Since the pandemic, obtaining changes to driving licenses, applying for renewals due to age or medical need and applying for provisional licenses has been challenging. This is due to the staff working from home in the early stages of the pandemic then not having as many in the offices due to social distancing. This led to a backlog which the DVLA are working incredibly hard to move through.
Add to this the need to prioritise keyworkers and HGV drivers and you can see why some people have had to wait considerable lengths of time for their applications to be processed, something which would normally take a maximum of 8 weeks.
I have been lobbying for more resources in the department as well as ways to move away from manual paper-based applications into a more streamlined service that is fit for the future. I am pleased that some changes are now taking place to promote more online services and less need for physical paperwork checking.
Millions of our customers already use our online services every single month, for example, 98% of all taxed vehicles in the UK are taxed via our digital services. However, we know that lots of customers continue to post their applications to us when they could be using our digital services, so encouraging those customers to go online rather than post their applications is critical to ensure customers can transact with DVLA efficiently.
The campaign promotes 3 key services, with the key message of ‘quick, easy and secure’ to remind customers of the benefits of using our online services:
- Renew a license for those aged over 70
- Renew a photocard license
- Tell the DVLA whether you have purchased or sold a vehicle.
You may see or hear adverts promoting these services over the next few weeks as the DVLA look towards streamlining their services. The system also offers a tracking system to help prevent the need to repeatedly call the helpline to follow up.
You can find more about these services online at: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/driver-and-vehicle-licensing-agency