DVLA ‘loses hundreds of bike licences’

Published: 05 February 2008

DVLA is consistently losing motorcycle licences, a riders’ rights group has said.

Riders send their licences to DVLA to renew them or update their addresses and get them back with motorcycle entitlement missing. Many don’t notice straight away and continue riding, according to the Motorcycle Action Group (MAG).

When they contact DVLA to complain some are told there is no record of their ever having a bike licence, MAG said.They then face re-sitting their test from scratch. 

MAG has received reports from members of 40 cases since April, while MCN has learned separately of 10 new cases within weeks. 

Figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show DVLA received 74 complaints of lost motorcycle entitlement between August 2004 and June last year.

A further 19 complaints of missing or disputed entitlements have been made to the agency since then.

According to MAG the true number of bike licences lost will “easily” be in hundreds. 
DVLA says it requires proof before a bike licence was previously held.

The agency has admitted details may have accidentally been deleted during a change in the way records were kept in the 1970s but claims to otherwise have complete records of everyone’s driving licence history.   

MCN reader Chris Pritchard noticed straight away when his licence was returned with motorcycle entitlement missing. He complained and the DVLA corrected the error but he kept a copy of the licence with bike entitlement missing to prove the mistake occurs.

“I was one of the lucky ones,” said Pritchard, a 48-year-old computer programmer from Harlow.

Solicitor Andrew Campbell said there were precautions riders could take to help stop it happening to them.

“The best precaution would be to take a copy of the licence prior to sending it off to the DVLA,” he said. “A copy of an insurance policy schedule showing cover for a motorcycle also obviously infers that the person riding is entitled.”