To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many applications for provisional driving licences the DVLA has been in possession of for more than seven days; how many of those applications the DVLA has been in possession of for more than three months; and what the timescale is for tackling that backlog.
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.
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, leaves fewer operational staff on site to allow for social distancing in line with Welsh Government requirements and as 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.
The number of paper applications awaiting processing fluctuates daily as driving licences are issued and new applications received. 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.
There are no plans to temporarily extend the validity of driving licences awaiting renewal.