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Drivers licence delays blamed on Covid rules and industrial action

Drivers licence delays blamed on Covid rules and industrial action
Online applications aren’t affected, DVLA says

Industrial action and Covid social distancing rules are being blamed for potential driver licence renewal delays, with some applicants facing months-long waits to receive their documents.

No início deste ano, the Public and Commerical Services Union (PCS) announced its members would strike amid an ongoing row over pandemic safety measures.

Earlier in August, staff walked out at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), which issues licences after no resolution was found, and the PCS last week opened a fresh ballot.

Its members will be asked what their priorities are and if they would support further industrial action.

The union has called for a reduction in the number of staff who need to go into the office to work after concerns were raised following a number of coronavirus cases last year.

As a result of the action, the DVLA said, motorists who submit paper applications to renew their licences could potentially face waits of up to 10 semanas.

The DVLA said the combination of industrial action and ongoing social distancing requirements has led tocontinuing delays with paper applications”.

This includes applications to change a name or address.

According to an update on its website earlier this week, the DVLA said it is currently processing applications submitted on 9 Junho.

Adicionou: “We’re sorry for any inconvenience caused but we are working as quickly as we can to deal with your application.

We receive around 60,000 items of mail every day that needs to be opened and processed.

New applicants are also facing waits. The agency is currently processing applications from 6 julho.

The DVLA says there is no delay to online applications and advises customers to use its online serviceswhere possible”.

Os tempos relatórios “cerca de 1.4 milhão” applications are affected by the backlog, which could take well into next year to clear.

A DVLA spokesperson told the paper: “There are delays in processing paper applications due to industrial action and social-distancing requirements, which means that we have had fewer staff than usual on site at any one time.

Our online services have not been impacted by the pandemic and continue to run without any delays. The majority of transactions can be done online.