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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: UK Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 70284
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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Hi, DVLA have told me that i was the keeper of an unlicensed

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DVLA have told me that i was the keeper of an unlicensed vehicle on the 1st November 2012. This relates to my old car which i sold to a garage on 26th October 2012. The garage stamped the V5c and i posted this off in good faith.

however on 10th March i received a letter from intercredit telling me that i have ignored previuos correspondence (to which i have had none) and that i am liable to an £80 fine or court proceedings may be taken against me.

I have replied to intercredit and DVLA on a number of occasions and this morning have been advised that my case is being scheduled through Northampton country court. What is the best course of action please?

I have also never received an reminders to tax my old vehicle-which i surely should have done if my name was still registered as the registered owner and keeper?

Thank you for your question and welcome to Just Answer. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

Do you mean unlicenced or untaxed?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi-sorry um unlicensed-the wording is the DVLA is currently preparing a claim against you as the registered keeper of an unlicensed vehicle.






So this is just the fixed penalty?

Its not a court summons?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I havent received a court summons,


the letter reads that should i wish to avoid this action then i must pay an out of court settlement of £80.00 immediately, otherwise legal action through the courts may commence and your vehicle may be clamped or impounded.


The intended action will be made in accordance with section 7a of the vehicle excise and registration act 1994. Please be aware that you are (or may be) contravening section 31a of the vehicle excise and registration act 1994 (or of the act) which commands a minimu fine of £1000.00 if convicted.



I have since responded to this letter with this-

I am writing to you in reference to the attached letter I received from yourselves concerning my old vehicle F*** ***and my refusal to pay a fine for apparently owning an unlicensed vehicle.


I bring your attention to the interpretations Act 1978, sec 7 which states “Where an Act authorises or requires any document to be served by post (whether the expression “serve” or the expression “give” or “send” or any other expression is used) then, unless the contrary intention appears, the service is deemed to be affected by the properly addressing, pre-paying and posting a letter containing the document and unless the contrary is proved, to have been effected at the time at which the letter would be delivered in the ordinary cost of post.”


An acknowledgement letter will not prove beyond reasonable doubt the sending or not of a V5 registration document. If the DVLA either failed to receive the document or failed to process the document then it is the DVLA or post service who are at fault and therefore I have committed no offence and should not be fined.

My change of owner slip was posted on the 26th October as required, and whilst I have been reminded that should I not have received confirmation from the DVLA within 4 weeks I should have phoned the DVLA to chase, however “The DVLA have no statutory right power requiring anyone to ring them or otherwise respond should they not receive an acknowledgement letter.”


I enclose the sales invoice from my sale of the vehicle to blade on the 26th October which should provide enough evidence that the car was not in my possession or under my ownership on the 1st November.


I have received a text this morning again from intercredit stating that my case is being scheduled through Northampton county court.


I have received no further letters to date.

They are offering you the fixed penalty in exchange for not prosecuting.

This is really a question of how much risk you want to take.

Actually, you are right. If you were not the owner of the vehicle at the relevant time then you are not liable to tax the vehicle.

There is an offence in failing to tell them of the change of ownership but the requirement is only to fill out the form accurately and fully and send it to the DVLA. The DVLA behave as though the obligation rests with the motorist to ensure that that forms are received but there is no basis for that in law.

If it were to go to court then you could defend it on the basis that you did report the change in ownership. Obviously you will have to be reasonably credible on the point but otherwise they have no evidence that you didn't send it and so should find in your favour.

Obviously though this does carry the risk that you will have to go to court if you refuse the fixed penalty and not everybody is keen upon that. Overall, you seem to have a good chance.

Hope this helps. Please rate my answer OK SERVICE or above and I can answer your related questions.
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