drivinglicence.uk.com Scam – the DVLA Con

A friend of mine emailed this week asking if I heard of the website drivinglicence.uk.com as they had just paid them for, what they believed to be, a driving licence for their daughter. They Googled DVLA, as you would, and found this website at the top of the search results – the sponsored search results.

drivinglicenceukcom-website

They filled in the form, paid their money and waited patiently for the driving licence – only to be sent a form which they then needed to forward onto the DVLA and pay AGAIN for the driving licence they thought they had already paid for. In effect they have to pay twice for the driving licence, all because they fell for this awful trick.

So how did this happen?

The sad truth is most people who don’t work online don’t know the difference between Google’s organic results and the paid results, which is where sites such as this manage to fool people. Where the DVLA website ranks #1 in Google for a search on DVLA (as it should) and it also ranks #1 for many associated search terms, it’s only sites like drivinglicence.uk.com which pay for sponsored listings and thus ‘appear’ to rank #1 to people who aren’t quite so Internet savvy.

drivinglicenceukcom

In good faith these people will click on the first result and pay their money for what they believe is an application for a driving licence, when what they’re really paying for is a ‘checking service’, one which isn’t needed in the first place. The website simply checks the data you’ve entered to make sure you’ve filled in the right boxes, and charges you for the privilege. So you’re paying for nothing.

So how is this even legal?

The website says on its homepage:

The checking service we provide can be obtained from a DVLA office directly at a reduced fee or you can apply without a checking service where there will be no checking fee payable.

It’s this statement which keeps this website on the side of the law, but a statement many people won’t read or even notice. They’ll simply see the site ranked at the top of Google, click ‘apply’ and pay their money, as all of these people have done, and these people.

As you can see from the comments on the site, many have telephoned to make complaints to drivinglicence.uk.com (as my friend did) but few receive a satisfactory answer, with some even being cut off from the call. The company knows it is conning people who believe they’re paying to renew their licence, and it doesn’t care.

There are many website such as this charging people for services which are otherwise free, such as the many PPI claims websites and companies charging people a percentage of their winnings for simply sending a letter – a letter you can send yourself for free. They’re parasites sucking money from people who are fooled by their tricks.

My advice is to avoid websites such as this and ensure, before you enter any payment details, you’re on the official site for whatever it is you’re trying to do and you carefully read what it is you’re going to get. Under the Distance Selling Regulations you can demand your money back from scammers such as these, but they don’t all play by the rules or the law, so you may find that’s a dead end.

Darren Jamieson, aka MrDaz, is the Technical Director and co-founder of Engage Web and has been working online in a career spanning two decades. His first website was built in 1998 and is still live today.

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30 thoughts on “drivinglicence.uk.com Scam – the DVLA Con”

  1. As regrettable as it is that your friend is now out of pocket, people have a responsibility to actually understand what they’re doing, especially with money. I’m struggling to generate much sympathy for people who “simply see the site ranked at the top of Google, click ‘apply’ and pay their money”, especially in this case because the disclaimer paragraph isn’t hidden away anywhere, it’s in huge text in the middle of the page at the very top. I don’t really even consider it to be a scam, just an overpriced service with very poor complaints procedure. It says very clearly “We are not affiliated with DVLA, the UK government or any official body.”

    People have to stop at some point and take responsibility for their actions.

  2. Hi

    I got sucked into this and ended up paying them £60 to send me some forms with a pre paid envelope. which i couldnt of grab from the post office and telling me to then send 20 pound to DVLA swansea!! It shouldnt be legal and i have ended up paying a total of 80 pounds for my lost license!!

  3. I too was taken in and because of not reading carefully enough have lost £72. Regarding Mr know it all above, very easy for you to say that. The reality for a lot of people is that life is just one big rush, it would be nice if we all had the time to pop down to the post office and take our time over these matters but the reality is that we are all working very hard and long hours to scrape a living. I have learned one thing from this that GOOGLE cannot be trusted to make suggestions about business that are behaving well, yes they are legal but morally they are on very rocky ground. So just who can you trust these days ?, VERY DIFFICULT question that one. Thankyou for your sympathy.

  4. This simply should not be allowed – innocent people are being conned it’s technically stealing money. The law needs to be changed to protect people!!!

  5. I have also been sucked into this and despite what ‘Embolism’ says in his post – when you search for ‘driving licence application online’ up comes this site, you click on it and it immediatley takes you to the apply for a licence and there is no mention whatsoever that they are not the DVLA, the site looks official and is designed to trick you. I parted with £60 and when I complained I was told it shoudl have been £50, later this was retracted and Glenn at this compnay said sorry it was £60. £60!!! for filling in a few lines on a firm which I could have done myself in 5 minute. It’s a rip off but they have covered themselves very well. As for ticking the boxes that say you have read the terms and conditions etc., well truly – who expects that the DVLA will rip you off .. certainly not me. Sorry, but I am with the customer on this one and if anyone want to make more of it I shall be happy to join any group to see that these people are taken to task and at the very least asked to change their website. It is simply not fair to take £60 for this so called service – we need protecting! Not everyone is computer savvy.

  6. i too today was scammed by this had to cancel my card , if this is what it does why does it let you enter the passport number as clearly they only fill it in total con still sent it back wrongly filled in emailed watchdog reported to police as well its disgusting it is linked as i was taken to this site ……have broadcast this on media sites and asked people to share so word gets about there is loads of people this has happened to and dvla are aware it is happening as i was told to day when i rang dvla

  7. Is there some official body that we can complain to? Also as I made my payment by Barclaycard and I still have three weeks until it is taken from my account, can I legally stop this payment or would I be putting myself in an illegal position by doing that? Does anyone know?

  8. Pressure must be applied to our goverment body( DVLA) for example’, if I were to type a search into a search engine, and was quoted £60 for a service which should only cost only a fraction if anything, is this search, if allowed and accepted by my goverment body, an attempt to abstract money from a trusting and relient public? This concept which the DVLA is endorcing by a submissive attitude will only be seen as corrupt when the full magnitude of their actions are brought to light.
    I personally (Ex DOT Driving Instructor), will raise this with my MP today with the agenda of rooting out the commercial bases for this web site which supplies the DVLA, and once again bring integrity back to what was once a trusted orginisation

  9. DRIVING LICENCE ONLINE is Fame Gate Limited a company registered in Hong Kong (version 3 from June 2013 whilst version 1 and 2 were dissolved). You are directed to a server (managed by crooks) in Hong Kong. They are taking personal and bank information from you. What are the chances of further scams or identity fraud? Would you want these people to have your bank details? My bank today ACCEPTED that they are FRAUDSTERS and have refunded the fee that they have taken from my bank account. They are going through their fraud processes.

  10. I’m afraid my son fell for this site. He genuinely thought he was dealing with the DVLA. He went straight to ‘Click here for your licence now’ without reading the small print. He’s 17 and clearly naive. I’ve given him strict orders and I do not permit him to make any payments using my card details without letting me know first. As he thought he was dealing with a government organisation he made an exception in this case. I know not good and he’s been told off. Does anyone know where I stand under those circumstances. I have already emaild the company but no attempts to make a refund yet. On top of it the form came back with the incorrect DOB. I read in some thread that this is not the first time DOB details were incorrect. Made me wonder if this is a deliberate mistake in order to make you phone their premium rate help line. I do hope that companies like this who are duping the young and vulnerable can be stopped. I will certainly try my best.

  11. I am so bloody annoyed and feel so stupid that I’ve given these people my money in true faith that the payment was going to the DVLA. I am even more annoyed that there is nothing I can do about the situation. I consider myself a sensible, wise person, but I stupidly let my daughter sort this herself and as many parents would I provided the means to pay for what I thought was the licence. Surely something can be done about this?

  12. Cancelled my bank card and will report to my bank’s fraud team as soon as the line opens tomorrow. Should get my money returned, will let you know.

  13. Yep…. we were taken in too…. rushed to complete a pretty legit looking firm online and now furious. Have emailed watchdog BBC and a copy to this dreadful group of sharks too…. ruined an 18th birthday present. Thanks Google

  14. I fell for this scam. This rubbish website need to be taken off
    Also DVLA ought to do something about this people cos is rly unfair.
    Can’t get my money back. Sad.

  15. Wayhey! I got my money back. Threatened them with the bank fraud team . I have also said I would send my form back….. don’t trust it as far as I can throw it!

  16. I fell for this scam too I filled it all in on the website for my daughter who’s 16 as she wants to do her cbt test so she can get to her part time job it didn’t anywhere say that they dobt issue the actual licence so I checked it all over and paid £50 which my daughter paid half of then got documents through from dvla and it said to enclose £50 so I wrote paid online next tidbit and sent documents off, a week later receive all my daughter’s documents back with a letter saying that she didn’t enclose payment and that they see that we paid through a company that’s nothing to do with them and can’t do anything about it! I am mortified that we have been charged £50 for them to fill out a few crosses and send off how do they justify this?? My daughter emailed them and they replied which was a shock to say that they have carried out their job and can’t refund the payment she sent further ones and they basically said that on the homepage it said that they arent part if dvla and we read the terms and conditions but they don’t say that they don’t issue the actual licence so something needs to be done as my daughter’s upset and they have her details! Anybody know how to try and get the money back?

  17. Me too. On 18th october my wallet was stolen while in London and I thought it best to start reporting various cards including drivers licence stolen. I googled on my phone and could barely see the details but thought I had successfully informed DVLA, paid (what seemed to be an exhorbitant fee of) £80 and could sit back and wait for my replacement licence to arrive. I only twigged what had happened when I got the completed application form in the post and called their £1.53 per minute helpline and had it confirmed that I had to pay another £20 to DVLA. I thought I was sophisticated enough not to fall for this type of scam but these guys are clever. Why on earth would they think they were doing something of value by taking info I knew was correct and simply printing it into a form – when I could have entered it once into the genuine DVLA site and simply sat back and waited for my replacement to arrive. As far as I’m concerned it cost me over £80 for them to effectively delay getting my replacement licence by 5 days.

    And they have the front to take the pxxs through their company name!!

  18. This parasitic firm seems to have come to light back in July and still it goes on…my 16 yr old also did a google search, clicked on first provisional licence and paid £50 for what was thought was the licence fee. On realising, I emailed them advising that she was a minor on application and did not have permission to use our credit card for such a service. They emailed back saying that since fraud had been committed with our card we should write to head office, and they would inform the police fraud squad (presumably for us to prosecute a minor for being misled) and once the police had investigated they would issue a refund. I have further responded in writing via recorded delivery, have copied in Trading Standards, the police and BBC watchdog. There is no warning nor clear statement anywhere on their website that they DO NOT PROVIDE LICENCES after application. Perhaps we should ALL simultaneously pay head office a personal visit and invite the national press along to see the anger and frustration this company is inciting ??

  19. I have just found out that the £85 I paid for a new licence is all a scam. Why has this website not been shut down?!?!? I’m an ex student and my financial situation is giving me massive anxiety issues. Is there anyway I can get my money back from these scumbags?

  20. I have just fallen into the Scam trap. I thought I had applied for a provisional licence for my daughter through DVLA – had never ordered a licence online before only to discover when they sent the completed form back that I had to pay another £50.00 for the licence and the money I had paid was for their checking service. Is there anything that I can do? I have written to request a refund….. but I’m guessing it will be a negative outcome..

  21. As per my previous post – below is the response I received:

    Good afternoon,

    No refund can be issued for the appclaition made as the service has been completed, before you actually submit your application we have a section on the payment screen which advises that you need to read the terms and conditions and to also state you agree to the no refund policy, you will have agreed to this before continuing to make the payment and as this was agreed we can not refund any fee paid.

    Kind Regards,

    Wayne

  22. Further update: I was offered 50% refund of the £50.00 fee paid – after I said I would report them to the Bank Fraud Team. I hope this helps someone else.

  23. I’ve just been scammed £85 as I applied to re new my licence that I need in a bug hurry, only to be delayed by these criminals as they have taken money that I can not afford and over a week later send me the DVLA addressed envelope to submit the £20 00 legitimate fee for the renewal ! How can the GOV.UK let them get away with it by listing beneath these fraudsters when looking on line for the legitamate DVLA.GOV.UK site ? Further more- they made a mistake on my application form and when trying to contact them to correct it,they left me hanging on a bogus premium rate phone line held in a queue that doesn’t reduce therefore paying premium rates.
    THIS HAS TO STOPPED

  24. I am usually a vigilant person when it comes to online applications but I was fooled by this one, the website name driving-licence-application.co.uk has a very convincing name. Fortunately I only got scammed £1 but I am still concerned that they have my details and after doing some digging they are hong kong based which is even more worrying. I have messaged this today to make people aware of what I found on the bottom of one of their emails, the print was so small that I wouldn’t have bothered reading it but glad I did, please see below:

    Action against fraud:
    When you used our service the IP address of your computer was recorded in order to prevent any fraudulent activity. All fraudulent claims or payment contestations will be the subject of a formal complaint, communicated to your bank with a letter supporting the original payment and the services requested. You will also be subjected to a block on both your card and computer for use on our site. As a reminder, this service is free of charge for 48 hours, after which time a debit of 24 GBP every two months will be applied. To cancel your subscribtion: click here or call us on: 02035142392

  25. This is not just sharp practice – it’s clearly an attempt to access your bank details. They offer a refund to get your bank details out of you when you have provided them quite a bit of information. Please cancel your card if you have fallen with for this (as I did). You may need to change passwords because the site asks you for a password (which of course may be one you sue frequently).

  26. I have just been scammed too and after reading the comments went back onto the web page and still can’t see a statement saying they are not affiliated with DVLA have a look http://dvla-licence.uk.com/?gclid=COrxmenmn70CFafnwgodv68Aew
    I got email which had a link on it saying click here to report an error or mistake, it is an untrusted connection. So I have messaged them to say under no circumstance debit my card as this is a scam and I want confirmation that all my information has been destroyed.
    This is the information on DVLA’s real page so I will be reporting there too. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/motorists-warned-when-applying-for-a-driving-licence-online
    I am really annoyed as a disabled person it was easier to do it online and I was ompletely misled so as for the comment above saying it is my fault, I disagree and would ask you to point out where it says they are not affiliated.

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