Vanishing Motorcycle Licence Entitlements - Not A Good Look For DVLA

Vanishing Motorcycle Licence Entitlements - Not A Good Look For DVLA

The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) has confirmed that vanishing
motorcycle licence entitlements are thankfully rare. MAG asked the DVLA
questions following recent news stories of a motorcyclist being denied a
licence for over three years thanks to a mistake they made.

The story of the three-year wait to resolve a mistake and the
compensation received by Paul Olsen was covered on a number of media
outlets in early January. Coverage appeared in MCN, VisorDown, The Sun,
and Metro. This coverage led to MAG receiving emails from concerned
riders. The need for Mr Olson to resort to the Parliamentary and Health
Ombudsman to get the case resolved is certainly not a good look for the

MAG’s Director of Campaigns & Political Engagement, Colin Brown, said:

“Unsurprisingly, losing your right to ride your motorcycle due to an
administrative error is not a situation that riders want to face.
Stories often surface of riders finding their motorcycle entitlement
left off when their licence has been renewed. We thought it was
reasonable, therefore, to contact the DVLA to establish how common a
problem this is, and what a rider should do if they find this happens to

The response from the DVLA states:

“The DVLA has a range of measures in place to ensure our records are
accurate, and mistakes are rare… Since August 2019 there have been
two cases where a driver has written in to the DVLA to lodge a complaint
about an alleged missing motorcycle entitlement. Neither complaint was

The letter also explained:

“If a driver thinks that they are missing an entitlement from their
current driving licence they will need to return their driving licence
to, ODL Casework Team, DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1ZZ. The driver will need to
include a covering letter which should contain what entitlement is
missing, when the test was passed and provide the DVLA with as much
information as possible along with any evidence they hold. We would also
advise customers to take a copy of their driving licence for their own
records before sending it in to the Agency. We will then be able to
carry out thorough investigations of the enquirer’s driver record.”

Stories such as Mr Olsen’s are not new and often crop up on online
forums. There was even an investigation carried out by the BBC’s
Watchdog programme in 2009.

In conclusion, Colin Brown said:

“I have no doubt that similar stories will periodically appear. Of
course, the rarity of these errors is what makes them newsworthy when
they do happen. We do not know why the two most recent complaints were
not upheld, and the delays in resolving the Paul Olsen case seem to have
been unnecessary. The key is to check your licence and make sure you
keep a copy of it if you ever need to send it back to the DVLA for any
reason. We are happy to hear from any riders who have been personally
affected, whether in the past or going forward. We are here to help
riders maintain their access to legal and responsible riding.”

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