The DVLA is warning UK drivers to take immediate action

The DVLA is warning UK drivers to take immediate action

25 August 2021 | Sam White

According to the latest statement from the DVLA, anyone who holds a British driving license has been issued an urgent warning.

Drivers who submit paper applications for a driver's license renewal may have to wait up to ten weeks for their documents, according to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency.

The paper-based applications are also subject to lengthy delays if they are filed by motorists changing their name or address.

"There are still continuing delays with the paper applications," said the DVLA. It attributed this to industrial action combined with ongoing social distancing regulations.

The agency's website reports that most paper applications "take six to ten weeks to process" but that delays may be longer for complex transactions, like those requiring medical evaluations.

The statement continued: "We're sorry for any inconvenience caused, but we are working as quickly as we can to deal with your application.

"We receive around 60,000 items of mail every day that need to be opened and processed."

'No delay' in online applications

There is no delay for online applications at the DVLA. It advises customers to use its online services "where possible".

While their applications are being processed, most motorists are still permitted to drive.

There are 1.4 million applications affected by the backlog, according to The Times.

According to a DVLA spokesperson: "Our online services have not been impacted by the pandemic and continue to run as normal and without any delays. The majority of transactions can be done online including renewing a driving licence."

"There are delays in processing paper applications due to ongoing industrial action and social distancing requirements, which means that we have had fewer staff than usual on site at any one time."

"Paper applications are taking on average, between six and ten weeks to process but there may be longer delays for more complex transactions such as those that require medical investigations."

Members of the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) are taking industrial action at the Swansea offices of the agency owing to Covid-related safety measures.

The spokesperson added: "It's disappointing that the PCS is choosing to continue with industrial action and targeting services that will have the greatest negative impact on the public, including some of the more vulnerable people in society."

"As restrictions are easing and life is returning to normal, millions of people right across the UK, from those applying for their first provisional driving licence to traders selling cars, are relying on essential DVLA services."

"PCS's demands are causing significant and unnecessary disruption to families and businesses, all at a time when they are most needed."

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