Friday, October 01, 2010

Red Tape at its Finest - The DVLA

I'm feeling a lot of anger towards the DVLA today. DVLA stands for Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency. They are the people who issue UK driver licenses. And they are useless.

I'm finally changing my Canadian license to a UK one. This should have been done a few years ago according to my insurance and they are a bit ticked off it wasn't done before. Ticked off enough to strike me off our car insurance policy until it's changed. So no driving for me until this is all done.

Okay, no big deal, just send in all my paperwork and my Canadian license and my passport. Within 15 working days, I should get my new license back. Of course, there will be the problem that the DVLA say that Canadian licenses don't specify if I can drive a manual transmission, so it will likely say that I'm only allowed to drive an automatic. Never mind the fact that Albertan licenses DO in fact have a classification for people who can only drive an automatic on them, that doesn't count according to the DVLA. I don't know what they want - to have sat with me when I did my test in a tiny manual hatchback that wintery afternoon of 1987? Of course neither of our cars is automatic, just like 84% of the cars on the road in the UK.

So I go and spend loads of money on sending all the documents special delivery and also enclose another prepaid special delivery envelope to get my passport back in (as they send that before the license is ready). This week there was a special delivery for me but I wasn't in to get it. I figured it was my passport but it had to wait until G was back from his business trip so he could chauffeur me over to the main post office in Maidenhead to pick it up.

I went to pick it up today and see that it wasn't just my passport, it was ALL of my documents. Apparently, I forgot to tick one box. The box that asks if I need corrective lenses to read a number plate (license plate) from 20.5 metres away. I left that blank for two reasons. One, on the form, it says if you already have a license, don't bother to fill that out. Their own form says to leave it blank! Two, if they had bothered to look at my Canadian license, they would see that I do have that classification requiring corrective lenses. But noooooooooo, that might mean they would also see that I'm not limited to the classification of driving only an automatic!

What really gets on my nerves, is they ask you for your phone number and email in case there are any "problems" with your paperwork. If this was not a case for contacting me, I don't know what would be?!?!

I am so steaming about this. So bloody blinkered and useless to be unable to contact me to ask me. Instead send it all the way back to me so I can once again pay loads of money to send it to you registered mail and be even longer without the ability to drive safely insured. Twats. Twatty twatty twattery to top all twattery.

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