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Driving Licences

Question for Department for Transport

UIN 35931, tabled on 19 July 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the average amount of time the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency retains original identity documents for driving licence applications from applicants whose identity cannot be verified with the UK Passport Agency, from receipt of that document until it is returned, in (a) 2019 and (b) 2021.

Answered on

27 July 2021

Currently, paper driving licence applications are likely to take between six and ten weeks to process. However, on selected transactions, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency returns original documents as soon as the application is opened to reduce the impact of processing delays and is working to expand this further.

Driving licence applications where the applicant is required to submit a biometric residency permit (BRP), are also likely to take between six and ten weeks to process. The BRP will be returned to the applicant as soon as the application has been processed. The latest information on turnaround times for paper driving licence applications can be found here.

If a driving licence applicant’s identity cannot be verified by HM Passport Office or via another secure service, the requirement for original identity documents remains a critical part of protecting the driving licence application process from potential fraud. There are no plans to remove these requirements.