Help - Search - Members - Calendar
Full Version: Tax Exempt & Garaged But received failure to insure?
FightBack Forums > Queries > Speeding and other Criminal Offences
Morriskin
Hello, I recently received a notification of being uninsured on my classic tax exempt scooter from the askMID. So I went on to the DVLA tax refund website and declared SORN. (or so I thought) As requested/ask to do by the letter from the MID.

Although my scooter is tax exempt I still have to apply for a tax disk. The tax disk was valid and so I had to apply for a refund (or not in the case of an historic vehicle) In completing this process you must make a declaration of SORN at the same time which I did.

After completing this and sending off the refund sheet which is pointless because its tax exempt I now find that I have received a demand for a £100. Or £50 as long as I pay before a certain date for not being insured.

My scooter is garaged and has been for six months whilst it has been un-insured.

I phoned the DVLA today who have said there is no 'attempt at performing SORN on line' from there records. It appears that my tax disk has gone astray as no records have been updated?

I can only think that some how the website is not linked properly and this is why it is showing no attempt??

I see know way out of this and I see a payment being made to avoid th £100 charge.

Can anyone please help??
martinbiz
If I understand correctly from what you have said, it seems that your scooter was already uninsured for some time before you were contacted and your subsequent attempt at doing an online sorn. If this is correct then the penalty will be for that previous period. Their notification was to tell you to sorn it now to comply with the law, but we are still going to nick you anyway because we want your money, ke-ching!

Can give us a more accurate time line these events?

Did you receive a confirmation email when you attempted the online sorn?
Logician
When declaring SORN online, you need to provide an email address to ensure you receive a confirmation immediately. This should be followed up by written confirmation sent snail mail. If you do not get these, then the online notification has not worked for some reason. I think you are going to have to pay the fixed penalty, which is reduced to £50 if you pay promptly. If you do not pay the fixed penalty, the next step is for the DVLA to take it to court.
Durzel
As above. I recently SORN'd a vehicle after receiving a letter about it being uninsured and I got both an email and written confirmation of the SORN having been done.
desktop_demon
If the OP had thought that SORN had been declared and had gone through the online process "correctly" then SORN has been given and the OP has fulfilled any legal responsibility. However if the OP did not complete the forms "correctly" there may be some argument that SORN was not declared "correctly". What "correctly" means is also open to interpretation.

This would not be the first time that the DVLA have "mislaid" information although in my case the SORN was "lost in the post" after being signed for by DVLA. I imagine this is not the first time a government online service has not produced "customer satisfaction" and digital forensics are often hampered by the DVLA's total lack of understanding of how their computers systems work.

If the OP feels a SORN was made but the result was "misinterpreted" by the DVLA then I would advise writing a letter back to the DVLA stating that SORN was declared but the system malfunctioned. In such circumstances the OP should not pay a fine and the DVLA should amend its records. Of course there is no guarantee that will happen but it is a good place to start. The DVLA may choose to prosecute the charge and the OP will then have to prepare a defence. If that were to happen the nthe OP will find it very useful to write down all the details of what happened during the failed SORN and the OP may write to the internet provider to ask about retention of connection records to prove the DVLA site was accessed appropriately.

good luck.
Morriskin
Thank you for your responses.

When cashing in a tax disk within valid time periods the system prompts you to make a SORN declaration as you are effectively removing valid tax from the vehicle. It was part of the same process.

My first letter from the MID was on the 22/11/11 the letter stated that the vehicle didnt have any insurance and that I must follow the website www.direct.gov.uk/vehicletaxrefund

This is what I did as they must have seen I had valid tax but no insurance from the search they performed. My fine letter is dated 20/12/11. I must have performed the refund and sorn declaration around the start of December. There has been some delay and I put this down to my ignorance in not sorting this out sooner. However, I feel this situation would have happened even if I had followed this procedure from day one?

I have used the SORN declaration on numerous occasion over the past few years so I am aware of the letter coming to me. However, they do state this can take up to four weeks to arrive.

Logician
Continuous insurance enforcement was quite widely publicised from April onwards, so you should have been aware when your insurance ran out in June that you needed to SORN the scooter. When you got the MID letter in November and attempted to declare SORN online it was unfortunate that the system hiccuped and you did not realise that when you failed to receive an email confirming your declaration. Your problem arises from the DVLA stating they have no record of your attempt, and you having no evidence that you made one, which will make it difficult to defend the charge if you go to court. If you lose, the fine is likely to be 50% of your net weekly income, and you will have to pay costs of £60 to £85 and possibly £15 surcharge (not sure about that on DVLA prosecutions). You will have to go to court, you cannot make a NG plea by post. Although you may feel that morally you are blameless, the pragmatic thing may be to simply pay the £50 now, rather than spend the time going to court to defend a case you are frankly unlikely to win.
anwah
If you click on history in your browser you should be able to go back to when you attempted to sorn and print the details off.
The Rookie
The issue as I see it is not withstanding the failed SORN decleration, the OP was guilty of the alleged offence from Tax expiry through to November anyway.

Did you get the refund for your Tax, DVLA are well known for losing SORN declerations that are made along with postal tax refunds, they dd it to me twice and I've heard from a fair few others were this is the case.

Simon
Glacier2
QUOTE (anwah @ Sat, 31 Dec 2011 - 02:08) *
If you click on history in your browser you should be able to go back to when you attempted to sorn and print the details off.

That don't work.

QUOTE (The Rookie @ Sat, 31 Dec 2011 - 09:15) *
The issue as I see it is not withstanding the failed SORN decleration, the OP was guilty of the alleged offence from Tax expiry through to November anyway.

Did you get the refund for your Tax, DVLA are well known for losing SORN declerations that are made along with postal tax refunds, they dd it to me twice and I've heard from a fair few others were this is the case.

Simon

The scooter is tax exempt so there would be no refund due.
sgtdixie
I have noted over the last few years that the defence of the failure of an online procedure (be it insurance or VEL) is becoming quite common. What many people don't realise is that the Police can get a full record of your internet activity if the request is compliant with the relevant legislation.

I know of several cases where a driver has been told at court by the prosecution in no uncertain terms that the evidence exists to show that they are about to commit perjury and common sense has prevailed.

It is always worth bearing in mind when going down that particular route.
Morriskin
I spoke to DVLA today who have said to write down everything I have said and attach the letter. I am not sure this will get me anywhere?

However, the lady has said she has suspended the case so they can go through some microfiliming process?? on receipt of the letter. I am not worried about them tracking my internet if needs be as I did the process. Although something has gone wrong with the process through my fault or theirs?

As I said before to get a refund on tax you have to declare SORN as part of the internet process? This could be where the fault lies and maybe why they cant see any activity around SORN? The reason for not chasing this up is as the vehicle is tax exempt I am not entitled to a refund and thought the process was over and no correspondance would be sent out. If a refund was due then I would have chased this up sooner.

My ignorance perhaps stems from the fact that the vehicle was taxed and still is plus it is garaged. Perhaps I shold have been more on the ball. It looks like it is going to cost me for not!!

roythebus
This knee-jerk law has caught out more genuine people like the OP than the uninsured riff-raff it was designed to keep off the roads. I know of a number of classic vehicle owners (myself included) who have been greatly inconvenienced by this law.

I'm currently arguing that I have fire and theft insurance on a historic bus and that counts as continuous insurance. If it is used on the road, the broker issues a daily cover note for an extra premium.
NeverMind
QUOTE (Morriskin @ Wed, 4 Jan 2012 - 12:51) *
As I said before to get a refund on tax you have to declare SORN as part of the internet process?


Is that a question or a statement?

As I understand, there isn't an online process for doing this, it's just a Wizard that creates a V14 for you to print out and post. You will have had to give a reason for applying for the refund, and I believe that if you state SORN this will be automatically processed on receipt of the printed form and VED disk. There probably won't be any online record of your 'transaction'.

Was the 'Refund Sheet' you sent the one created / printed by the Online process? If not, it might not have had your SORN declaration.
Logician
QUOTE (roythebus @ Wed, 4 Jan 2012 - 13:02) *
This knee-jerk law has caught out more genuine people like the OP than the uninsured riff-raff it was designed to keep off the roads. I know of a number of classic vehicle owners (myself included) who have been greatly inconvenienced by this law.

I'm currently arguing that I have fire and theft insurance on a historic bus and that counts as continuous insurance. If it is used on the road, the broker issues a daily cover note for an extra premium.


It is hardly a knee-jerk law, it was first recommended in Prof. Greenaway's Report dated July 2004!

You can have no idea that it has caught out more genuine people than uninsured riff-raff.

The FBHVC came to the conclusion that any minimal inconvenience to historic vehicle owners was more than offset by the benefits of cutting down on uninsured driving, and their legal committee is headed by a bus enthusiast. The limited mileage cover most classic enthusiasts already carried is all that is needed to comply with the legislation.

Fire and theft insurance of course does not count as continuous insurance, third party insurance for road use is needed.
Morriskin
Hello,

Yes I went online and declared a refund as stated in the letter MID. At this time they said I needed to do something before proceedings were started. On following this procedure of a refund (Even though the vehicle is exempt) I did have to give a reason and I did give the reason of SORN. Then a form pops up for you to print and return with the tax disk.

This is what I did. However, it appears they never recieved the document or my tax disk.

I have now received a letter back confirming that I must pay the fine and that my posted sorn was not received but the SORN I have subsequently made via the site (As advised by a lady from DVLA when I started investigations) has been recognised and I am still liable for the fine.

It appears my response by letter has been mis-interpreted by the response I have been given by the DVLA. They seem to think my subsequent SORN is the one this matter is over?? I now only have a week left to pay which means I might as well just pay and put down this down to experience.

As a single Dad with not much money I can ill afford to pay. The only thing out of this sorry situation is by investigating my SORN by letter I was given additional days to pay. This has helped me out as at least this now falls inline with my pay day. I wasnt sure how I was going to pay other wise and I would have probably had to pay £100 instead of the £50 for the sake of a couple of days.
This is a "lo-fi" version of our main content. To view the full version with more information, formatting and images, please click here.
Invision Power Board © 2001-2019 Invision Power Services, Inc.