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Battling with officialdom

Community Veteran
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Registered: 21-03-2011

Battling with officialdom

I'm in the process of getting the DVLA to return my driving licence after it was revoked following a single (and only) blackout/seizure. No medical reason could be found and I support the concept you should not drive if you are unfit. Anyway I've been cleared by the medics and want to get back to productive work. I'm lucky I have skills and experience which international businesses will pay substantial fees. I cannot work effectively without a driving licence. If you pardon the pun - trains only go so far.
However I'm discovering the Drivers Medical Enforcement team appear to be motivated by the policy of preventing drivers from using their vehicles rather than getting fit people  back to driving. It is a policy which costs the taxpayer a lot of money. For each day I don't work it costs HMRC a minimum of £245 in lost VAT and Corporation Tax. I'm in the fortunate position I don't need to work so any fees are ploughed back into expanding my business (and providing local employment). I might add the fees arise from me exporting my skills so it is a net benefit to the country.
The DVLA is presently "saving" money by using Second Class post when it sends me letters as part of the process of returning my licence. The last letter claimed I'd not filled in a form properly, they were wrong and I sent the evidence back to them by first class post. They are making a lot of mistakes, but I won't burden you with all the detail. However they do have my email address, and could use that or even First Class Mail but they refuse to do so.
Their last Second Class letter delay has just cost the tax payer £980 in lost tax revenue. It probably saved them 30p in postage costs.
I'm not asking to be given preferential treatment over other members of the public, I just want them to start showing some intelligence in how they "save" money. Arrgh!!!!
Anyone else had a similar experience?
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27 REPLIES
Community Veteran
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Registered: 06-11-2007

Re: Battling with officialdom

Get in touch with your MP... you can do that "on line"... and give him/her the full details,... and emphasize the "savings" the DVLA are making, compared to the Revenue "loss"...
Might be worth a try.....
Community Veteran
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Re: Battling with officialdom

Quote from: shutter
Get in touch with your MP...

Thanks, already planned with a detailed timeline and document trail, I just want to see  the complete outcome before contacting MP. I don't want to give these people any wriggle room when the MP wades in.
The thing which concerns me is while I'm quite happy confronting officialdom I wonder how many other people these poor procedures and practices have screwed along the way?
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itsme
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Re: Battling with officialdom

Were you given a date before you could reapply for the licence? If so you could reapply up to 8 weeks before this.
Community Veteran
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Re: Battling with officialdom

I had contradictory advice from them on that point. At one point they said it may be longer than 6 months and on the other hand I could apply up to two months before, which would have been just before Christmas - not a good time to approach officialdom or GPs so I kicked the process off just after the New Year (3 weeks before end of period). The DVLA then sat on the application for 3 weeks before responding by second class mail saying they'd write to the Medical Consultant, but that would take 6 weeks. Small wonder if they are addicted to Second Class mail rather than email or just picking up the phone.
While the licence revocation has been inconvenient I fully understand why I had to be off the road in case the condition repeated or worsened, that's just life. Now I've been given the all clear they should now however be saying thanks for your public contribution and we'll get you back driving as quickly as possible. What I've experienced is very much treatment as though I'd committed some criminal driving offence. It is poor procedures, bad progress tracking and false economies. I also doubt if they maintain any real assessment of the actual risk of repeat events where someone with no previous history of blackouts has an isolated event with no detectable cause. No doubt they'll try to blame the GP/Consultant.
If I can force them to improve their procedures I'll be happy. I just wonder how often this type of waste occurs elsewhere.
Now Zen, but a +Net residue.
itsme
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Re: Battling with officialdom

Think yourself lucky that there's no detectable cause, if there was then you are looking at 12 months seizure free before reapplying. We had to report a colleague to her GP who was epileptic and had a seizure at work and would not voluntarily surrender her licence. 
Community Veteran
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Re: Battling with officialdom

You are absolutely right Artmo, but now I'm clear the government agency should not be prolonging the return process by inadequate processes which exacerbate the damage to the public good. I'm more concerned how other people who have had their lives damaged and the loss to the HMRC coffers by this negligent administrative .incompetence.
Now Zen, but a +Net residue.
Community Veteran
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Re: Battling with officialdom

Undecided AA i think your last post should have referred to someone else. I've not contributed to this thread.
Community Veteran
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Re: Battling with officialdom

Well you have now  Smiley
Note to self Must get some new glims  (spectacles)
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TimeRider
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Re: Battling with officialdom

I've also found the DVLA to be extremely incomepetent. Perhaps once you get this sorted, apply to them for 'loss of earnings' during the time they messed you around. If more people did this, perhaps they'd employ people who can think and do their job effectively.
Steve
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Re: Battling with officialdom

I wonder how many in a similar situation would decide to drive without a licence?
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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Re: Battling with officialdom

The trouble is: no license = no insurance.  I'm sure some will / do take the risk though.
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Community Veteran
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Registered: 21-03-2011

Re: Battling with officialdom

Quote from: TimeRider
... get this sorted, apply to them for 'loss of earnings' during the time they messed you around. ..

In their first letter where they demanded the licence return they suggested I might be able to claim Job Seekers Allowance  (No - as I'm self employed) and then assistance with free local bus travel!
Their whole vision  of work is a 9 - 5 job sitting at a desk for an employer. A total disconnect in their understanding of what it is like to get out of bed at 5am to visit clients/prospects and sell your services returning home/hotel at 8pm. Unfortunately a car is essential. If the DVLA were really keen they'd be using phone and email and proactive reminders to get me back in harness. Using Second Class mail is stupid. I had a letter a couple of days ago telling me they were contacting my medical consultant to see if I was clear - unfortunately it's the wrong medic. More delays where if the DVLA actually read the information I'd given them  they could avoid delays
I'll be making sure the MP understands the consequential costs. In this case the management consultancy I was doing for Swiss clients was taken over by a consultancy outside of the UK & EU because I could not effectively travel. I tried working just via video conference (via PlusNet) but it created too many problems of a business nature. A lot of money not coming to the UK. I'd planned to use it to create extra jobs and training for local people.
Now Zen, but a +Net residue.
TimeRider
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Re: Battling with officialdom

Sadly this is reflected in many public establishments these days - They truly don't have a clue, nor any regard for your losses, or the losses of the country as a whole. The way they seem to see it is, it's not their money, so 'so what'.
Fun thing to try (or not so much), try explaining to the DVLA on the phone that they're writing to the wrong doctor, likelyhood is they'll tell you you have to write to them - in which case, WHAT is the point of them being employed answering 0870 telephone lines? and don't get me started on the 0870 fiasco to waste your time calling them.
Lets hope your fiasco with them gets cleared up quickly - I really can't see why it can't be cleared up within 48 hours, it's not like they're 'underfunded'!
Steve
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Re: Battling with officialdom

Quote from: TimeRider
I've also found the DVLA to be extremely incompetent.

Me too http://community.plus.net/forum/index.php/topic,119218.msg1033269.html#msg1033269 ; Angry
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