Motorcyclist wins compensation and costs from DVLA after riding entitlement wrongly removed

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An avid biker has won an almost four year-long battle with the DVLA to reinstate his motorcycle riding entitlement after they removed it sometime in the 1970s.

Paul Olsen learned of the mistake in 2018 when he tried to insure his latest motorcycle, a Kawasaki W650 named Izzy.

Paul said: “When I bought the Kawasaki I insured her through Carole Nash and they checked my licence, but I was only allowed to ride a tricycle, 50cc or less, it was a real shock and they said sorry we have to cancel your insurance.”

Paul moved to England from the USA in 1969 and got his first UK licence in 1970. Back then it was a ‘red book’ licence and Paul took his motorcycle to the issuing office and had motorcycle entitlement added.

Later the ‘book’ became the green paper licence before going to the credit card licences we know today. Paul says somewhere along the line DVLA “dropped the ball” but it would take interventions by the Independent Complaints Assessor and the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman to right the wrong that never should have been.

“The only thing that made the DVLA move was the ombudsman saying: ‘OK here is the deal, either you restore his entitlement and send a letter of apology plus £1000 compensation plus the £70 it cost him to cancel his insurance, or I will take you to a parliamentary committee,” explained Paul.

The DVLA did just that and Paul now has his motorcycle riding entitlement reinstated and is able to enjoy the rural roads around his Dorking home on his Triumph Bonneville named Lizzy and a Triumph Sprint named Roxy, in addition to the Kawa.

“I’m delighted at the outcome because I was so fed up with the DVLA being unreasonable,” said Paul.

MCN then approached the DVLA for a comment, with a spokesperson saying: “We have a range of measures in place to ensure our records are accurate, and mistakes are rare. We have accepted PHSO’s findings in this unique and complex case.”

The DVLA also advises that drivers check their licence when they receive it and that if there are any issues they should contact them to have it investigated.