Thousands of motorcyclists may be on the road illegally after errors at the Government’s Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency led to documents being returned with entitlement to ride a bike removed.
In some cases this has resulted in motorcyclists, who have held a motorbike licence for years, having to retake their tests in order to get their entitlement back.
Motorcycling organisations are advising bike riders to photocopy their old licences before applying for renewals or replacements and to ensure that their new photo-identity licences contain the correct categories when returned by the DVLA.
Many riders passed their motorbike tests years ago and no longer have proof that they did so. Unless the DVLA can be convinced they have passed a test, they will be required to take a new one, even though the mistake was not of their own making.
The British Motorcyclists Federation has set up a page on its website warning of the problem. It states: "We strongly advise anyone about to send their licence to DVLA to photocopy it and any supporting documents and check immediately upon receiving a licence that it retains formerly held motorcycle entitlement."
Jeff Stone, press officer for the organisation, said: "There are 1.5 million motorcycle licence holders in the UK. We do not know the scale of the problem but we are aware that it has affected some of our members. As a result we have taken it up with the DVLA which has indicated the entitlement has been accidentally left off as the department tackled the problem of licence fraud. The DVLA has been helpful in the cases we have brought to its attention, but, at the end of the day, if a rider cannot prove he or she has passed a test, they will have to retake it."
Despite evidence to the contrary, a DVLA spokesman said there was no evidence to suggest that motorcycle entitlement was being accidentally removed.