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DVLA apologises

Published: 08 October 2010

The DVLA has apologised and renewed a commitment to send motorcyclists their old licences back after failures were exposed by MCN.

The promise to return old licences was made last year after hundreds complained of receiving new ones with motorcycle entitlement missing. For the first time it gives riders a way to prove a mistake has been made. 

Riders were told that whenever they sent off their licence, for example to change address, all they needed to do was include a stamped self-addressed envelope and a note requesting its return. 

But DVLA staff were caught telling callers they had never heard of any such offer and that old licences would be destroyed and not returned.

Three MCN readers reported DVLA either failing to return their old licence or saying it couldn’t be done. 

When MCN phoned the DVLA helpline, we were told: “The old licence would be cancelled and destroyed.”

When we explained the policy, the assistant said: “I can honestly say I’ve never heard of that.” Only after we persisted and said we’d read about it in a newspaper did she check with her line manager and confirm the agreement.

A DVLA spokesman said: "We introduced a new process at the end of last year which means those who want to hold on to their existing licence can include a stamped self-addressed envelope with their application asking for the return of their licence.

“We are disappointed that it appears some customers have had some difficulty in getting their licence back. 

"We have worked hard with MCN and other stakeholders in introducing this and all staff have urgently been reminded of the options open to customers when renewing their licence.

“We apologise to anyone who has experienced a problem with this process and not received their licence back.”
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