Driving Licences: Applications

Department for Transport written question – answered on 3rd March 2022.

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Photo of Virginia Crosbie Virginia Crosbie Conservative, Ynys Môn

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to help ensure that the DVLA has adequate resources to clear the backlog of (a) new and (b) renewed driving licence application; and what recent assessment he has made of DVLA performance in 2021.

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. 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. These measures are having a positive impact and customers should continue to see an improving picture in terms of waiting times for paper applications. Applications where the driver has a medical condition that must be investigated before a licence can be issued will take longer.

The 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.

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