DVLA Historic Vehicle Event
23rd September 2015 at the Richard Ley Development Centre, Swansea
DVLA staff in attendance – John Vale (Vehicle Registration Policy)
Julie Riseley (Vehicle Service Design)
Nicola Roberts, Donna Kennett, Karen Wing
Beverly Morgans, Lee Davies, Alison Williams
Sian James, Cara Richards, Leanne Chivers
FBHVC attendees – Bob Owen (Legislation Director)
Ian Edmunds (DVLA Liaison)
Rosy Pugh (Secretary)
The DVLA held an open day to meet and exchange views with historic vehicle clubs. Over 70 historic vehicle clubs were invited of which all bar 7 attended. Although FBHVC has regular face to face meetings with DVLA on behalf of its member clubs this meeting, as did a previous event, gave clubs the chance to air their views and DVLA an opportunity to hear the issues that most effect historic vehicle owners.
The DVLA Head of Policy, John Vale opened the meeting with a general introduction. He stressed that many of the issues currently being experienced had arisen following the closure of regional offices and the centralisation of services at Swansea. He explained that this had not led to any change in policy but that increased consistency in the application and interpretation of the existing rules may have led to a perception of change in some cases. In relation to the recent cases of letters being sent to owners requesting verification of their entitlement to age related registrations, Mr Vale emphasised that these requests would only be made where DVLA had good reason to doubt the veracity of information provided.
Julie Riseley of DVLA explained that DVLA had redesigned their entire internal process on the registration of historic vehicles and that what they would be explaining were the redesigned processes now being applied.
With regard to the conduct of the day, Mr Vale said that they had examined the questions provided by the invited clubs prior to the meeting and had accordingly split the audience into three break out groups to discuss three of the top issues.Group 1 considered the V765 process and late conversions, Group 2 considered reconstructed classics and Group 3 considered dating certificates.
In all these areas due to their complexity there is considerable scope for interpretation and these sessions gave the clubs a unique opportunity to gain clarifications on detailed interpretations going forward. We will not go into a listing of these here other than to say that this opportunity was welcomed by the clubs and served to offer a degree of reassurance after the many issues that had arisen following the closures of the regional offices.
Notwithstanding this, FBHVC is very aware that despite the number of issues clarified there remain a great many outstanding and indeed only time will tell how well this works in practice. The Federation will continue to monitor the situation, represent the interests of its members and make such representations at regular face to face meetings with DVLA. DVLA made it clear at this meeting that it was impossible to provide specialists on its enquiry line and that historic vehicle owners would only have recourse to their general enquiries line. Appeal to FBHVC therefore remains the most effective way of having your case taken up by specialists directly with senior officials within DVLA.
We need to emphasise that in the view of the Federation some of these issues, which may affect a fairly small number of vehicles, are nevertheless fundamental, and that in our view, while DVLA may have explained their position on them, they did not establish their justification. We will be continuing to work on these issues.
We therefore urge all clubs and affiliates to advise us of any issues that arise in their dealings with DVLA.