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DVSA blunder leaves licensed motorists as learners

The DVSA has once again proven itself to be terrible at administration after a humungous blunder leaves experienced motorists without proof that they ever passed their DVSA practical driving test and stripped of their driving entitlements.

Book Theory Test Today says: “Well, once again the DVSA has excelled in incompetence. The latest DVSA blunder has seen the agency delete hundreds of records that prove motorists have passed their practical driving exam.”

DVSA blunder and the case of Shane Rae

Over the past four months, Shane Rae has been threatened with having his driving licence revoked, despite never committing a driving offence and boasting a 30-year, unblemished driving record.

Thanks to the latest DVSA blunder, Mr Rae has been forced to retake his driving test and hire a solicitor in order to fight his cause. How did all this happen? Mr Rae, 45, simply sent off his driving licence requesting that the address be changed because he’d moved house.

It was returned to him, minus his entitlement to ride a motorbike. So, he complained, but was issued with a warning that his car licence would be rescinded also because the DVSA had no record of him ever having a qualification to ride a motorcycle or even drive a car.

One of hundreds

Mr Rae’s case is just one of hundreds of drivers who have been left in limbo after sending their licence to be altered by the DVSA, only to be faced with a demand to prove that they had passed their driving test, regardless of whether they took it years ago.

Mr Rae said: “The whole experience has left me deflated and even the Prime Minister, who happens to be my local MP, has had no success in getting the DVSA to recognise their blunder.”

New online system  

The latest DVSA blunder comes just weeks after their new, online system installed to replace the counterpart driving licence crashed on the day of its launch. These latest errors will only add to the pressure of an agency already treading water.

Mr Rae explained that he switched his Canadian driving licence for a full UK licence in 2000 and since then he said: “I’ve never even been slapped with a parking ticket.”

He added: “When I complained about the missing motorcycle entitlement the DVSA told me it destroys supporting documentation for applications after 10 years and that it could therefore find no proof that I was ever entitled to drive, despite in a separate letter confirming that it had scrutinised my documents when amending my licence in 2004.”

“I was told I would have to request evidence of my entitlements from the Canadian authorities – yet in the same breath the DVSA admits that Canadian driving records are destroyed if they remain dormant for more than 10 years.”

Not alone

Mr Rae is not alone in being a victim of the latest DVSA blunder. Paul Chapman, who operates a motorcycle training school, was one of the first to realise that something was not right after receiving countless phone calls from disgruntled motorcyclists who’d had their entitlements removed after sending their licence off to be updated.

Mr Chapman said: “I’ve had couriers and HGV drivers come to me who have lost their jobs because of this, and 50-year-old bikers who have had a licence for 20 years until they applied to update it.”

The DVSA said: “We don’t issue licences in ‘good faith’ alone. We won’t discuss individual circumstances, but in Mr Rae’s case evidence emerged from Canada that cast doubt over his entitlement to drive.”

Book Theory Test Today will bring you more on this saga as it develops. Watch this space!

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