Driving Licences: Applications

Department for Transport written question – answered on 18th January 2022.

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Photo of Tan Dhesi Tan Dhesi Shadow Minister (Transport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the waiting time is for people receiving (a) new and (b) renewed driving licences; and what steps he is taking to tackle ongoing delays in the issuance of those documents.

Photo of Tan Dhesi Tan Dhesi Shadow Minister (Transport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make an assessment of the impact of delays in issuing new driving licences on (a) individuals and (b) businesses.

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

The quickest and easiest way to apply for a driving licence is by using the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)’s online service. There are no delays in successful online applications and customers should receive their licence 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 understands the impact of delays on those who make paper applications and is working hard to process them as quickly as possible. 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. There may be additional delays in processing more complex transactions, for example if medical investigations are needed. The latest information on turnaround times for paper driving licence applications can be found here.

The large majority of applicants renewing an existing licence will be able to continue driving while their application is being processed, providing the driver can meet specific criteria. More information can be found online here.

Employers wishing to check an employee or potential employee’s driving licence status can do so using the DVLA’s online enquiry services. These services allow third parties to obtain relevant information relating to an individual’s driver record, with the consent of the driving licence holder.

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