge the fine

According to Schedule 2 para 3 of the Road Vehicles (Registrations and Licensing) Regulations 2002, when you surrendered your tax disc you were required to, "deliver to the Secretary of State the required declaration and the required particulars in relation to the vehicle".  In other words the SORN declaration and tax disc for the bike.

If you wish to challenge the decision to fine you  can give evidence at court that you posted the tax disc back along with the declaration that the bike was off the road.  I suspect that the DVLA would probably accept your word for it if you insisted on challenging it.

By the way, when I say give evidence I literally mean get in the witness box and give oral evidence that you posted it.  All the DVLA can say is that you are lying and since they can never prove that you'd have a pretty strong case.

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