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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71136
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I recently applied provisional license through DVLA.

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I recently applied for a provisional license through DVLA. I sent two Guinean passport for my application and even before doing that I explained my reasons for doing so. The reason is because one of the passport had my wrong DOB and the other had the right one. I couldn't send the one with my right DOB because it didn't have visa in it and the passport with the wrong DOB had my student visa (Tier4). So sent it out for couple of weeks and I had to wait wait wait and wait called DVLA and they said one of my passport was altered and it has been sent to the police. I requested for a case reference or something but they wouldn't provide any and asked me to wait for the police to contact me. This is really upsetting because I have been without my passport for so long and I haven't been able to do travel or do anything whatsoever. I called couple of solicitors today and they told me to wait to hear from the police, what are my options and I would like to know whats going on please if you can share more details from your experience.
Jo C. :

Hi. Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this. Have the police actually contacted you yet?

JACUSTOMER-niaiayi7- :

No they haven't

JACUSTOMER-niaiayi7- :

I have been waiting to hear from them, apparently DVLA told me my passport was sent to them on the 9th of Jan 2015

JACUSTOMER-niaiayi7- :

I feel sick in my stomach I have never been arrested or questioned or been in any breach of the law whatsoever ever in my life. So this is all new to me and I haven't got a clue what is going on or how it works

Jo C. :

OK Thanks for the response. I am on my way back from court so may not be able to answer you straight away. I will be back later on and won't be too long if you don't mind waiting until then for me to get back to you. Thanks and no need to reply to this message.

JACUSTOMER-niaiayi7- :

Okay thanks!

Sorry for the delay.
How did you come to have two passports?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

When I applied for my first passport it was issued but with the wrong DOB and I didn't have enough time to wait for have it rectified as I was in a rush to start my visa application. So I used it that way then arrived in the UK. I contacted home office couple of years ago and they said I can have my visa transferred if I am able to provide a new passport with my right DOB and reasons why the previous one had my wrong DOB. So I went ahead and applied for a new passport with and was issued one. The two passports are the one I sent to the DVLA office to apply for a provisional license

But this is a valid passport? You are entitled to it and it was properly issued?
You are anonymous on here so it is safe to be clear with me.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yeah it is a valid passport but the DLVA claim it was altered. I apply for a new passport from here(UK) my cousin did the application for me. He has my birthday certificate and that is was is used to apply for the passport. I have been on the phone to him several times and over and and over and over and he assures me theres nothing wrong with the passport. But DVLA states otherwise I am absolutely confused!

Well, it might have been altered. There are offences in that as well but the more serious offence is in use of a forged passport. That carries many months custody. If we can be sure that any checks made by the police will not reveal that it is forged then you don't need to worry about that.
The police are probably investigating this. They will not be giving it priority though. It is not a time sensitive case. You can always contact the local constabulary and ask if they want you to hand yourself in but it is not really worth doing that at this stage. If it isn't ready for an interview then declaring yourself to them will not speed the matter up.
If this has been altered then that would amount to an offence of either fraud or forgery or use of a forged instrument. If you are saying that nobody has altered it then that cannot be made out. It might be that what they mean is that two passports with different dates of birth gives rise to suspicion. If so, as long as you have a reasonable explanation for that then it would not offend.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Fair enough, I am just curious what the possibilities are if the police come to the conclusion that it was altered and the passport isn't real ? Plus if it was forged wouldn't the DVLA disclose that to me ? Since their word of use was " altered " I mean my cousin assures me that there's nothing wrong with the passport whatsoever and I cant believe I would be responsible for this since I have no idea whatsoever that there could be something wrong with the passport. I mean if I knew this I wouldn't even have sent it in the first place for a provisional licence. I mean its common sense to be honest.

It is not for the police to say that. They will check with the Guinean authorities and it will be a matter of expert evidence.
No, the DVLA won't tell you anything. They won't know anyway. They are not experts.
'Altered' could mean anything at all. It might mean that there was an alteration in the passport itself or that there was a discrepancy between the two.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks very much for your response you've been very very helpful. Just to conclude if it happens theres something wrong with the passport what are my options based on what i have told you ? I mean I never had any intent whatsoever of using forged document no matter what, I know I would be held responsible but could it be for negligence and would I be arrested or what ?

Well, realistically, if you didn't alter it and you know it is legitimate then it is quite unlikely there is anything wrong with it. Nobody else has handled it? The worst that appears a possibility is that the dates of birth do not match.
They could arrest you but it is likely they would just invite you in for interview voluntarily. If you don't go in then they will come and arrest you but they probably won't stampede towards it immediately. There is case law that says they should not arrest if a voluntarily attendance is possible and they do generally prefer it because it is not so labour intensive for them.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I definitely didn't alter it and just to be crystal clear my cousin did mention its legitimate what if thats proven to be wrong ? What are my options ? That is what I am more interested in to be honest. Since I know if it wasn't altered then theres nothing they can do, I would like to know if it was altered say by my cousin or he isn't telling me the truth what are my possibilities ?

Thanks so much for your helpful insight, really appreciate your time and dedication.

If it isn't legitimate then you have real problems I'm afraid. That is a serious offence. You could defend on the basis that you thought it was legitimate.
I wouldn't worry about that. No good can come of that. I'm afraid that if this is a forgery then the case law says 12-18 months custody on plea.
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I just wanted to double check if thats okay. Based on everything I've explained to you. Do you reckon the police would DEFINITELY send my passport to the Guinean authorities to verify if they are authentic or they would use their own expertise ? Because I am not sure how the DVLA or police verify foreign documents.

Warm regards.

They will send it to the Guinean authorities. They cannot verify it themselves.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I believe the Guinean authorities will be the Guinean Embassy correct ?

Yes, usually.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi again,

Just to come back to my previous questions please. What are my chances of not going to jail or having a suspended sentence if my passport was deem to be false ? I have never been arrested before by the way.

If your passport is a forgery then custody is inevitable I'm afraid.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I am very sure the passport isn't forgery because I don't think my cousin would do anything like that. Anyway the police came and took me in, arrested me, searched my property but they couldn't find anything. Did an interview and my solicitor advised no comment all through so I done that. Got bail and to report back to the police at a later date.

On the bail notice it states; Alleged offence(s) POSSESS / CONTROL IDENTITY DOCUMENTS WITH INTENT.

Now this is what I don't understand if they truly believe my passport isn't genuine why doesn't it say " Posses FALSE identity documents with intent " and also intent to do what ? For what ?

I cant believe I am in such predicament because I didn't do anything wrong whatsoever, never have and never will. I have never been through anything like this ever in my life before and its stressing me out.

With intent to use them in some way.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Okay thanks!

But why doesn't it say ' FALSE ' identity document on the bail notice ? Since that has been their claim ?

That is probably a mistake. The police do that all the time.