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The DVLA has apologised to customers who have received multiple copies of car tax discs in recent weeks. We were contacted by a Reg reader who applied online for two tax discs last week. The DVLA systems do actually work on occasion, and he duly received the discs a couple of days later. But yesterday he received two more tax …

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Happy

Tis a sham

Its a shame that they will all be for the same date. Would be nice to have a free year out of the DVLA for a change.

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Got one!

I got my original tax disc about 3 weeks ago after renewing online. Was suprised to get another one in the post the day before yesterday. Was wondering what that was all about!

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Pirate

Erm...

"the erroneous discs have been cancelled"

How do you tell which is which, they are identical (my partner just got 2)? Which do you keep the first one or the second?

Pirate because well the DVLA are a bunch...

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Anonymous Coward

Ahh, honesty...

Of course, he didn't consider returning the duplicates for a refund...

Sometimes people can be too honest.

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Bronze badge

funnily enough

the DVLA appeared on watchdog the other day and actually admitted to making the occasional mistake (im sure that was only for the customers involved in the watchdog program though were all wrong)

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Bronze badge

Interesting times

This opens an opportunity for those short of a bob or two....return one for a full refund and put the other in the car.....valid tax disc and in the correct vehicle but what will poor PC Plod do when confronted by a clear contradiction in facts.....perhaps an opening for a new Playmobil scenario

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s

And this from

The goverment agency who told people over the phone that they never make mistakes...

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The latest Government cockup?

Duplicate tax discs, eh?

Makes a difference from issuing licences that expire the day before they start, removing peoples' licence entitlements, and even issuing licences with "Untied Kingdom" printed on the front instead of "United Kingdom".

Not sure what the IT angle is (unless it's their response to being told their database is wrong -- "the computer is always right") but you've just got to love the DVLA.. Or loathe them, I always get those two mixed up. :-)

(Ref: Watchdog, BBC1, 27th April and 4th May 2009)

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I got two

I hope the DVLA cancel the right one... maybe I should display both for the year.

Maybe I could get the money back on one and display the other. A bit like Jack Straw and his council tax.

Unrelated: Where's the Whacky Jacqui icon with the knife through the eye?

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Alert

Not just car tax discs

I got a duplicate for my motorbike too.

I wonder if we've had two entries in the DVLA's car prize draw too?

Bit awkward for DVLA, especially after saying on BBC's Watchdog that they don't make mistakes!

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Coat

Customers?

Why do these government departments insist on calling us customers? It grates me when HMRC do it. STOP IT NOW! Do I have a choice to take my "Customer" elsewhere?

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Anonymous Coward

Why *annual* road tax?

Now that the MOT status of a car is checked electronically and the insurance is checked electronically. Why is the car tax still done annually?

Why not 5 yearly, or 10 yearly with discounts for prepaying? Why not sell a 'lifetime' road tax for a car, pay once it is covered for it's estimated lifespan.

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Me, me, me, pick me!

I too am one of the lucky (or is that unlucky?) few who now have a duplicate tax disc. I shall await my apology letter with baited breath.

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Boffin

@ AC 9.06

'Why not 5 yearly, or 10 yearly with discounts for prepaying? Why not sell a 'lifetime' road tax for a car, pay once it is covered for it's estimated lifespan.'

DOH! If they did that how would they be able to increase the price of Car Tax year in year out.

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Stop

Watchdog

Having seen the shocking working practices at the DVLA highlighted on Watchdog this week, this comes as no surprise.

The DVLA is not fit for purpose, all they give a shit about is getting their £2.50 a pop from parking companies.

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Mat

@ Kevin Johnston

---snip---

but what will poor PC Plod do when confronted by a clear contradiction in facts??

---snip---

Probably shoot you in the face 7 times... because you are *obviously a terrorist*

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Gold badge

Re: Erm....

That's a bloody good point!

They appear to be serial numbered / barcoded. Are the serial numbers identical? If not, bin the wrong one and you could get done by a sharp-eyed Plod spotting that the number on your disc doesn't match the one on the database. I'll bet a stack of cash that this, in common with everything else to do with the Swansea Department of Theft and Extortion, would be your fault and not theirs.

As for some of the other comments here, the disc itself is an anachronism dating from the days when it was necessary to be able to tell visually that a vehicle was taxed and (or had been) insured / MOT'd. Since they have all this information via a quick electronic request (and most offenders are caught via an ANPR match with no human intervention at all, bar the arrest), it serves no purpose and could easily be replaced with a monthly / quarterly / whatever Direct Debit. But they make a lot of money from fines, so this would be a bad thing.

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Flame

Can't handle 1000 complaints

I loved the quote from the DVLA boss when he said that out of millions of transactions they only had a couple thousand complaints. If they can't even cope with fixing a tiny percentage of complaints what are they doing with their time and staff. Even a single person handling the complaints could probably get a better response time than they currently do. My wife took 7 (seven!) attempts to get our address corrected when she changed her name. I suspect that when they amend a record they re-key the whole thing in again.

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Anonymous Coward

A better way to do it ...

Surely this whole Road Tax concept is not really needed.

You could just add 1p on to the petrol to cover it and that way there would be no "crushable" untaxed cars on the road, no way to avoid paying it and those that use the road more would pay more.

An added benefit would be the substantial savings made when the DVLA streamlined its operation because of the reduced administration.

As it stands, this just seems to be an exercise in conditioning people to accept the "pay or else" logic as the norm.

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There is a reason

My last tax disk didn't arrive, so I had to phone for a replacement. I was obviously not the only one, as they're now sending out two for everyone until the numbers add up and they meet their targets.

It's a good job that we're reponsible for DVLA's mistakes!

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Anonymous Coward

@DOH

"DOH! If they did that how would they be able to increase the price of Car Tax year in year "

Ahh, but HM.gov needs money NOW and they won't be in power for a long time, so a quick change in the law, they get a whole load of revenue up front, and the bills come in to the NEXT government AFTER the money has been spent.

I don't reckon they care whether the government can get more money 5 years from now, since they won't be in cabinet and most of them won't be in Parliament even.

Joanne Lumley for PM

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I got one too - here's what to do...

I was on the ball this year, so rather than leaving it until the 29th to buy my disc, I bought it on the 8th... I've had my new tax disc for a few weeks now, then this week, an extra disc in the post. I was initially concerned that I might have been billed twice. But having checked the various details I haven't.

Therefore straight after work before the government department had a chance to close I found a number on-line and rang up.... only to be encountered with a "technical hitch with their phone system" message!! However I tried again a few minutes later and it worked ok, and the first thing they did was play me a recorded message about the whole duplicate tax disc thing - obviously a lot of people were calling up about it. I suspect the addition of that message *was* the "technical hitch"

Basically I think they ran a system process again that they shouldn't have on old data.

The FIRST disc you received is the valid one. The SECOND is apparently the one they have cancelled (I guess this is easier as they will have the whole batch printing job details to clear down). They advise destroying the second disc, that it has been cancelled, and that we haven't been charged twice.

So my first disc is in the car.... but just in case I'm hanging on to my second disc in the house... you never know! So it'll live in the cupboard with the MOT and insurance paperwork, in case of a government IT fiasco.

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Anonymous Coward

@sazoo

"in case of a government IT fiasco"

What do you mean "in case of"? They appear almost as regular as that big yellow shiny thing in the sky.

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@A better way to do it

"You could just add 1p on to the petrol to cover it and that way there would be no "crushable" untaxed cars on the road, no way to avoid paying it and those that use the road more would pay more."

Why should I be paying to repair your roads when I get some fuel for my RC car, lawnmower, backup generator or whatever other petrol/diesel fuelled device you can think of?

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Unhappy

@Steve Sherlock

"Why should I be paying to repair your roads when I get some fuel for my RC car, lawnmower, backup generator or whatever other petrol/diesel fuelled device you can think of?"

How much extra tax do you think you'll pay for using your mower or RC Car? Chances are, with the number of stealth taxes around already, you'd be paying it indirectly anyway and it isn't related to road repairs in any way, shape or form.

The road tax just ends up in that great melting pot of central funds, so there's an equal chance of your council using it to buy another JCB and dig up even more roads than ever before.

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Alien

Re @sazoo

Quote: "What do you mean "in case of"? They appear almost as regular as that big yellow shiny thing in the sky."

Am I the only one who thought "Vogon Constructor Fleet"??

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Pirate

@Steve Sherlock

You are kidding, right? You don't seriously believe that the billions "collected" from drivers really goes on the roads, do you?

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(untitled)

How long will it be then before people start getting caught on ANPR cameras for not having any tax because they're driving around with a tax disc they paid for and the DVLA kindly cancelled.

Mark my words

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@a better way to do it

For their money, the DVLA also make sure your car is MOT'd and insured,

Sam

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Stop

Mental anguish

I hope this doesn't happen to me. I'm still rebuilding my life after the station vending machine dispensed two Kit-Kats when I'd only paid for one.

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Anonymous Coward

Lucky buggers

I'm having a nightmare just trying to get one!

My renewal came through whilst I was away for 6 weeks... By the time I had come back my tax was out of date by over a month (car was parked off the road, so no worries there), went to the post office with renewal form and MOT, quite prepared to pay for April even though I wasn't using the car - Sorry Sir, this is too old now...

*Mutters*

Tried website... Renewal number not recognised/expired

*Mutters*

Tried telephone IVR system... Renewal number not recognised

*Mutters*

Finally managed to battle my way through the IVR to a human, who tells me I have to go via the website/IVR, I told her this doesn't work as my renewal was too old... I'm not sure what the person I spoke to was actually capable of. We're talking about a database here, which has my MOT, Insurance and registration information... But no. She can't do it.

I now have to go to the "Local" DVLA office (20 miles), in my car with no tax I assume, to get a bloody tax disk that is backdated enough.

I think I'll just say "Fuck it" and start it from Beginning of May instead.

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ANPR etc etc etc

1. Sending your duplicate disc back to the DVLA to get a cheeky refund will result in both discs getting cancelled and your car without tax. Nice going

2. ANPR does not read the tax disc itself, this isnt 24. it has a database of cars and their numberplates, thats what the camera reads. If you`re worried, go to the DVLA site and click "Vehicle enquiry" (the URL is stupidly long) and chuck your details in.

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@Sam Liddicott

"For their money, the DVLA also make sure your car is MOT'd and insured,"

You've got to be kidding!! ANPR easily checks all of that currently - there's no need for a 24 000 strong department to back it up.

The current MoT system isn't worth the paper it's printed on, let alone the cost. A much better idea is only having an MoT whenever you sell the vehicle. The rest of the time would be covered by the existing laws and you take your chances when/if you get pulled over with properly enforced penalties.

As for insurance, currently 1 in 20 drivers in the UK are uninsured, so the DVLA isn't really providing a good service, or somethings not working.

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Paris Hilton

@By Phil Pemberton

'Untied Kingdom'

Nope, that's right. The typo was when they issued them with United Kingdom on them.

Anyway, back to the piclist with you Pemberton, Olin didn't sign your daypass.

Paris, tied, untied, all good with me.

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IT Angle

Institutionally incompetent

Yes I received a duplicate tax disc. I haven't had the letter yet, but for the last three years when I've obtained tax discs online they invariably have the wrong make on them despite the fact that it is correct on the V5C, tax reminder and MoT certificate. I've given up trying to get them to correct it. In fact they normally record the marque of the car not the make (an MG would be registered as an MG, not a Nanjing Automotive or an Austin-Rover) so the documents need to reflect this.

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DVLA and fitness to drive

OK, so the DVLA make mistakes, and folk post their bad experiences here.

however

IF you need a medical to drive an HGV if your over 70 yrs, and theres a doubt about your fitness to drive ,

The DVLA have a very competent medical dept, that takes all the facts, and listens to what you have to say. As well as the speciallists reports to them , I also wrote at length to them.

.i went throught that mill last year, all the cardiac speciallists covered their asses and said your not fit to drive.

I disagreed with them all and said so. they didnt like that, so i took it up with the DVLA and surprise surprise!!

A letter came just before christmas last year to say I met ALL their medical requirements!!.

Mind you, you need to be the sort of peron who doesnttake no for an answer.

they were very good. Even my GP was surprised at their response.

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My computer won't play the disc...

Ah, you cheeky Brits. Here, I was trying to figure out what, exactly, you're supposed to do with these tax CD-ROMs; this is an IT site, and you are talking about discs, after all. It took me about five or six comments to realize you're talkin about what we refer to as "tabs" or "registration stickers" in the colonies^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H States.

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Stop

Ah - a favourite and topical topic for sure for sure

I won't go into the details but I'd be happy with the one road tax disk and as for joined up governance the proverbial biscuit has been taken, gobbled and taken again.

It all revolves, in my case, around the vehicle taxation class and the impossibilities of upholding and keeping law of the land due to a lack of jointedness in joined up governance.

Untied Kingdom? U gorrit m8!

It also appears that their email servers -a big awe now (or should that be aw?) - are not working right (did they ever?)

Maybe they should have got googlemail are corporate rates to help avoid inhouse tweaking and twiddling?

ps - if anyone wants to sell one of those duplicates ...

pps - did the duplications start on 1st April by any chance?

ppps - only kidding about the ps above

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Coat

Yup, same here...

Got the renewal letter, did it online before I had a chance to forget/lose it, and it arrived sharpish.

Then, t'other day, a second. Odd, thinks I. I'm sure I remember receiving that. Hiho. Must have been mistaken. So - out I go to put it in the windscreen. Nope, already one there valid for another 11.75 months. <scratch head>

I didn't check the barcodes to see if they were identical, but the issue dates certainly were - almost a month ago in the case of the one that arrived this week.

The apology letter arrived this morning..

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Heart

antediluvian

Still grubbing along with yet another tax in Blighty?! Live in France and never have to bother again - tax discs were abolished more than 5 years ago.

And, btw, do you still have to go to the Post Office to pay for the TV licence? That's old hat too. Here it's part of the Rates equivalent, so you're billed automatically and pay by post, or online.

Oh and let me gloat a little more - yes, France has basic ID cards, but they are FREE!

And France has a Bill of Rights _and_ no socialist government - teehee.

Salut.

How I lurve La belle France

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@antediluvian by AC

You make it sound great.

But just one question remains before I move there.

Please can you confirm whether or not all of the French have moved out?

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Anonymous Coward

@antediluvian

That's all true but you have to put up with having the French as neighbours, colleagues, etc.

So on balance, you lose :-)

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Stop

Road Tax disc

It still baffles me why we all have to live with the wonderful thing that is the road tax disc - assume because we have always done so is a reasonable excuse for waste of our money (just think about the whole processing and sending out of the disc)

Maybe we should encourage local councils to do likewise - what a nice addition it would make to have a display of council tax discs outside the house!

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