And so, I finally sent my driving licence back to the boys in Swansea with a change of address. I have been reliably informed I didn't have to do this for 12 months, and so 10 months was plenty of time for them to process the change. Sure enough, the licence came back within a week, but not quite in the way I'd planned.
"Sorry Mr. Aitch. The DVLA is unable to change your address to a new address outside the UK. You can, however, continue to drive there with your old UK address on the licence."
W, T and indeed F? So, basically, I can go speeding over here. When Mr William (Old Bill) pulls me over and asks for my address I can give my now defunct address in Wales. They will send the fine to that address, and because I haven't received it, I won't have to pay it. This means the fine will go unpaid, a black mark will be put against my name, and the next time I get stopped I'll get arrested for non-payment of fines. Alternatively, when I first get stopped for speeding, Mr William will not be happy with my true identity, and will arrest me to prove I am who I say I am. Basically, both ending me up in clink. This is not good. So, what should I do? Well, the first option is to carry the letter with my now address on it, and written in black and white it says I am able to continue to drive without changing the address. The second option is to pay €10 and get my licence transferred over to the Irish system. This sounds great, but my concern is having a medical licence, will I get a new Irish one? There is one easy solution I feel, and I would be more than happy to comply with it. Why not have a counterpart, much like the paper licence people have in the UK, but it has my UK driver ID/number, and my Irish address. This could be issued by the licence issuing authority, and be verified by the same office. The Police would have no questions, the ID would be good for other purposes (Age verification, bank account opening, that sort of thing), and it might cost a few Euro per person. Apparently other countries in the EU don't even have their addresses on their licences, so this would maybe also stop what has to be a loophole in the system, and is open to abuse?
I'll be the one in the nick, with the charge of non-payment of fines, and the big burly Irishman calling me his "biatch."
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