Driver wins two-year battle with DVLA over his licence

A man who passed his driving test more than 40 years ago has finally won his two-year battle with the DVLA over a lost licence.

Geoff Bullingham finally got his licence back from the DVLA
Geoff Bullingham finally got his licence back from the DVLA

The DVLA claimed 62-year-old Geoff Bullingham only had a provisional licence, despite his passing the test in 1972.

Even though Mr Bullingham, from Hornsea, sent the DVLA a photocopy of the original full licence, they insisted he take another driving test.

The matter was eventually resolved after his MP Graham Stuart intervened.

The saga began after Mr Bullingham was caught doing 6mph over the 30mph speed limit at Woodmansey, near Beverley, and needed to produce his licence to go on a speed awareness course.

But because of the problem with the DVLA, the matter ended up in court where he faced the possibility of being convicted for driving without a licence.

Mr Bullingham believes he is one of thousands who lost entitlements on their licences in the early 1970s when details held on red books were put onto computers.

Mr Stuart said: “I met Geoff and could not believe the DVLA was insisting he didn’t have a licence when I was actually holding a copy of it in my hand.

“I took up the matter at Ministerial level, and after much pressure, DVLA changed its decision and is issuing Geoff with the full driving licence which he is entitled to.”

Mr Bullingham, a bricklayer-joiner, said: “I wrote letters to the DVLA for months but wasn’t getting anywhere. They kept saying I wasn’t on the database as having a full licence. I found a photocopy my (previous) employer took eight years ago, but they said that wasn’t acceptable.

“Six months after the speeding offence I had to go to court. They threw the driving without a

licence out. It could have caused all sorts of problems with insurance.

“Even though it had been thrown out of court my employer wouldn’t let me drive. They had contacted the DVLA who said they had no record of the

licence so they had to have someone drive me round. I’d worked for them for 28 years but in the end handed in my notice because it was causing so much stress.”

Mr Bullingham, who has since got a new job, added: “On Saturday I got a short letter from the DVLA saying they had amended the driving licence and they were sorry for any inconvenience. I am angry with the DVLA, but I am happy I got it back. I will be keeping it under lock and key.”

A DVLA spokeswoman said: “It is vital we protect the safety of all road users by ensuring that only people who can prove they have passed the relevant driving test are allowed to drive on our roads. Where a driver believes that the licence does not show all their entitlements we will investigate thoroughly and take any appropriate action.”