Motorists are warned that they will have to wait up to 10 weeks to renew their driver’s license – with a reported backlog of 1.4 million renewal requests.
The DVLA sees “persistent delays” in the processing of applications and the sending of the documents.
And the agency is now asking drivers to extend their extension online whenever possible in order to avoid weeks of delays.
A combination of strikes and ongoing social distancing requirements have resulted in “persistent delays in paper applications,” the DVLA said.
And license renewals are still being processed from applicants that were submitted 10 weeks ago on June 9th he Liverpool echo.
The DVLA said in a statement on its website that processing paper applications “will likely take 6 to 10 weeks”.
It added, “We apologize for the inconvenience but we are working to process your application as soon as possible.
“We receive around 60,000 items of mail every day that have to be opened and processed.”
However, the DVLA said there is no delay in applying online – and advises drivers to use their online services “where possible”.
The Times reports that “around 1.4 million” applications are affected by the backlog.
A DVLA spokesman said: “Our online services are not affected by the pandemic and will continue to run as usual and without delays. Most transactions can be completed online, including driver license renewal.
“Due to ongoing industrial action and social distancing requirements, there are delays in processing paper applications, which means that at no point did we have fewer staff than usual on site.
“It takes an average of six to ten weeks to process applications on paper, but longer delays can occur with more complex transactions that require medical examinations, for example.
“It is disappointing that the public and commercial services union is choosing to continue industrial action and target services that will have the greatest negative impact on the public, including some of the more vulnerable people in society.
“As restrictions relax and life returns to normal, millions of people across the UK, from those applying for their first provisional driver’s license to dealerships selling cars, are relying on essential DVLA services.
“The requirements of PCS are causing significant and unnecessary disruption to families and businesses, all at a time when they are most needed.”
Last year, driver’s licenses that expire between February 1 and December 31, 2020 were extended by 11 months by the DVLA to make it easier for drivers in the pandemic.
Licenses that were due to expire in October 2020 were valid until September 2021 – i.e. no longer valid from tomorrow.
Drivers who fail to renew their license could be fined £ 1,000 and will be asked to update.
However, drivers can continue to drive once they receive confirmation that their application has been processed, the DVLA says.
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