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smokey
Right I will try to keep this short and to the point.

Car is off the road for a year declared SORN with DVLA
Car is put back on the Road and 6 months tax is purchased online on the 14th April 2006 at 17:10pm
Confirmation email with reference number is received on the 14th April 2006 at 17:15pm
Tax is backdated to the 1st April 2006
Better half is using the car for work everyday
Said better half gets pulled over on the 15th April 2006 at 15:56pm (Not even a full day later)
Offence code AN03 otherwise known as 'Failing to exhibit valid excise license'

Result = £60 FPN a day after shelling out £96 on 6 months Excise License, losing half a days pay due to having to goto the police station to produce documents and my better half being shamed on the side of the road in rush hour for 45 mins while they scrutinise the car.

Bearing in mind she is 27, has been driving for 9 years, has a totally clean license and has not even had to speak to a police officer in her life let alone be pulled over and humiliated for all and sundry to see!

Now my gripe

How the hell can they get away with this?
The mrs has been driving 9 years, her cars have always been taxed, mot'd, insured and 100% road legal yet they are punishing her like she is a criminal..... her only crime is to not know that there was even a law with regards to failing to display road excise.

Who the hell made up this law anyway?

Maybe failing to have road excise, but failing to display it even after purchasing it???? Come on......FFS! Why would anyone not display it if the have gone to the hassle of buying it and shelling out bloody £96? Surely its not that common practise that there has to be a law for it??!!

The goverment offer this online service and encourage us to use it, yet forget to mention in there confirmation email that you are still not legally allowed to use your car untill you receive the tax disc and to top it off they back date your tax to 1st April, so in theory it had been taxed for just over 2 weeks....... How the hell is she supposed to get to work for 4 or 5 days untill she receives the tax disc?

I am not happy for her to pay this, and want to take this to court if need be....just to get my points across! Im that infuriated I dont care for the court costs and time off work etc....bring it on I say icon_hang.gif

We have 28 days to pay the FPN otherwise it will mean we will receive a lovely court summons through the door.

What are your opinions on this? Are we going to be fighting a losing battle and are better off paying the FPN and lining the governments pockets some more?

So much for keeping it short and to the point........I could rant for England sometimes icon_redface.gif

P.s Sorry if this is in the wrong section and feel free to move it if needs be
Bluedart
As you can prove that you bought and paid for vehicle tax, I do not think (but not 100%) that they can nail you for not displaying your tax. I have seen cars with a note where the tax is normally displayed saying "tax disc applied for". The following has been lifted from the DVLA site

If your tax disc is lost, stolen, destroyed or accidentally damaged in some way, you must apply for a duplicate using a V20 application form. You can download a V20 or obtain one from any Post Office® branch that issues tax discs or a DVLA Local Office. Look here to view your nearest Post Office® or DVLA Local Office. You should take or send your application, your Registration Document/Certificate and the fee to a DVLA Local Office. As long as the vehicle is currently licensed and registered in your name, you will receive a duplicate disc to cover the full period.

It does not say that you have too display something you do not have.
Others no doubt will shoot me down in flames.
wilbye999
Try writing to your MP, most of them would take up an injustice like this


QUOTE (Bluedart @ Tue, 25 Apr 2006 - 18:08) *
As you can prove that you bought and paid for vehicle tax, I do not think (but not 100%) that they can nail you for not displaying your tax. I have seen cars with a note where the tax is normally displayed saying "tax disc applied for". The following has been lifted from the DVLA site

If your tax disc is lost, stolen, destroyed or accidentally damaged in some way, you must apply for a duplicate using a V20 application form. You can download a V20 or obtain one from any Post Office® branch that issues tax discs or a DVLA Local Office. Look here to view your nearest Post Office® or DVLA Local Office. You should take or send your application, your Registration Document/Certificate and the fee to a DVLA Local Office. As long as the vehicle is currently licensed and registered in your name, you will receive a duplicate disc to cover the full period.

It does not say that you have too display something you do not have.
Others no doubt will shoot me down in flames.
patdavies
QUOTE (Bluedart @ Tue, 25 Apr 2006 - 18:08) *
It does not say that you have too display something you do not have.
Others no doubt will shoot me down in flames.


OK then, BANG. tongue.gif

There are two separate offences.

The first concerns the DVLA and relates to using a vehicle on the public highway whilst not taxed. This cannot hold up for the OP as they have an email confirmation that the vehicle was taxed the previous day. Note that, even if stopped by the police and found to have no road tax, prosecution is instigated by the DVLA upon the report from the Police.

The second concerns the police and is the failure to display a valid VED disc. This dates from before the time that plod could check via database that a vehicle was taxed. The old 'tax in the post' note was an unofficial concession operated by most police officers - but it had no basis in law (just like the mythical '14 days grace' to get a VED disc)

In your example, neither does it say that there is any right not to display until the replacement VED disc is recieved.

Online application is relatively new and the time when you could have applied for a VED and not be given the physical disc has only just begun, There was a case of a prosecution (or warning for prosecution) of a motorist who had taken his old disc into the Post Office in the mistaken belief that he needed to show it to get the new one. I predict further prosecutions of this sort due to online application.

In a past job as an engineering manager, if my guys' new VED disc had not arrived for their company car by the last day of the month of expiry, I insisted that they be provided with a hire car until the VED disc arrived. The extra cost of that on the compnay soon concentrated minds on timely renewals; but the company had no right to place staff at risk of prosecution.

In fact, the day of the VED disc should be over; it should be enough for plod to run the plate to check tax. Perhaps that is something for us to run past MPs - repeal of the requirement to display the VED.
Fedup
My understanding is that, yes, the offence is failing to display a valid vehicle excise licence. This is why police vehicles all have a disc yet there is no duty payable on them.

In theory if you went to the Post Office, bought a tax disc but did not display it on the journey home, you could even be reported then.

However I would think that you should be able to argue a case.

Furthermore, unless its changed recently, the police are only a reporting mechanism for this offence. They do NOT (or never used to) prosecute - that is for the DVLA. I am not aware that this is endorseable either. (again, unless it's changed recently.

Police never used to bother reporting tax discs less than two or three months out of date as DVLA used to prioritise on more severe cases. However in your case as there was no disc, I guess this was the reason.

I agree your MP should call for the system to be changed. Once you have paid your money, you should have full rights as though you already have the disc.
fnarfnar
I know that a lot of people who ride motorbikes (myself included) either don't display one at all, or display a colour photocopy. At the moment mine is 6 months out of date (the one on the bike), but has a note over it saying "Original with rider" and my mobile number in there. I've had them nicked before now, and it's a pain in the arse getting them replaced.

I've been stopped before now and this has been fine once I've explained why I'm doing it. YMMV.

Fnarfnar
avonne
QUOTE (fnarfnar @ Tue, 25 Apr 2006 - 19:42) *
I know that a lot of people who ride motorbikes (myself included) either don't display one at all, or display a colour photocopy. At the moment mine is 6 months out of date (the one on the bike), but has a note over it saying "Original with rider" and my mobile number in there. I've had them nicked before now, and it's a pain in the arse getting them replaced.

I've been stopped before now and this has been fine once I've explained why I'm doing it. YMMV.

Fnarfnar

Likewise, it's exactly what I do.
g_attrill
I *believe* that only the DVLA themselves will prosecute for the offence of failing to display, and from reading on police forums they say it is pointless to send the forms for one bougth online the previous day because it will will go into the bin at the DVLA as a pointless exercise.

Here is the policy copied from a Devon & Cornwall document:
QUOTE
4.6 Persistent Offenders Not Exhibiting Their Excise Licence (Cle2/6 Nefp)

4.6.1 Where the Vehicle Excise Licence (VEL) is in the vehicle but not displayed a verbal warning should be carried out. In the case of persistent offenders a Non-Endorsable Fixed Penalty Notice (NEFPN) should be issued. (Offence code VE10) The DVLA policy defines persistent offenders as those that are subject of two or more current reports/cases upon which the case is referred to Magistrates Courts bypassing the option to settle by paying outstanding back tax.

4.6.2 Where there is no VEL in the vehicle and a PNC marker shows that it has expired, a NEFPN and CLE2/8 combined form should be issued (Offence code VE10).

4.6.3 The CLE2/8 should only be issued when a drivers/keepers details have been verified.

4.6.4 Parked unattended vehicles can be dealt with by NEFPN and CLE2/8 only where the offender is known and verified, otherwise the CLE2/8 should be used in accordance with above.


IMO if you have the time, then I bet you 50p the fine in court will be less than £60 and the mag's will regard it as pure lunacy, even if it gets to court that is, my bet is the DVLA will drop it as soon as they see it.

Gareth
patdavies
QUOTE (g_attrill @ Wed, 26 Apr 2006 - 02:40) *
IMO if you have the time, then I bet you 50p the fine in court will be less than £60 and the mag's will regard it as pure lunacy, even if it gets to court that is, my bet is the DVLA will drop it as soon as they see it.

Gareth


I don't think the DVLA will have any say, as an FPN has already been issued. That means pay up or elect to go to court.
Bluedart
QUOTE (patdavies @ Wed, 26 Apr 2006 - 07:42) *
QUOTE (g_attrill @ Wed, 26 Apr 2006 - 02:40) *


IMO if you have the time, then I bet you 50p the fine in court will be less than £60 and the mag's will regard it as pure lunacy, even if it gets to court that is, my bet is the DVLA will drop it as soon as they see it.

Gareth


I don't think the DVLA will have any say, as an FPN has already been issued. That means pay up or elect to go to court.


If no tax disc is displayed, then would the police (presuming the police stopped you and not civilians masquerading as the police huh.gif ) contact the DVLA to confirm whether the vehicle had a valid paid vehicle tax. If they contacted the DVLA, it would be very interesting to know what feed back they received. They can only do you for not displaying the disc and I am not sure whether that carries bonus points. Best thing is to challenge the fpn with mitigating circumstances.
smokey
Pat Davies is correct here, it is a criminal matter and not one for the DVLA, it would of only been of interest to the DVLA if the vehicle was not taxed at the time but as it was taxed they have washed there hands of it and told me to take it up with the relevant constabulary.

I spoke to the mrs last night and she said that the police did infact try to find out if the vehicle was taxed at the time but as we had purchased it 23 hours previous, the DVLA's/police system had not updated and came back as the vehicle was not taxed..............In this day and age, how does it not update all systems instantly?

How the hell can the EA get it spot on and yet the DVLA cannot? I purchased my fishing rod license online 4 weeks ago, and in my confirmation email I received a reference number that I was told to make note of this number and show it to the bailiff if approached so he can check it against there records.
I was asked to produce my rod license by a bailiff one afternoon before I received my license in the post, I proceded to give him this reference number which I had written on a scrap piece of paper and he made the relevant call on his mobile to his head office.........The outcome.....Have a great days fishing sir and off he toddles to the next swim!

I know it technically has nothing to do with the DVLA but how much grief is it for them to add 1 more line to there confirmation email?

It states at the bottom of the said email that if you have not received your tax disc within 5 days to contact them, it should[u] then go on to say 'Untill you have received your tax disc you cannot drive your vehicle on any public highway if your car has previously been SORN'd or your tax has expired'

Are we as law obiding citizens supposed to know every single english law?

If I take a shit and wipe with my left hand what are the chance of me being arrested? because I didnt know it was the law to wipe with my right hand? I know ignorance (if you can say the mrs was ignorant) is no defence but surely a little common sense is required here.

Thanks for your replies guys and I hope to get a few more of your views on this matter
Bluedart
Smokey, I note your comments. Alright, you have made what those in authority call a technical error and those in authority pat themselves on the back and make excuses for technical errors, but our errors are punishable, (unfair).
I think your experience should be made known to others. For what it is worth, I have had some good feedback from Chris Grayling (Shadow Transport Secretary) http://www.chrisgrayling.net/
I think it is worth letting him know of your predicament, he may offer some good advice.
g_attrill
QUOTE (smokey @ Wed, 26 Apr 2006 - 11:31) *
Pat Davies is correct here, it is a criminal matter and not one for the DVLA


Yes but as far as I know, the CPS is not involved with prosecution for excise offences it is the DVLA who prosecute and it is their decision whether to proceed.

Gareth
Pheasant Plucker
Smokey,

My advice would be to fight the FPN. Yes you are technically in breach of the law - for failing to display, but the law was enacted prior to the invention of e-Government. Deployment of e-Government has been a major policy for five or six years and the introduction of the DVLA capability to allow you to tax a vehicle on line is a major step in the Government's agenda of using new channels to deliver services to the public.

I have converted to pdf format the key pages from the DVLA website and attached them to this post.

Click to view attachment Click to view attachment Click to view attachment

As far as I can see there is no warning that you cannot use you vehicle until the paper tax disc arrives - this is either a major oversight by DVLA, OR reflects actual policy (as promoted in their TV advertising campaign) that tax compliance is being monitored via their database rather than physically looking at vehicles.

IMHO you should write to the Cambridgeshire CC objecting to the FPN, you may wish to attach copies of the website pages and point out that there is no warning regarding the risk of prosecution for using the new service and then driving the vehicle prior to arrival of the tax disc. Suggest that you copy your letter to your local MP and point out that the Government is keen to encourage the use of online services and as such needs to police VED in a manner which does not unfairly peanilse those using the inline service compared to thise members of the public who apply in person at a Post Office.
Bluedart
QUOTE (Pheasant Plucker @ Wed, 26 Apr 2006 - 12:55) *
Smokey,

My advice would be to fight the FPN.

IMHO you should write to the Cambridgeshire CC objecting to the FPN, you may wish to attach copies of the website pages and point out that there is no warning regarding the risk of prosecution for using the new service and then driving the vehicle prior to arrival of the tax disc. Suggest that you copy your letter to your local MP and point out that the Government is keen to encourage the use of online services and as such needs to police VED in a manner which does not unfairly peanilse those using the inline service compared to thise members of the public who apply in person at a Post Office.

My sentiments exactly! But we also have to remember one thing, "Ignorance of the law............................" is no defence. It is used as an excuse by the other side.
Pheasant Plucker
QUOTE (Bluedart @ Wed, 26 Apr 2006 - 13:10) *
QUOTE (Pheasant Plucker @ Wed, 26 Apr 2006 - 12:55) *

Smokey,

My advice would be to fight the FPN.

IMHO you should write to the Cambridgeshire CC objecting to the FPN, you may wish to attach copies of the website pages and point out that there is no warning regarding the risk of prosecution for using the new service and then driving the vehicle prior to arrival of the tax disc. Suggest that you copy your letter to your local MP and point out that the Government is keen to encourage the use of online services and as such needs to police VED in a manner which does not unfairly peanilse those using the inline service compared to thise members of the public who apply in person at a Post Office.

My sentiments exactly! But we also have to remember one thing, "Ignorance of the law............................" is no defence. It is used as an excuse by the other side.


Yes I understand the ignorance point, but this is not about ignorance it is an issue with about a new e-process. The issue with this FPN is that smokey has legitimately used a new Government service which is designed to improve the VED collection process (by reducing costs and potentially increasing compliance) - this process is apparently badly flawed - if it is illegal to use the vehicle in the circumstances described by smokey then online process should clearly give the user this warning and there should be prominent notices on the website to that effect.

The "man in the street" is not a lawyer and may legitimately think that purchasing the VED through the website then placing the tax disc in the vehicle is all that is required - particularly given the recent TV advertising campaign. unsure.gif Unfortunately a users are effectively entrapped by this website if they are not aware that driving the vehicle prior to receiving the paper tax disc is illegal. icon_hang.gif
Bluedart
I can see most arguments, but the law does not get into arguments, it is or it isn't.

The Police are quite likely to prosecute you if your vehicle is on the public highway and not displaying a current tax disc. "It's in the post" or any other excuse, may not always work. [color=#FF0000]But you need to try it

You see, the DVLA are talking about their rules that relate to the purchase of a disc, whereas the Police are talking about the laws that relate to the use of a vehicle.

In what circumstances do I have to display a tax disc?
Tax discs
Date created: 25/04/2006

Any 'mechanically propelled' vehicle when used or kept on a public road must display a valid vehicle excise disc - more commonly called ' a tax disc'.

So we are talking about two different authorities, one to give you the means and the other to put the boot in.
patdavies
QUOTE (smokey @ Wed, 26 Apr 2006 - 11:31) *
I spoke to the mrs last night and she said that the police did infact try to find out if the vehicle was taxed at the time but as we had purchased it 23 hours previous, the DVLA's/police system had not updated and came back as the vehicle was not taxed..............In this day and age, how does it not update all systems instantly?

How the hell can the EA get it spot on and yet the DVLA cannot?


The DVLA's systems would have been spot on. However, the police do not interrogate this; they use the PCN. This is not updated in real-time.


QUOTE (g_atrill)
Yes but as far as I know, the CPS is not involved with prosecution for excise offences it is the DVLA who prosecute and it is their decision whether to proceed.


But this isn't an excise offence - it's failure to display
blademansw
Its this sort of crap that really winds me up. If the DVLA do not warn you its illegal to drive the vehicle, even when you have paid gordon his slice electronically, then the police should not be able to prosecute.

I would write to the following:
The CC
Copy to you local MP
Copy to Alistair Darling
Copy to local press
Copy to Watchdog / Motoring Press

Open up the biggest can of worms that you can.

Another thought - perhaps you could ask Trading Standards for advice - at the end of the day although this is a government agency they are "selling" you the right to drive your vehicle on the road. See what they say
g_attrill
QUOTE (patdavies @ Wed, 26 Apr 2006 - 23:24) *
QUOTE (g_atrill)


Yes but as far as I know, the CPS is not involved with prosecution for excise offences it is the DVLA who prosecute and it is their decision whether to proceed.


But this isn't an excise offence - it's failure to display


Which is an excise offence, as far as I can see:

Vehicle Excise and Registration Act 1994 (c. 22)
http://www.opsi.gov.uk/ACTS/acts1994/Ukpga...en_4.htm#mdiv33
QUOTE
Not exhibiting licence.

33.—(1) A person is guilty of an offence if—

( a ) he uses, or keeps, on a public road a vehicle in respect of which vehicle excise duty is chargeable, and

( b ) there is not fixed to and exhibited on the vehicle in the manner prescribed by regulations made by the Secretary of State a licence for, or in respect of, the vehicle which is for the time being in force.

(2) A person guilty of an offence under subsection (1) is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 1 on the standard scale.
Pheasant Plucker
QUOTE (g_attrill @ Thu, 27 Apr 2006 - 01:44) *
QUOTE (patdavies @ Wed, 26 Apr 2006 - 23:24) *

QUOTE (g_atrill)


Yes but as far as I know, the CPS is not involved with prosecution for excise offences it is the DVLA who prosecute and it is their decision whether to proceed.


But this isn't an excise offence - it's failure to display


Which is an excise offence, as far as I can see:

Vehicle Excise and Registration Act 1994 (c. 22)
http://www.opsi.gov.uk/ACTS/acts1994/Ukpga...en_4.htm#mdiv33
QUOTE
Not exhibiting licence.

33.—(1) A person is guilty of an offence if—

( a ) he uses, or keeps, on a public road a vehicle in respect of which vehicle excise duty is chargeable, and

( b ) there is not fixed to and exhibited on the vehicle in the manner prescribed by regulations made by the Secretary of State a licence for, or in respect of, the vehicle which is for the time being in force.

(2) A person guilty of an offence under subsection (1) is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 1 on the standard scale.



This is a big cock-up by DfT/DVLA - when the Government rolls out e-Government initiatives it is supposd to make the necessary changes to primary legislation to enable the use of the new service channel. Clearly they should have modified the Vehicle Excise and Registration Act (1994) to enable the use of the web for VED payments OR made it explicit on their website as to the legal consequences and constraints of using this new service.
Bluedart
Pheasant Plucker wrote:[edit by mod - we all know how the tongue twister ends, I've changed the spelling back to the original]

QUOTE
This is a big cock-up by DfT/DVLA - when the Government rolls out e-Government initiatives it is supposd to make the necessary changes to primary legislation to enable the use of the new service channel. Clearly they should have modified the Vehicle Excise and Registration Act (1994) to enable the use of the web for VED payments OR made it explicit on their website as to the legal consequences and constraints of using this new service.


Of course it is a cock-up, that is why there is a need for it to be challenged, whether at the Police Station or the Courts. And don't forget, if it does end up in court, (which I would hope if all else fails) then there would be a BIG question of Costs icon_hang.gif to the defendant laugh.gif Don't let the bastards grind us down.
smokey
Thanks for a lot of top advice, we shall be penning a letter to every man and his dog over the weekend to see what sort of reation we get.

It has been interesting reading some of your views on this matter and I will keep you up to date on what we propose to do.
I am reluctant to pay the fine and to take this to court.....What are the court costs likely to be? I just need to know whether I need to start saving and put the house on the market wink.gif

Thanks once again for all your support

Smokey
Bluedart
QUOTE
QUOTE (smokey @ Thu, 27 Apr 2006 - 23:07) *
Thanks for a lot of top advice, we shall be penning a letter to every man and his dog over the weekend to see what sort of reation we get.

It has been interesting reading some of your views on this matter and I will keep you up to date on what we propose to do.
I am reluctant to pay the fine and to take this to court.....What are the court costs likely to be? I just need to know whether I need to start saving and put the house on the market wink.gif

Thanks once again for all your support

Smokey


I am reluctant to pay the fine and to take this to court.....What are the court costs likely to be? I just need to know whether I need to start saving and put the house on the market

I don't think they have got that silly just yet, you may have to put your bread bin on the market to cover a few phone calls, it does not cost anything to state your case.
but if you win, another success story. if you lose, then I do not think any more than the original con offer.
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