Driver given six points for London offence - though he hasn't been there for years

Emma Woollacott
Mr Farthing with his letter from the DVLA.
Mr Farthing with his letter from the DVLA.

A Colchester pensioner is struggling to clear his name after being given six points on his driving licence because DVLA officials confused him with another man.

Alan Farthing, 73, received a letter telling him that he'd been convicted in his absence of an unspecified fixed penalty offence in south west London.

The only problem? He hadn't visited London in years.

After numerous phone calls, Mr Farthing has established that the department had confused him with another man with the same name.

"I spoke to a Metropolitan Police Officer and he said this bloke has the same name as me but went to court in January and it was adjourned to July. In September they fined him £660 and gave him six penalty points," Mr Farthing tells the Daily Mail.

"Between the court and the DVLA, they didn't seem to have an address for him so they looked it up and found my name."

The DVLA has confirmed that it is now investigating the case - but Mr Farthing says he's now driving particularly carefully all the same.

"I... have to go up to the hospital for appointments and the doctor. I find using my own car so much better," he says. "I am not very mobile, I can't walk very far, the car is important to me."

Cases of mistaken identity such as this are rare - but it's not the first time the DVLA has got mixed up in this way. Two years ago, for example, Stephen Price of Folkestone had his licence cancelled because of an offence by a driver who lived in Wales.

And just last month, a driver in Stoke was wrongly fined £950 after he was confused with his father, who lives at the same address and has the same name.

And the DVLA regularly makes other mistakes too. Some drivers, for example, have been fined recently for failing to display a valid tax disc, despite the fact that they were abolished two years ago.

And, last month, it was revealed that hundreds of people had had their licences revoked because the DVLA had wrongly decided they were illegal immigrants.

If you want to challenge a decision by the DVLA, you can contact it here.