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Back in around February the alternator on my car went. MY dad was getting a new car so I used his old car whilst mine sat on the drive. It was insured so I left it as the intention was to get it fixed at some point. Ended up buying my dads old car off him. I was going to scrap/sell my car but didnt do anything for ages then it was mentioned to me about getting SORN as insurance had run out (I hadnt even thought of this!). So I got a SORN and got it backdated to early July which is around when the insurance had run out.

In September I got a "Final notice - Failure to insure" letter. The date on the letter the vehicle was uninsured was dated AFTER the backdated SORN I got. At the time this was first I'd heard of any issue so not sure how it was a "Final notice". Anyway, I filled out the form on the back sending back a copy of the SORN notification with it and thought that was that. I could have, maybe should have, written an accompanying letter explaining that this was the first I hd heard of it and tht might car has been sat on the drive for months as it doesnt work etc.

Last week my mum and dad (my car was previously registered at their address) received a letter addressed to me with a Single Justice Procedure Notice.

Few things here....
Why send me a letter in September to my address but then follow this up with a letter to the old address? My Driving License has been registered at my new address since I moved in 2 years ago. I registered my dads cr at my address straight away. Only thing I can think is when I got SORN for my old car I had to get VC5. When I did this I just put my new address on the form. It is possible that when I moved from my mum and dads although I changed my driving license I may not have changed the VC5 (not sure how to check?), regardless of that they still sent me a letter to my new address, to which I replied but then followed this up with SJP back to old address again. Its possible any letters previous to the Final notice may have been sent to my mum and dads but they always pass any post on to me. Is it possible they could have been sent to the previous address to my mum and dads as I was there less than a year?

I'm really worried about this and dont know what to do. Feel like I'm being treated like a criminal. :-( Should I return the form pleading not guilty with explanation? I haven't used the car for nearly a year. As soon as I realised it needed a SORN I did this. I replied to the final notice letter. Although I dont have a copy as the return form was on the back of the letter and I stupidly didnt take a copy - guess I didnt think I needed to as I had a letter saying the car had been SORN before the date of the offence. :-(
I didn't know SORN notifications could be back-dated.

SORN is related to V5C, not DL. So if V5C was in old address, that's the address DVLA will use.

Bottom line is was car either insured OR SORNed at all times? If not, then AFAIK, you're guilty of the offence.
The Rookie
Even if the SORN can be backdated (I don't believe it can be), prior to being applied for the car was neither SORN nor insured so the offence would appear to be complete.
Appreciate both the altho the car may have been insure for a short while (not intentionally and it wasn't being used as has been sat on my drive and can probably prove this with mileage compared to last MOT). Also what about about the final notice (to which i replied to) being sent to correct address but then subsequent SJP being sent to old address again? Odd. Also, if there was still an issue with my reply why not contact me again (at the correct address as per the final notice they sent) to clarify. How can I find out if they received my reply and what they did with it? And I received nothing prior to the final notice.

I may have been guilty of it not being insured for a while but it was an innocent mistake and one I had thought I rectified and this was before the DVLA had made me aware of an issue.

Not sure what to do or what to expect? Seems crazy that they spend all this time and resource on something that is obviously a mistake.
The Rookie
Because that mistake is still a criminal offence, it being a mistake is not a defence I'm afraid.
QUOTE (redsheep79 @ Tue, 3 Jan 2017 - 19:29) *
Not sure what to do or what to expect? Seems crazy that they spend all this time and resource on something that is obviously a mistake.

Many (most even) criminal offences are probably mistakes, doesn't help with a defence.
I wasn't saying it was a defence, was just saying. Appreciate the replies but is there any advice on how i should respond and what to expect?
The Rookie
Maximum fine is £1000, for a first offence that is capped at £750.

It will be means based but I can't find the offence in the sentencing guidelines but if I had to guess (and its just that) I would say about 50% of your weekly income (after tax and NI) - no points though.

Obviously you'll be pleading guilty which then gives a discount of 33% off the fine but you'll have prosecution costs of £85 plus the surcharge.

The continuous insurance requirement is seen as significant in the battle against drivers driving while uninsured, so while it may seem petty to you it is there, and enforced, for a reason.
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