DVLA issues stark warning to drivers regarding driving licences

The DVLA has informed drivers that they must expect significant waiting times for their licenses when renewing or applying for a license.

Due to a massive backlog, drivers may find it takes a month to get their licenses to them.

According to the DVLA website, the government organization is currently working on applications for driver’s licenses as early as August.

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The website says: “We receive a high volume of inquiries about driving while your driving license application is with the DVLA”.

The delay applies to those who applied on paper, but those who applied online will not experience any delays, according to the website.

When someone wants to apply for or renew their driver’s license, the DVLA has encouraged drivers to use their online service to avoid possible delays.

A DVLA statement said: “Due to ongoing COVID security measures and the impact of industrial action by members of the public and commercial services union, there are persistent delays in processing paper applications.

“We apologize for any inconvenience and our staff are working hard to reduce waiting times. There may be additional delays in handling more complex cases, such as medical examinations as part of your driver’s license application.”

However, drivers may continue to drive if their application for an extension of their driving license is submitted to the DVLA.

Section 88 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 may allow you to continue driving even if you do not have a valid driver’s license.

In practice, this is the case if you have applied to the DVLA to renew your license, but the license expires while the DVLA is processing the application.

To continue driving as per Section 88, you must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Your doctor must have told you that you are fit to drive
  • You have a valid driver’s license and only drive vehicles that you have applied for with your current application and that were authorized to drive with your previous driver’s license

  • If you have a Group 2 (bus or truck) driving license, your authorization has not been suspended, revoked or denied by a traffic inspector

  • You meet all of the conditions that were stated on your previous license and which continue to apply

  • DVLA received your correct and complete application within the last 12 months

  • Your last license was not revoked or denied for medical reasons

  • You are currently not barred from driving by a court of law

  • You were not disqualified as a high-risk offender on or after June 1, 2013 (high-risk offender is a driver convicted of a serious alcohol driving offense)

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