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Drivers Face Penalties for Driving Licence Offences

March 10, 2009

The RAC Foundation is warning millions of motorists they could be facing combined fines of almost a billion pounds because they have failed to change their driving licence details after moving home.

Figures released by the Government show an astonishing 19% of all licences are thought to carry the wrong address details – that means around 7,900,000* drivers are facing fines of up to £1000.

When people move they are required by legislation to complete the address section of their photo-card’s paper counterpart and send it to the DVLA.

Foundation Director Professor Stephen Glaister says: “These figures indicate that something in the system is not working. We would urge all drivers to comply with the law and inform DVLA of their change in circumstances. Drivers should also be aware that incorrect paperwork might invalidate their insurance.”

“It seems many drivers simply don’t know they are in breach of the law and even if they are aware of the requirements they might not be able to find the vital paper counterpart to their photo-card licences which is needed to complete the process.”

“If drivers can’t provide that counterpart they are also liable to a £17.50 fine. In the long run the DVLA must ensure drivers are made aware of what to do when they move house. And given that vehicle records are 97% accurate why can’t the Agency cross reference information to keep a more complete record of cars and motorists?”

Source RAC Foundation

John Leighton, Managing Director of MAC said “The checking of Driving Licences is a fundamental part of any Road Risk Management Strategy but there is a lot more to checking a Driving Licence than looking at the name on the licence or its period of validity. In photocopying or recording details of a licence that has not been properly checked   a company is doing little more than preserving evidence against itself. Furthermore, there is a lot of valuable information on a Driving Licence which can identify potential problems and ‘at risk’ drivers”.

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