May 27, 2022

Driving without a license is a crime in the UK. And yet the DVLA – the government agency responsible for issuing such documents – is currently struggling to meet the demands.

Drivers face a 12-week delay, thanks to the organization’s ongoing backlog, revealing new figures.

New DVLA rules

Thanks to current laws, it is now. People 70 years of age or older must renew their license. Every three years. The official reason for the scheme is to improve security, but critics say it is another way for the government to fill its coffers and attack the personal freedoms of the elderly in society.

The DVLA reported a backlog during the March 2020 epidemic outbreak. Two years later, it is still struggling to process applications, forcing some pensioners to wait more than three months for their documents.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has blamed COVID-19 and issued several apologies to the motorcycles using its services. However, due to staff absenteeism and inefficiency, many pensioners have been left without documents for months, depriving them of the right to drive their own vehicles.

Delay in all licenses

DVLA delays apply to both postal requests and renewals. Those who have been disqualified or whose licenses have been revoked are being forced to wait several weeks longer than officially recommended, simply because of ineffective practices and social distance measures. DVLA headquarters in Swansea.

Regular drivers are also suffering from delays. The current rules state that drivers must change the image on their driving license every ten years, and it is advisable to apply early if it is to be renewed this year.

DVLA says applicants for new licenses – or those who have changed their addresses – have been waiting nine weeks for a license. Waiting for temporary licenses – for drivers who have not yet passed their test – is currently ten and a half weeks.

Use of online services

DVLA is encouraging drivers to make more use of the organization’s online services. The agency says this will help speed up the process for new licenses and reduce application delays.

However, analysts are beginning to ask why the delay is so severe. The agency now has two years to rectify delays in its services. It has not implemented new procedures to meet demand and eliminate backlogs, nor has it hired additional staff. Instead, members of the public are paying the price.

According to a report by Resolver, long delays in renewal and new issues have led to a 40% increase in complaints against DVLA. Most complaints against the service involved poor delivery, including non-return of documents sent to customers by the organization.

The backlog began when Welsh’s office went into lockdown shortly after the outbreak. Due to lack of staff on site a Backlog of over 400,000 paper documents And license applications

The DVLA leadership is to blame. He allowed the staff to take paid leave and instructed them to work from home during the outbreak. However, it did not provide them with the tools they needed to carry out their work effectively.

The outbreak of COVID-19 in the Swansea office caused further delays and problems in dealing with more complex issues, especially for pensioners who require a medical examination as part of their driver’s license applications.

Very demanding

Unsplash – CC0 license

Many drivers and motorcyclists have complained on social media about how their documents have been “held hostage” by the agency. After the agency’s main site was shut down, many people found themselves without a driver’s license despite paying their insurance and vehicle duties, and passing their license exams.

To make matters worse, many people were unable to contact customer service. In some places, there was no one to talk to in DVLA to answer their questions, despite the fact that delays have a significant impact on their daily lives.

In response, DVLA said demand was high. It has already dedicated all available phone lines to customer service. However, those who tried to make the call often faced long queues and, on occasion, no one was on the other end of the phone when they finally arrived.

Users are turning to Twitter to express their displeasure at the level of service being offered. One man said his father, 82, was no longer able to drive after months of waiting for a response from the agency. He is deaf, the Twitter user said, and needs his car to get around. He lives alone so he has no one to support him. It sent its license to the agency months ago with medical bills, but has not yet received a response from DVLA. His license has not expired and he has to rely on other people for transportation.

Other users are also complaining. DVLA keeps people’s passports for their first license applications, preventing them from traveling abroad. Many service users have had to wait months.

According to the DVLA, the agency receives millions of applications for driver’s licenses and renewals each year. It says it is currently working hard to reduce waiting times. It also states that there are no delays in its online services. The current backlog reflects online paper applications. Once the driver submits the application, the DVLA states that they can continue driving, provided they are not prevented from doing so by a medical professional.

Number plates

Despite the challenges of handling driver’s license applications, DVLA is still pushing for number plate replacement plans. From March 2022, DVLA number plates it will have to be done:

  • Include provider name and postcode.
  • Number plate maker
  • All features included in the rear plate design

Critics say the new rules are bringing Britain closer to a watchdog state. The ever-increasing number of license plates allows authorities to track Chinese-style drivers.

There are further restrictions on the number plate style. According to officials, 3D and 4D effect number plates have now been banned. It aims to introduce a cleaner style that the automatic number plate identification system can more easily identify.

New car number plates “22” will show that they were created in the first half of 2022, while “72” will be shown since September.

The new number plates will also be made of strong and hard material. DVLA hopes this will make the plates more resistant to abrasion.

For drivers and those who still care about freedom, DVLA is still allowing prospectus and acrylic lettering, as long as it meets other standards. However, driver tracking remains a priority. The government wants to know where the people are all the time.

Changes in number plates will affect car prices. People looking for models without a “22” manicure can get a bargain. However, one in three drivers says they plan to change their car in 2022.


The DVLA is still battling the backlog of paper driver license applications that began during the first wave of epidemics. Nearly two years later, the agency seems to be failing to deal with the volumes. However, poor performance is not likely to upset senior officials of the organization. Julie Leonard has been the CEO of DVLA since March 2018, and retains her job.

People who are still waiting for their license have no choice but to wait.

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