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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: UK Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 70506
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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Can DVLA pass a penalty direct to a Debt Collection Agency

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Can DVLA pass a 'penalty' direct to a Debt Collection Agency without going to a court of Law?
I sold my car on the 12th October 2010 to NS Cars of Misterton, Somerset. The suitably signed registration document was sent to DVLA in the same envelope as the registration for the vehicle I bought in part exchange. I received my new car registration within 10 days.
Shortly after this I received a notice for renewal of the road tax or SORN on 1st November. I telephoned DVLA in Swansea, as instructed in the notice, and was told to ignore the renewal as there is often a delay in issuing acknowledgement letters and if I hadn’t received one by Christmas then I should write, with the vehicle details, to them informing them of the change. This I did, and I subsequently received an acknowledgement letter from DVLA. At no time was I informed of any penalties for which I was liable. Later in January I received a Late Licensing Penalty notice for £80 from a DVLA Enforcement Officer in Poole. I have written frequent letters to them since and have received back letters threatening to pass the 'debt' to a Debt Collection Agency. I seem to have no recourse to a court of law or independent arbitration. The vehicle was officially scrapped in January.
As, on 1/11/10, I was not in possession of the vehicle or its registration documentation I could not have completed the tax renewal or SORN without making a false declaration as to the use of the vehicle.
I now have until 1/5/11 to pay or else!
Who else do I turn to, the CAB don't want to know and recommended that I engage a solicitor - which will cost me more than the fine.
What exactly would you like to know about this?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

What happens on 1st May if I have'nt paid the penalty, can a DCA removed items from my property?

Can I not take DVLA to court?

I seem to have no right of appeal or recourse to a court of law.

I do not intend to pay.

If this is just a debt collection agency then they cannot take any other action than to write to you or phone you. They do not have a CCJ or other order of the Court and so cannot remove your property. Nothing will happen on that date if the facts are as you say save for the further chasing of the debt.

There is no specific right of appeal arising from a fine from the DVLA save for, of course, judicial review.

But if you are saying that the car was not yours to SORN at that time then its usually a simple matter of writing to them to that effect and sending in supporting evidence. Do not negotiate with the debt collection agency. They will just be instructed to chase the debt. Go straight to the DVLA.

Although judicial review would cost more than the fine if the facts are as you say then you would seem to have grounds though but they would need to pursue this first.

I'm happy to discuss this but please remember to click on accept.
Jo C. and other UK Traffic Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
If DVLA seek a CCJ will I be informed and can I attend the hearing and speak in my defence?

Yes, you should be informed and if you are not then you can apply for it to be set aside on that basis.

You can attend to fight the matter but do not let it go that far. Resolve it with the DVLA now.