SEVENTY years James Hodgson had owned that birth certificate - and the DVLA lost it in five minutes.
And his passport.
But he didn’t know this for two months because every time he called the vehicle licensing agency in Swansea he was fobbed off with excuses.
Mr Hodgson, of South Road, High Green, Sheffield, had to re-apply on turning 70.
And he was obliged to send in original identity documents.
He said: “They said the person I needed to speak to was in a meeting, or at lunch. They said they were looking into it and would call back, they never did.
“I spent absolutely ages waiting on hold many times before finally giving up and calling Action Desk.
“I’m annoyed at the delay, excuses, hassle of applying for new documents and the risk of identity theft.
“But because they are a government office they think they’re above the law.
“I have to re-apply for my licence every three years from now on if I want to keep driving.
“I can’t say I’m looking forward to it.”
DID the DVLA hold up its hands, launch an investigation, review its security and offer to pay for replacements? Sort of.
A spokeswoman said they received more than 20 million items of mail each year and around 80,000 a day.
She added: “Mistakes like this are very rare and we are extremely sorry for any distress caused.
“I am able to confirm that colleagues have spoken to Mr Hodgson this afternoon and offered their apologies for the error.
“Arrangements are being made to reimburse him for the lost documentation.
“I hope that you will find this helpful. “
A new passport for Mr Hodgson will cost £77.50.
A new birth certificate is £9.50.
The documents are the foundation stones of any attempt to defraud you.
A birth certificate in particular is a gold mine of personal information including full names, date and place of birth, mother’s and father’s name and their occupations.