Three key warnings
Protect your driving licence to minimise the risk of identity theft, get road tax or be penalised, and safeguard your car’s log book to stop its identity being swapped to a counterpart that is exploited by criminals, The Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency says.
Your driving licence contains a wealth of information. Examples include: full name, date of birth, address, place of birth, signature, entitlements and – depending when it was issued – a photograph. Criminals can use such information to steal your identity. For starters, they might then apply for a loan.
It is, therefore, important to stop unauthorised parties seeing your licence (say) online. The Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency warns: “Be careful on social media. Never share photographs of your driving licence.” Naturally, it is also important to safeguard any paperwork itself. Leave it at home when not required, for instance.
The Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency further mentions vehicle excise duty via social media (road tax). “We can always spot a vehicle that is untaxed”, it warns. Potential consequences include:
- Vehicle clamped (plus associated release fees)
- Vehicle impounded (plus associated release fees)
- Court case (plus associated legal fees)
This message has been emphasised by the recent Tax It Or Lose It Campaign. The television element opens with a shot of a quiet, residential, street. An untaxed car – that is visible but mostly transparent – is parked by the kerb. The transparency represents the keeper’s misconception that the authorities cannot see the car.
However, an enforcement van reverses towards it and the officer emerges. The scene is then interrupted by a written message and a voice over. “If you have not taxed your car we will find it. Tax it or lose it”, it says. The last shot shows the car has been clamped.
V5C log book
The V5C log book contains a wide range of information about your car and facilitates its sale. It is, therefore, reasonable that a potential buyer inspects it. However, The Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency states “do not share” too much information. Never:
- Reveal the document reference number
- Allow the potential buyer to make a copy
“Someone could use this information to get a fraudulent copy of your log book”, it stresses. Criminals might then transfer your vehicle’s identity to a stolen counterpart. Offences associated with that vehicle – both motoring and other - are then traced to your name and address. Expect a knock on your door from the police.