What a coup for the DLTR. Catching the mighty AA out.

I wonder how long the operation took and how many undercover agents they had on the job, masquerading as motorists, secretly negotiating for the "illegal" yellow documents.

Was the AA "grassed up" by a snout or by a jealous competitor?

Will it be made into a docusoap?

Did the operation have a code name?

What about "Operation load of b*****ks" - that would sum it up.

Do our civil servants have nothing better to do with their time than to look for infringements of virtually obsolete laws?

The legislation quoted superseded 1969 and 1961 legislation and the reason for the black on white requirement was simply because the photocopiers of the time were unreliable with any other colours.

I am mystified as to why the DLTR should come out of the woodwork now and invoke these regulations.

A few years ago when the industry wanted to do something positive, such as put make, model, and driver's date of birth on certificates it conveniently did not have the time to look at it.

A few years earlier, the regulations had been altered to permit the issue of credit card type certificates where the writing is barely legible without a magnifying glass, yet now, when a company attempts to produce something clear, secure and recognisable, the DLTR gets itself in a twist.

Surely it should be devoting its energy to promoting the use of the Motor Insurance Database as an alternative to Personal Lines Certificates rather than wasting time and our money on this type of exercise.

The AA may ask a few questions of its panel insurers. Between them they probably insure 50% of the vehicles on the road. Are they totally blameless here? They are not slow to tell us about their underwriting academies and training schemes, but they missed this.

These regulations also state that a certificate should be issued "not later than four days after ... the policy is issued or renewed". How many insurers and brokers comply with this?

What about those brokers and insurers who handwrite cover notes using blue biro?

After these revelations, how many of us can rest easily in our beds now that we know the DLTR is on the case? Many of us will now be waiting for the midnight knock on the door, and for the long trip to DLTR HQ where justice will be meted out.

For Heaven's sake, DLTR, get real.

Roy Rodger
Insurance Training and Consultancy

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