False Registration

A few weeks ago, I got a weird piece of post – a V5 registration document for a vehicle I’ve never owned, to a name I’d never heard of, but with my address on it.

Having asked around a bit (in case the person was just a cretin who put in the wrong address) it turns out that this is a semi-common scam, registering a vehicle to a different address in order to avoid parking and speeding tickets etc.

As such, some people suggest that it should be registered as SORN (Statutory Off-Road Notification) but that still connects the vehicle to the address, and leaves you open to receiving documents, fines etc.

Instead, I decided to instead return the document to DVLA, along with a cover note explaining that I didn’t know the car and didn’t know the person, and had been at current address long enough to know that the person hadn’t lived there any time in the last decade. I scanned in both documents so I’ve also got a record of it, should it be needed.

Yesterday, I got a response from DVLA, which confirms that what I did is the best thing to do. They’ve removed the connection of my address to the vehicle, although it’s still possible that some fines etc. may come to me – but in that case, to send the issuing authority a copy of the letter received, and confirm that It’s Not Mine.

So, interesting to see how things work. Hopefully I won’t get any further issues with it, but I’m as protected as possible if anything does happen.


4 Comments on “False Registration”

  1. Blue Witch says:

    I’d not heard of that one. What will they come up with next?

    Presumably though, if someone in this situation could find the car, they could ‘steal’ it and sell it as have the V5 as proof of ownership?

    At least DVLA were interested. We’ve had a series of bank statements from 2 different banks, for someone who has never lived at this address, and I doubt has any connection to the last occupants, and the banks just aren’t interested. It’s odd, because the name isn’t showing up on credit reference agencies, and the accounts are in credit. I know you shouldn’t open mail not addressed to you, but after I’d returned the first couple with an explanation scrawled on the envelopes, and still got more, I opened them and rang the customer call centres to see why they hadn’t been stopped. Total disinterest, they refused to speak to me as I couldn’t pass security as I wasn’t a customer, and the CSAs refused to transfer me to a manager because I wasn’t a customer. After that I shredded the next couple and I haven’t had any for a few months now. But that was very odd – how can you open a bank account in this day and age without proof of address/being on the electoral roll?

  2. Lyle says:

    I guess that yes, in theory one could claim the vehicle as one’s own. Obviously it’s in a different name, so I don’t know the ins and outs of it on that score.

    As for banks, yeah, I’ve had similar. Santander kept on sending me a yearly statement for someone who’s not been here, and appear to give zero sods about it. (In fairness, it’s barely worth the effort – I did the same and know the amounts involved) I did find that it got a bit more attention when I started saying “OK, but as you’re breaching this customer’s security and personal information by continuing to send the documents despite being fully aware that the address isn’t correct, I’ll report the next one straight to the ICO.”

    When it comes to proof of address etc., again in theory it’s not possible. But also most bank staff are crap and wouldn’t recognise a fudged-together “proof” if it whacked them in the face. (I mean, you know, allegedly) Now that actual printed documents are so rare, they have to accept printed versions of online documents, and therein lies a whole world of fun and shenanigans.

  3. Margo says:

    Interesting. I suppose tht it also makes it harder for the car to be seized, if they don’t have an address to start their enquiries with.
    The bank statements don’t surprise me. I’ve been here 8 years and still get statements for previous owners, I’ve more or less given up.
    For reference, it’s fine to open past as long as you aren’t doing so with intent to misuse the contents,opening it in order to contact the sender or try to identify who i’s for is absolutely fine

  4. Blue Witch says:

    I hadn’t thought about how few people now get printed copies of official statements etc in the post, so yes, it might be quite easy to fake something.

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