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vic2013
Hi,
I’m looking for advice and opinions in a rather unusual case of an MS90 (failure to advise the driver of a vehicle) conviction two years ago.

I will do my best to be succinct, but there are a number of strange anomalies surrounding this case, which makes matters a bit complicated. So please bear with me whilst I unfold the events:

I am a taxi driver. I drive around 40,000 miles a year (four times the national average) and I have never had more than 3 points on my licence in any three year period. In fact, during 2012 I believed I had a clean licence.

In January this year, I was caught speeding at 1.30 in the morning, by a policeman with a speed gun, at the bottom of a hill which runs past the local park. I was also breathalysed (negative). Until now, I’ve never seen a speed check in the town after around 11 at night (but that’s another story). I paid the fine, sent my licence to the DVLA and received it back with THREE points on it.

Every three years I have to renew my taxi licence and this happened last month. As part of the renewal process, I had to pay for a CRB check and a DVLA check. So, you can imagine my shock when I got a call, last Friday, to visit the licencing office, where I was informed that, although my driving licence only showed three points, the DVLA check showed that I had accrued NINE points; the extra six points being from an MS90 conviction almost two years ago (which I know nothing about).

However, something did happen at the end of May 2011.

I was apparently caught speeding (35mph) out of a local village, by a mobile camera. I was driving a company minibus at the time, so the NIP went to my employer. They returned the form with my name and current address, as the driver. Subsequently, I received a NIP at my current address, which I returned confirming that, I was the driver of the vehicle. I waited a few weeks for the SP30 notice, which then turned into months, but I received nothing. As there was no reason why I should chase up the local police, I put it down to sheer luck that, due to some administrative error, I had got away with it. That is, until now, two years later.

As I said, there are some anomalies. First: Since March 2011, I have been building a house, which I moved into last week. During this time, I have lived on site, but I had not informed the DVLA that, I was no longer at the address shown on my licence. I had always regarded the site address as temporary. So as the police only ever had my site address, which was given correctly by my employer and, as there was no other communication at all, how did the police link up my name (which I admit, is unusual) with the DVLA details at my previous address, to register this conviction and the six points. They had no licence details and the V5 was in the taxi company name. So ALL they had was my name and my site address. They must have made an assumption that I was the same guy at both addresses! But what if my name had been John Smith? Can they do that?

Second anomaly: Assuming my returned NIP did not get processed, the police must have sent out a reminder or court summons. Again, they knew my current address as they sent the NIP here. They were never advised of any other address for me. But I received nothing, no summons, no conviction notice, no forms advising me how to pay my fine (apparently £625) and, most surprising of all, no bailiff has called here in the last two years. I happen to know that, my local court employs bailiffs to collect court fines older than three months. The only other possibility that I can think of, is that, they checked with the DVLA and found only one name matching mine, so sent everything to the address the DVLA had.

Third anomaly: When I got three points earlier this year, why didn’t the DVLA update my licence with the MS90 details?

I know the most common excuse in these matters, is to say that, “I never received the summons guv” But as driving is my living, I know that these serious matters left unattended can mushroom into something nasty and could lead to a loss of my licence and no job! So I DO keep on top of these things. I did everything correctly.

Finally, what are my options? I could say nothing, ‘let sleeping dogs lie’, but I would be living dangerously for the next year; the next smallest offence could mean a ban! Can I appeal after two years, although, if I do, I run the risk that I wake up the authorities to the unpaid fine and the long unadvised change of address on my driving licence. It’s a real dilemma.

Sorry for the length of this post. But hopefully, you found it interesting and may have some practical suggestions.
Gan
If you do nothing, the bailiffs will eventually find you to pay the fine plus their costs

DVLA will probably revoke your licence for not returning it to have the points added
Your insurance will also be invalid for not disclosing the points

Your only option is to make a statutory declaration (and quickly) that you knew nothing about the conviction

The CPS may or may not decide to prosecute it again.

It appears that your reply to the SP30 notice wasn't received.
Is there any evidence that you sent it - for example a copy or somebody remembering you posting it ?
Ms Demeanor
First rule - don't expect anyone to think in a joined up kind of way..

You gave the information therefore you have a defence. You don't have to prove service. You simply have to cast a reasonable doubt on the prosecution suggestion that you did not give the information.

You did not know about the court proceedings therefore you can make a statutory declaration. You have to make this within 21 days of finding our about the fact that you have been convicted. I often make an application for the case to be reopened under s.142 MCA and if this works you don't have to go to court - but strictly speaking the courts are moving away from this approach in the "I did not know about the summons" cases..

A stat dec will set aside the conviction, but the prosecution will normally reissue the original summons. You will then have a defence based on the giving of the information. The CPS should not reissue the sdummons for the original matter as they are outside of the limitation period so if handled with care you should not end up with any points.
vic2013
QUOTE (Gan @ Mon, 13 May 2013 - 15:14) *
If you do nothing, the bailiffs will eventually find you to pay the fine plus their costs

DVLA will probably revoke your licence for not returning it to have the points added
Your insurance will also be invalid for not disclosing the points

Your only option is to make a statutory declaration (and quickly) that you knew nothing about the conviction

The CPS may or may not decide to prosecute it again.

It appears that your reply to the SP30 notice wasn't received.
Is there any evidence that you sent it - for example a copy or somebody remembering you posting it ?

Not too worried about the bailiff. I'm not anonymous and only round the corner from my DVLA address. A couple of minutes on line is all they need to find me. So, after two years without a word, it looks unlikely.

I sent my licence to the DVLA in January and got my 3 point endorsement. They cannot argue that, I've never send it in.

Difficult one about the insurance. Can't see how insurance can be invalid if I've never been summoned and only have three points on my licence which the DVLA has endorsed and returned since this "conviction"

I will take your advice and that of Ms Demeanor to make the declaration, as I believe there is enough circumstantial evidence of not receiving anything, plus no court bailiff calling. The fact that I'm already two thirds of the way through the life of this endorsement, (with nothing pending) should help them to believe that this has all come as a total surprise.
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