Driving Licences

Department for Transport written question – answered on 14th December 2021.

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Photo of Alison McGovern Alison McGovern Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions)

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the reasons for delays in the return of physical driving licences to applicants by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency.

Photo of Trudy Harrison Trudy Harrison Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

The quickest and easiest way to make an application to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) is to use its extensive suite of online services. There are no delays in successful online applications and customers should receive their documents within a few days.

However, many people still choose or have to make a paper application and the DVLA receives around 60,000 items of mail every day. The DVLA has been working with a significantly reduced number of staff on site to ensure social distancing in line with Welsh Government requirements. Industrial action between April and the end of August by members of the Public and Commercial Services union and the current increased demand for the DVLA’s services has also contributed to delays with paper applications.

To help reduce waiting times for paper applications, the DVLA has introduced additional online services, recruited more staff, increased overtime working and has secured extra office space in Swansea and Birmingham. The DVLA has reconfigured its accommodation to safely maximise the number of staff on site and is working hard to process paper applications as quickly as possible. The latest information on turnaround times for paper driving licence applications can be found here.

These measures are having a positive impact. The queues are reducing, and customers will continue to see an improving picture in terms of turnaround times.

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