You could face waiting up to TEN weeks for driving licence renewals and applications due to a massive Covid backlog
23rd July 2021

MILLIONS of drivers are waiting weeks for licence renewals and applications to be processed due to a massive Covid backlog.

The DVLA said motorists will be waiting up to 10 weeks for some documents due to a slow down in processing times during the pandemic.

Drivers who sent off for a licence with a new photo after May 25 are still waiting for the DVLA to processed that batch of applications.

Meanwhile, Brits hoping to take driving lessons are also at a standstill, as DVLA workers are yet to reach any first provisional licence applications submitted since June 8.

Frustrated drivers have taken to social media to get in touch with the agency as they have struggled to get through to customer service.

One motorist said on Twitter: "I seem to be stuck on awaiting application return form despite having posted following my online application to change address and then again when I received a letter two weeks later.

"Please can you advise what I need to do? Can’t get hold of you."

Another driver wrote: "Phone line busy and no queuing system, web chat has no advisers, 6 weeks and still waiting for a new driving licence and frustratingly no one to speak to even within their published support hours."

A Twitter user said: "My partner sent her passport with her application for a UK driving licence over a month ago and after being in contact several times has been told that her application cannot be found.

"She has a flight on Monday and no one knows where her passport is."

There are fewer DVLA staff on site due to social distancing rules in Wales, which has contributed to the delays.

Ongoing strikes have also caused a backlog, with the DVLA falling behind on sorting through the 60,000 letters it receives each day.

Industrial action has been taking place since April over health and safety concerns during the pandemic.

Customers should use the DVLA's online services where possible to get their documents within five days and avoid getting caught up in the logjam.

However, if your online application requires you to send further evidence you will still face a long delay.

Paper forms – including those where extra information was required after an online application – are taking between six to 10 weeks to process.

But some drivers could face a longer wait – for example if medical investigations are needed.

The DVLA said it is processing all paper applications in the order they were received.

If you're renewing your photo card driving licence, it's quicker to use the Post Office service which should take just five days.

Motorists that have applied for a driving licence should be able to continue to drive while the DVLA works through the backlog – you can double check your eligibility online.

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