Page last updated at 14:04 GMT, Thursday, 21 May 2009 15:04 UK

Arrest over wrong colour MoT form

MOT certificates - newer one on the left
The newer certificate (left) was a lighter shade of green

An innocent South Tyneside man was arrested because his MoT certificate was a paler shade of green.

Michael Cook, from South Shields, had gone to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) centre in Newcastle to renew his car tax.

Staff thought his two-week-old MOT certificate was a forgery because it was a lighter shade than his previous one, and the police were called.

The DVLA said it accepted a mistake had been made and apologised unreservedly.

Mr Cook, a 49-year-old roofer, was arrested, questioned and held for three hours before being released.

He said: "They read me my rights, then I was put in another room, fingerprinted, photographed and had a DNA swab taken."

He added that he then had to return to the DVLA where he had to go to the back of the queue.

The DVLA said in a statement: "The DVLA has a duty to maintain accurate records and improve road safety.

"In a situation where there is a potentially fraudulent document presented, it is our procedure to contact the police who then decide what action to take.

"In this case we accept an error was made and we have apologised unreservedly to Mr Cook."

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