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Driving Licences

Question for Department for Transport

UIN 32373, tabled on 13 July 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to support learner drivers whose receipt of a provisional drivers licence has been affected by delays at the Driver and Vehicle License Agency.

Answered on

19 July 2021

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency’s (DVLA) online services have been available throughout the pandemic and are the quickest and easiest way to renew a driving licence. There are no delays in successful online applications and customers should receive their driving licence within a few days.

To enable more customers to apply online for a provisional driving licence the DVLA has introduced changes to the service. Since 24 June, customers applying for their provisional driver’s licence can upload their signature for the first time and track or update their application.

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. Ongoing industrial action by members of the Public and Commercial Services union, along with fewer operational staff on site to allow for social distancing in line with Welsh Government requirements and an increased demand for its services has led to delays in dealing with paper applications. The DVLA has leased an additional building to accommodate more operational staff.

Currently, paper applications are likely to take between six and ten weeks to process. There may be additional delays in processing more complex transactions, for example, if medical investigations are needed as part of a driving licence application. The latest information on turnaround times for paper driving licence applications can be found here.

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