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Solicitor behind 'DVLA' website charging £57 for free licences quits

PUBLISHED: 12:34 11 December 2019 | UPDATED: 13:39 11 December 2019

The DVLA licence appy website. Norwich solicitor Simon Button has left his job after being named as the businessman behind a website which charges drivers for free licences.
Photo: dvlalicenceapply.co.uk

The DVLA licence appy website. Norwich solicitor Simon Button has left his job after being named as the businessman behind a website which charges drivers for free licences. Photo: dvlalicenceapply.co.uk

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A Norwich solicitor has left his job after being named as the businessman behind a website which charges drivers for free licences.

Simon Button, 47, appeared in the Daily Mail this week as the owner of website 'DVLA Licence Apply' which charges users £71 to renew a driving licence. It costs £14 on the official DVLA website.

The site also bills customers £57.60 to renew a licence if you are over 70, while on the DVLA site it is free.

The website states that for this fee you get your application checked.

Mr Button, who resign as a director of the firm in November, said: "I would like to apologise to any customers who feel that the have been ripped off; that is not the intention of the website.

"It is intended to provide a more convenient service."

He said that money had been paid back to customers who felt they had been misled.

He also added it was easier to use than the DVLA site.

The Mail reported that a Google advert for it had been removed after the search engine was alerted by them.

It is now the third result on a Google search of "DVLA licence apply".

The website also carries a disclaimer stating: "Please note that DVLA Licence Apply and www.dvlalicenceapply.co.uk are not affiliated with Driver Vehicle and Licensing Agency, the UK government or any official body.

"The checking service we provide cannot be obtained from a Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency office, but if you apply directly, you can apply without a checking service where there will be no checking fee payable."

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One driver, Danny Keane, who used the site, told the Mail he thought it was "disgusting" that it was charging for a free service.

Another driver said their friend paid the firm to change the address on their licence as they were in a rush. The service is free on the official DVLA site.

Mr Button, who was a solicitor at Steeles Law until his departure this week, set up the company Driving Licence Apply Ltd in September last year and at the end of November he resigned as a director.

But he still owns it through another firm called Ottaway Holdings Ltd.

Both companies are registered to an office in Yarmouth Road, Norwich.

The new director of the company is a man called Bashir Ahmed Salvo Maso.

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