A MUM-OF-THREE said she “felt like a criminal” after being threatened with arrest by police who said she had a fake driving licence.
Carole Norton’s ordeal began after she was asked to go to Chesterfield Police Station to produce the motor document.
But when officers photocopied the 50-year-old’s licence, the word ‘fake’ appeared across the bottom of the duplicated version.
Carole – who passed her driving test in 1991 – could not provide any other forms of identifiction and she claimed an officer said she could not leave the station.
“I was threatened with arrest and held for around two hours,” said Carole.
“I couldn’t believe it. I felt like a criminal. Every time I talk about it, my hands shake.”
Carole, who lives at Broom Drive, Grassmoor, said the matter was not resolved until police – who have apologised – contacted the DVLA who confirmed she was a legal driver.
A DVLA spokesman said that in 1991 the DVLA launched a pilot, which lasted less than a year, where they issued licenses, with the word ‘fake’, to test security due to the advent of good quality colour photocopiers and scanners leading to a greater risk of forgery.
He said: “While the photocopy may have the word ‘fake’, the licence is genuine and valid.”
Sup int Gary Knighton, of Derbyshire Police, said: “I’m sorry Mrs Norton felt she was treated like a criminal when she presented her driving licence at Chesterfield Police Station.
“As has been highlighted in your story, her licence was issued as part of a DVLA trial in 1991 and when photocopied showed the word ‘fake’. Clearly our staff needed to investigate this to ensure the licence had been properly issued and was not counterfeit.
“Following inquiries with the DVLA, Mrs Norton’s licence was confirmed as genuine. We have issued staff guidance in relation to the DVLA pilot which may affect other licenses issued in 1991.”
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