THOUSANDS of people face painful delays to their driving licence applications due to a severe backlog at the DVLA.
More than 250,000 road users have been forced to wait longer than two and half months for their driving documents, with delays set to last until September.
But the DVLA — suffering delays from staff absences and Covid — has offered some useful tips for getting your documents quicker.
The DVLA website said: “As a result of Covid and the impact of previous industrial action, there are ongoing delays processing paper applications.
“We’re sorry for any inconvenience this may cause and our staff are working hard to reduce waiting times.
“There may be additional delays in processing more complex cases, for example, if medical investigations are needed as part of your driving licence application.”
The DVLA is urging drivers to renew online to expedite the process.
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The DVLA website states: “Our online services are working as normal and without delay.
“This is the quickest, easiest, and often cheapest way to deal with us.
“We recommend that you use our online services where possible.”
If you apply online you should receive your driving licence or vehicle registration certificate, V5C, within five days.
Drivers using paper applications to renew their licence with a new photo will have to wait the longest.
The DVLA are still processing applications from December 14.
Anyone applying for a driving licence with a non-UK identity will also face a wait of almost two and a half months, as paper applications are still being processed from December 29.
Elderly drivers renewing their licence, face an eight week delay if they are over 70 or have been disqualified.
The Daily Telegraph revealed there are 929,944 applications waiting to be processed.
And that 254,396 of those applications are more than 10 weeks old.
Huw Merriman, chairman of the transport select committee, said “welcome progress” had been made.
But Aoife Stack, a dentist from Broadstairs, Kent, said she missed funerals and weddings after the DVLA lost her passport and branded the system a “total failure”.
Drivers are advised to contact the DVLA if they have not yet received vehicle documents within six weeks for any changes to the V5C or a replacement V5C log book.
A DVLA spokesperson said: “We are prioritising returning ID papers. Online services are working as normal.
“We encourage people to use these where possible. We have recruited more staff, increased overtime and opened new customer service centres.”
The DVLA said on its website that you may be able to continue driving while it is processing your application, if you meet certain criteria.
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