If you are proposing to scrap your car or even send off a SORN statement or even just a change of ownership declaration, be very careful. The DVLA Continuous Registration Department will stop at nothing to obtain the £80 penalty for non-declaration, if you fail to follow their procedures.
If selling your vehicle privately or disposing of the vehicle by way of scrapping the vehicle, the vehicles export or theft, the registration Document instructs you to complete the relevant sections of the document and send to the DVLA. Please note the following statement:
DVLA will issue an acknowledgement letter after 4 weeks to confirm you are no longer the Registered Keeper. If the acknowledgement letter is not received please contact DVLA on 0870 240 0010.
It seems to be an imposition that callers are required to make a call to a premium rate number when, through possibly no fault of their own, they do not receive the acknowledgement letter. This matter is being investigated by Ofcom but at the moment you have no choice but to make this call or you could face a fine of £80 or more if the DVLA issue a County Court Summons, which they will do.
If like most people, you find it hard to track time, 4 weeks will pass by very quickly and I suggest you mark a calendar when the 4 weeks is up and if you have not received an acknowledgement letter from the DVLA then do call the number.
The DVLA will not accept the possibility your document could have got lost in the post or that it may even have been lost within the DVLA. I have now resorted to paying the price of 4 First Class stamps for a signed for acceptance by the DVLA as this does offer a degree of security in order to confirm the document was sent to the DVLA.
Within the classified advertisements of the local papers there are many that offer good prices for collection of vehicles be they for scrap or resale. Initially the seller should contact the advertiser to see if the minimum price quoted is genuine and then ascertain if the advertiser is licensed. It should also be noted the many advertisements for collection firms who will pay you money for your scrap vehicle, may not be licensed by the Environment Agency and you should seek a buyer who is an Authorised Treatment Facility (ATF) license holder who will issue you with a certificate of Destruction (CoD).
With respect to the use of the 0870 number by the DVLA, the DVLA is awaiting the outcome of a report by Ofcom which has currently extended its period of consultation, before it will consider issuing a freephone or other number.
If you do receive a County Court Summons from the DVLA concerning the Continuous Registration because you did not receive the acknowledgement letter but you are convinced you sent off the signed section of the registration document and have a photocopy as proof, you can opt to go to Court to explain to the Judge you did follow the procedures but did forget to make the call when no acknowledgement letter was received. Many people do this and generally if you can substantiate the fact you did all that was required, the Judge may find in your favour.
Legal advice is being obtained at this moment in time to ascertain if the wording on the Registration document – received please contact DVLA on 0870 240 0010 – is a legal requirement?
In conclusion, I can only stress that failure to conform to the requirements of the DVLA may lead to the £80 fine becoming considerably greater with the imposition of Court costs.
Complete the documentation as required, obtain a proof of posting and if you do not receive the acknowledgement letter after 4 weeks, call the number and save yourself some money, time and aggravation.