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Driving Licences

Question for Department for Transport

UIN HL1626, tabled on 1 July 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what the current waiting time is for the (1) renewal of, and (2) alteration to, driving licences.

Answered on

8 July 2021

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)’s online services are the quickest and easiest way to renew a driving licence. Online applications are not subject to delays and successful applicants will receive their driving licence within a few days.

However, many people still choose or have to make a paper application for a driving licence. The DVLA receives around 60,000 items of mail every day which must be dealt with in person. The DVLA has been working with a reduced number of operational staff on site to allow for social distancing, in line with Welsh Government requirements. This, as well as ongoing industrial action by members of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), has led to delays. There may be additional delays in processing more complex transactions, for example, if medical investigations are needed.

Currently, driving licence applications made on paper are likely to take six to ten weeks to process. More information on turnaround times is available on the DVLA Covid-19 update page on GOV.UK.

The DVLA has reconfigured its accommodation to safely maximise the number of staff on site and is working hard to process applications as quickly as possible. The DVLA has accelerated the development of additional online services to reduce the number of paper applications and supported their take up through a publicity campaign. Further digital service enhancements are underway.