Motorists may be able to continue driving without licence as 12 week DVLA delays continue


The Driver and Vehicles Licensing Agency (DVLA) have reminded drivers that they can continue to be on the roads as long as they meet certain requirements. This comes as the Government agency continues to deal with a backlog of paper applications for new driving licences.

It tweeted: “If you’re waiting for your driving licence to be renewed, you may be able to continue to drive as long as:

“You are fit and healthy.

“A doctor or optician hasn’t told you not to drive.”

Section 88 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 may allow drivers to continue driving even though “you do not hold a current driving licence”.

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Drivers may also be able to continue to drive as long as they are not currently disqualified from driving by a court and they were not deemed a high risk offender on or after June 1, 2013.

As a result of ongoing Covid safety measures and the impact of previous industrial action by members of the Public and Commercial Services union, there are ongoing delays with processing public applications.

The DVLA said it was “sorry for any inconvenience this may cause and our staff are working hard to reduce waiting times”.

It stated that there may be additional delays in processing more complex cases.

This could include if medical investigations are needed as part of the driving licence application.

Current waiting times for paper applications for new driving licences vary, with some applications being processed as of the start of December, a wait of 12 weeks.

For those who have applied for a renewal of a driving licence with a new photo, the applications are currently being processed from December 2, 2021.

Paper applications for a first provisional driving licence with UK identity, a driving licence with a non-UK identity and renewing a licence for over 70’s are all being processed from mid-December.

Some paper applications, however, are being processed from mid-February, with applications expected to be addressed as soon as possible.

These include applying for a first vocational driving licence, a renewal of a vocational licence, applying or renewing a tachograph card, any vehicle registration certificate (V5C) changes and telling the DVLA about the sale of a vehicle.

The DVLA advises drivers that its online services are working as normal and without delay.

It is the “quickest, easiest and often cheapest way” to apply with the DVLA and it recommends using the online services where possible.


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