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Thread: What a mess!

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  1. #1
    d0nnyoz's Avatar

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    Default What a mess!

    Ok, I'm sitting on the train writing this after a minor nightmare tonight after a routine police check.

    Firstly, I was pulled in and it was stated that they were checking motorbikes (I was on a bike if that makes a difference) for stolen bikes.
    I produced my license and they did the necessary checks. I was asked if I was coming from a place of work to which I replied I was.
    Because I was banned last year for 4 months (totting up) I was also asked if my insurance were aware of my points, to which I stated they were.

    After a few minutes I was told that the MIB stated my insurance only covered me for Social Domestic and Pleasure and therefore I was uninsured. I was told my bike would be seized and I would be prosecuted for driving without insurance.
    I called my insurance company straight away and asked them about this, explaining the situation. The insurance rep stated the action by the police was a bit much but regardless, I upgraded my insurance with immediate effect for full Business Use as I am self employed. (I know this doesn't cover me for the period immediately prior when I was stopped)

    Furthermore, and this is where it gets complicated, I was told my license had expired as the DVLA records showed that. After my court appearance for my totting up, my license was confiscated. After a cockup by the court, who originally told me I was NOT banned and sent my license back to me, they stated I was not to drive until my 4 month ban was up. They did stated they would update the DVLA records. ( The ban ended in Nov 2016)

    So I am also being prosecuted for driving without a valid license.

    My first question to anyone is to ask for any advice on this matter?

    Secondly, my bike is seized and being held in a pound. There are no storage charges for 24 hours although there is a nice hefty charge just for the pleasure of getting it out!
    But, I need to produce my insurance (check), my V5 (check), my MOT (check) and my driving license - but my driving license is not valid? Is that correct?
    I need to call DVLA tomorrow morning to enquire about this issue but I suspect they're going to say my license has expired and I need a new one, which obviously take days or even weeks. All the time, charges are rocketing for my bike in the pound.

    Can anyone offer any advice on what I can do here?

    Thanks I advance.

  2. #2
    PAWS's Avatar

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    Default Re: What a mess!

    Just giving this a bump for you
    Px

    An optimist is someone who falls off the Empire State Building, and after 50 floors says, 'So far so good'!
    ~ Anonymous

  3. #3
    d0nnyoz's Avatar

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    Default Re: What a mess!

    Thanks @PAWS

    I have called DVLA this morning and they have indeed confirmed my license has expired and I need to apply for a new one. And to make matters easier (sic) you can't apply online for a replacement license after a disqualification! Most other reasons you can!
    And I was told that the DVLA are just record keepers and don't get involved in any matters with either the police or the courts,. They offered me the phone number for the court, but I fail to see what that will achieve. I'm stuck between a rock and hard place - the police are prosecuting me for now license (and insurance), the courts have done their job even after their administrative error, and the DVLA just follow a process which cannot be expedited.
    And the process of a postal renewal can take up to 3 weeks! £20 a day at the pound could be worth a tidy little £420 to them plus the £120 or whatever it is to get it out.

    Don't get me wrong - the law is the law. But I am appealing for some advice, if there is any, regarding the spirit of the law (if that exists!). I mean, I did not intentionally go out to break the law, I had insurance and after the administrative error highlighted I corrected this on the spot in front of the police. I even had a new insurance document emailed to me whilst I was there. I know that doesn't rectify the issue but shows that I was not intentionally out to break the law and sorted it out straight away (suppose that might stand me in good stead in the courts!)

    And as regards the license, I feel again a little hard done by due the error at the courts. I have emails to prove that from the court. At no time was I ever instructed that I would need to re-apply for my license, especially as they had returned it to me.

    Anyway, license application is in the post (even having to pay with either cheque or postal order seems a little archaic to me and almost designed to make it difficult!)

    Given the circumstances and the fact I feel this is all a little unreasonable and unfair (I would say that!), I'm thinking of employing a lawyer to assist me with this - not that I want to get off with it, but just someone who can argue my case a little better in a court of law. What is the view on that?
    And secondly, what sort of punishment/penalty can I expect, roughly?
    I know a ban may be likely but as I run my own business and need my license (which I rarely use my motorbike for) and I pleaded hardship in my totting up case and had that reduced from 6 to 4 months, what is the likelihood of getting another ban? And will a specialist lawyer help in that matter?

  4. #4
    des8's Avatar

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    Default Re: What a mess!

    the courts do have leeway in the punishments handed out.
    There are four main circumstances for "special reasons" which allow for mitigation of sentence

    Be a mitigating or extenuating circumstance
    Not amount to, in law, a defence to the charge
    Be directly connected with the commission of the offence
    Be one which the court ought properly to take into consideration when imposing sentence

    Whether or not you feel competent to plead your own case better than a solicitor, only you can say!
    Good luck

  5. #5
    d0nnyoz's Avatar

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    Default Re: What a mess!

    Thanks @des8

    To make matters worse, I've just read the documents provided on the night and apparently I need to collect my vehicle within 7 days or the vehicle will be disposed of. So if I cannot get a license within 7 days, I'll just lose my bike as well! This is just crazy!
    I tried to called the number on the ticket and it is just a recorded announcement - you cannot speak with anyone relating to the seizure of the vehicle. And the only contact number for the Met is 101!!

    Surely there must be something I can do?

  6. #6
    des8's Avatar

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    Default Re: What a mess!

    got any friends with suitable licence?
    Have to get appropriate insurance cover for them as well, either add to theirs or buy short term cover.

    seen this? https://www.met.police.uk/advice-and...ized-vehicles/

  7. #7
    d0nnyoz's Avatar

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    Default Re: What a mess!

    Unfortunately, I had thought of that but the registered keeper or owner needs to collect the vehicle.
    And yes, I've read that page you refer to.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: What a mess!

    from @des8's link
    If someone is reclaiming the vehicle or property from the vehicle on your behalf

    As the registered keeper you are legally responsible for the vehicle. You should attend the pound in person to prove ownership and pay the charges, unless you can provide evidence that you are out of the country or there are compelling medical or compassionate circumstances which prevent you from being able to.
    If after attending the pound to establish your ownership, you nominate someone to collect the vehicle on your behalf, they must present payment, the documents listed above plus the following:

    • Authority letter - a letter signed by you authorising the third party to collect it on your behalf
    • A copy of your passport or driving licence as proof of signature
    • If the vehicle is being driven, a valid certificate of insurance that allows them to reclaim a seized vehicle and drive it from the pound. The nominated driver should normally be named as an additional driver on the registered keeper's own policy. Contact your insurer before attending the pound if there is any doubt

    Please note: This also applies to all recovery operators towing or lifting a vehicle on your behalf.
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  9. #9
    d0nnyoz's Avatar

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    Default Re: What a mess!

    Thanks @Kati
    I have read these too but in my mind this is a little unclear. And I bet it means what I think the Police mean!
    I know it states that if a person is collecting the vehicle on my behalf they must provide the documentation. What is doesn't state is that the person is collecting the vehicle because I meet one of the three criteria for not collecting the vehicle, i.e. I'm out of the country, I have a serious medical condition or on compassionate grounds.

    My interpretation of this guidance page is that I can go along with my proof of ownership documents and then let the police know that I am getting someone else to collect the vehicle. They would need the relavent documents too (authority letter, insurance to cover riding my bike, etc) but it also states they must provide the "documents listed above", which, on that page, refers to things like the V5 and MOT cert, paperwork already provided by me. So its a little unclear.

    What I might need to do is actually go there and see what they say. I'll take all my relevant documents with me and see what the next course of action is. They should be able to let me know what options I have. It's just a shame I can't get on the phone to someone in authority to ask them this. And I thought we lived in a 1st world country where we could easily get this info.

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