The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) will now be returning original driving licences (with an invalidating hole punched through the photo) to motorcyclists who request a replacement licence. But not automatically.
You have to request that your old licence is returned.The new procedure has been introduced because a number of motorcyclists had been issued with replacement licences (after moving house or applying for a photo licence) that had ‘lost’ their motorcycle entitlement resulting in them having to retake their bike test simply because they were unable to prove they’d previously held entitlements.
In one case highlighted on the BBC’s Watchdog programme, a long-serving police motorcycle mechanic found that he’d had his entitlement for a category A motorcycle licence removed.
Despite having held a licence for 28 years and written support from his police superiors, he still had to take a new driving test. The decision to return the defaced original licence follows months of lobbying by the BMF and others over the issuing of replacement driving licences to motorcyclists applying for a replacement licence due to change of address, loss, renewal etc, who have then found that their replacement licence has not included the all-important ‘Category A’ motorcycle entitlement.
Previously photocopies or other written evidence of entitlements were unacceptable to the DVLA, but the BMF’s solution, similar to passport renewal, provides proof of entitlement.