The IAM renewal process can cause confusion and difficulties for members of LAM, both long-standing and new, so I will attempt to explain it here.
LAM is an active group of keen motorcyclists who enjoy being part of a group of like-minded people. Most groups charge a subscription fee and LAM is no different.
Most of us in LAM will have started out as Associate members. This may be a distant memory for some of you, but before you could join LAM you had to sign up with IAM for the training course. Your joining fee paid for your first year’s membership of both IAM and LAM.
You possibly didn’t realise the significance of this at the time. You had paid one sum of money to IAM and that entitled you to go out on Observed Rides (OR's) and then take your test. It is highly unlikely that your first thoughts were ‘when do I need to renew my subscription, and how do I do it?’ Similarly, you probably didn’t ask yourself ‘why am I a member of two organisations, IAM and LAM, both of whom expect me to pay an annual subscription?’ You will also have been unaware that IAM sent LAM a portion of the money you paid them to help finance your training.
Let’s go back to the case of a newly joined Associate. If all goes well, they will pass their test within the first year of membership. Once they've passed their test, there are two choices.
The second option is easy - you just don’t pay the IAM any money when they send you your renewal notice on your anniversary. Boom - you're gone!
However, if you want to remain a member of LAM, you now need to start paying two lots of subscriptions. Two? Yes - really! One subscription is to the IAM and other is to LAM. All members of LAM must be paid up members of IAM. It is our parent organisation and we are administratively tied together, with one shared database of member information called DARTS. IAM owns the database and if you’re not in IAM, you’re not on DARTS.
The IAM renewal process can cause confusion. It hinges around the fact that the IAM send you an apparently valid membership card BEFORE you have paid them for it.
To set the background - shortly before the anniversary of the date you joined IAM, they will send out a shiny new membership card. It states that you have been a valued member for X years and gives an expiry date in a year’s time. The IAM send this out regardless of whether you have paid your membership fee or not!
Some members pay annually by Direct Debit, so all is well. If you pay by another method, then it is very easy to forget to make that payment. After all, you have a brand new membership card that confirms you are a member of IAM for another year. It's reasonable to think you have paid and all is well.
Sadly all is not well. The IAM knows you haven’t paid. Remember, they have their DARTS database, which puts the label ‘expired’ against your name. Sometime later they erase your details completely, as they are doubtless obliged to do for confidentiality (GDPR) reasons.
Why does this matter? One reason is that without IAM membership you cannot be an active member of LAM. That means you cannot take part in club activities. A second reason is that the IAM have erased your details from their DARTS system.
Most full members pay their annual fee to IAM when it falls due. If they don’t, then the Membership Secretary sends out a polite message asking whether they really do wish to end their membership of IAM/LAM.
For Associates, the situation is more serious. Without IAM membership they cannot continue with their training. This leads to a potentially ‘dangerous’ situation. When next year’s IAM membership card arrives in the post it looks like they are good to go for another year. However, until they actually pay the IAM renewal fee they are not a member of either IAM or LAM. It's very easy, even for seasoned Full members, to forget to pay – the IAM reminder gets buried in a pile of letters perhaps and the membership lapses.
I hope that clears up any confusion!
You can pay your IAM subscription online
You can pay your LAM subscription online
You can also pay by Direct Debit. Log in to Tracker to check your current Subscription Status and set up a one-off payment with your bank.
Or pay by BACS.
For membership enquiries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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