The global pandemic is affecting industries across the board and the driving sector is no different. The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), the organisation of the UK government responsible for maintaining a database of drivers in Great Britain and a database of vehicles for the entire United Kingdom, is suffering from an enormous backlog of applicants and renewals.
The BBC has recently reported that the DVLA in Swansea is unable to cope with the weight of tasks with reduced staff numbers and the social distancing guidelines that have been implemented.
Delays are not just restricted to Wales as DVLA offices around the UK are feeling the strain of COVID-19. A reported number of paper applicants suggest that around a quarter of million weekly are received. In order to deal with the issue of recently expired licenses, the DVLA has introduced emergency legislation and extended photocard driving licences that expired between 1 February 2020 and 31 August 2020 for seven months.
The DVLA is not the only government agency that is suffering from a similar backlog. The Passport Office is reporting that there are over 400,000 passport applications that are waiting to be processed.
The official statement from the DVLA advises customers to utilise the GOV.UK website as online queries are processed quicker than their paper counterparts. The DVLA has stated that in the current climate, it will be prioritising requests that have the biggest impact on the customer, for example the requests for ID.
If you are applying for a provisional licence, Drivio advises you to expect delays regarding the processing of your ID. If you’re keen to keep up to date with how the DVLA is managing these delays, Drivio recommends that you follow the DVLA on Twitter (@DVLAgovuk) for the most immediate and up-to-date information