Man granted motorcycle licence by mistake in DVLA mix-up

Published: 08 April 2008

AN MCN reader has been told the motorcycle licence he has held for a decade was issued to him by mistake.

Gareth Jordan passed his full motorcycle test in 1997 and has been riding daily ever since.

But last month DVLA wrote to tell him the licence issued was “incorrect” and should not have included motorcycle entitlement.

The letter, from the customer services department, tells Jordan his motorcycle licence has been taken away “free of charge” and says he must re-sit his test to get it back.

Gareth Jordan, 27, from Oxted, had his bike licence revoked in 1999 under new rider laws because he received six penalty points within two years of passing his test. DVLA then reinstated it after he passed his driving test.

But the agency now says that in order to have it reinstated he should have re-taken a test for a type of vehicle he was already entitled to use.

Because the driving test was his first one, the agency says it doesn’t count after all.   

The DVLA letter says: ‘Unfortunately DVLA have issued you with a driving licence with entitlement to categories of vehicles you are not entitled to drive.

‘The law requires us to issue the correct licence, your record has been amended and a replacement licence issued to you free of charge (this has been sent under separate cover). You will now have to re-sit driving tests to regain entitlement to other groups.’

MCN asked DVLA what would have happened if police had stopped Jordan and realised he should not have been entitled to ride.

The agency refused to comment on the specific case but said: “As a general comment… it would be for the police and Crown Prosecution Service to decide whether an offence had been committed and whether to prosecute, and for the courts to decide guilt.

“However, DVLA would bring it to the attention of the prosecuting body if it was known that the entitlement displayed on the licence had been granted in error.”

Jordan, who has a Kawasaki ZX-9R he can no longer ride, said: “So basically what they’re saying is because of their mistake I could have been prosecuted. Nice.”

The PR worker said he was planning to retaking his bike test but did not know whether he’d be able to get insurance again for his bike.

“It’s hindered me horrendously,” he added.

 “I now have to get the train everywhere.”


The full letter from DVLA

Dear Mr Jordan
In refer to your current driving licence

It has come to our attention that following the revocation of your driving licence under the provisions of the Road Traffic (New Drivers) Act 1995, you have been issued with an incorrect licence. The Act states that a driver will lose entitlement to all categories previously held and to regain this entitlement a re-test in one of those categories must be taken to regain all previous entitlement.

Records at DVLA indicate that the driving test you sat, and passed, following the revocation of your licence was for a category not previously held. Consequently you should only have been issued with a full licence for that category and provisional entitlement for previously held categories. Unfortunately DVLA have issued you with a driving licence with entitlement to categories of vehicles you are not entitled to drive.

The law requires us to issue the correct licence, your record has been amended and a replacement licence issued to you free of charge (this has been sent under separate cover). You will now have to re-sit driving tests to regain entitlement to other groups.

Please accept my apologies on behalf of the Agency for what I know will be a disappointment, but it is not possible to ignore the legal requirements. I trust, however, that I have been able to explain the matter in sufficient detail for you.

Yours sincerely

Donna Williams

Driver Customer Services