Registration nightmare

Registration nightmare

A Gippsland man has had a rude awakening after discovering his fleet of vehicles were all unregistered.

Owen Budge was shocked to discover his Holden sedan, a Toyota Landcruiser, a boat, two trailers, a small caravan and a motorcycle were all unregistered.

The only car that showed up as being registered was a 1973 Holden Monaro that has Club plates.

Mr Budge said the unnerving discovery was made by a mechanic who informed him that his Holden sedan wasn’t registered after taking it in for a service.

Puzzled, he phoned VicRoads and was gobsmacked to discover the registration on virtually all of his vehicles had been cancelled.

Mr Budge told the News that he had received a letter in the mail from VicRoads asking him to upgrade his address and personal details electronically on the VicRoads website.

He claims he went onto the website but when a request was made for banking details he decided not to proceed, preferring to continue receiving mailouts when his registrations were due.

Mr Budge said he hadn’t changed his address in three years and there was no reason why he wouldn’t still receive mail from VicRoads concerning vehicle registrations.

To add to his woes, Mr Budge and his family had recently been on a holiday in outback South Australia with the unregistered Landcruiser and caravan, which would have created some serious headaches had he been involved in an accident.

“My insurance would have been void,” Mr Budge said.

VicRoads informed him that the vehicles which had had their registrations cancelled would need to undergo roadworthy assessments and if he wanted to keep his existing number plates would need to pay $500 to do so.

After ringing VicRoads complaints department and explaining his story, Mr Budge said commonsense prevailed and he was able to back-pay his vehicle registration and keep his number plates.

“Having to do it all in one hit meant I had to redraw on the home loan to pay,” Mr Budge said.

As to why he never received his renewal notices in the mail, Mr Budge said VicRoads told him that mail had been sent to the wrong address and returned to sender.

Mr Budge said he’s angry that VicRoads cancelled his registrations without it ringing any alarm bells.

When he inquired why he received his Club plate registration renewal to his correct address, VicRoads informed Mr Budge it was on a different system.

“There is definitely a flaw in their system,” Mr Budge said.

“I was always dubious about them cancelling the rego stickers because they’re a reminder when you need to pay your registration.

“You see them when you walk past the car and wash the car, they’re a constant reminder.”

Mr Budge said his father, who he described as meticulous, had also been fined $700 for having an unregistered vehicle after his registration expired.

VicRoads were asked for comment last Tuesday but hadn’t managed to respond in a week.

PICTURED: Owen Budge couldnʼt believe VicRoads had cancelled his registration for a fleet of vehicles he owns.