Drivers are fuming after being left with out essential paperwork due to coronavirus-related delays on the DVLA workplace in Swansea.
They report ready months for substitute paperwork or licence renewals as diminished employees numbers on the DVLA have left it unable to manage.
“I despatched my paperwork to the DVLA on 10 March,” Tanya Prime instructed the BBC.
The DVLA has blamed the issues on having to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We proceed to obtain paper purposes and whereas we course of these as rapidly as doable there are vital delays,” it mentioned.
“This is as a result of the 2 metre social distancing measures in Wales have resulted in a diminished variety of employees on website.”
James Balls of Durham instructed the BBC: “I’ve been ready almost eight weeks for paperwork regarding placing a quantity plate on retention with a view to change my automobile.
“The DVLA has actually nothing to say aside from wait. They could not even inform me how far behind I’m within the queue. It’s bonkers.”
The DVLA mentioned that paper purposes have continued to flood into its workplace all through the pandemic, with a present common of round 250,000 envelopes acquired weekly.
“Our on-line companies are working as regular and we have processed greater than 18 million on-line transactions since March,” it added.
To assist, the DVLA has robotically prolonged photocard driving licences that expired between 1 February 2020 and 31 August 2020 for seven months.
An anxious wait
“I’ll have missed recommendation on the information about driving licences however I’m fairly involved that I’ve not acquired my new licence again, having tried to resume it earlier than my 70th birthday,” Susan Wood of Folkestone in Kent instructed the BBC.
Early in May she had tried to course of her utility on-line.
“But I bought nowhere so I posted it off to Swansea with the shape provided,” she mentioned.
Since then she’s had an anxious wait.
“On their web site there isn’t a clear recommendation. I did discover a phone quantity however on ringing it the quantity was unobtainable.
“I then discovered the e-mail type, accomplished all of the questions, solely to be instructed on the finish there may be no one accessible to reply emails.
“I can’t perceive why so many firms have organised their companies with individuals working from house, but this authorities division can’t have the know-how for the employees to reply emails from house.”
The DVLA instructed the BBC that Susan Wood was issued a brand new driving licence in March. “We are writing to her to supply a free substitute if she hasn’t acquired it,” it mentioned.
Tanya Prime of Ilkeston in Derbyshire has been ready for a response from the DVLA for greater than 4 months and was getting fearful about driving as a result of the tax on one among her autos is because of expire.
“I despatched 5 car paperwork to the DVLA on 10 March to have the tackle modified on them,” she instructed the BBC.
“I’ve acquired nothing in return. I posted registered, signed for, and have a Royal Mail confirmed signature of receipt.”
She complained of not having the ability to pay money for the DVLA by telephone and having to ship quite a few follow-up letters.
“Their newest response is that they’ve by no means acquired the paperwork and I have to apply for replacements and pay for every one,” she mentioned.
After an investigation, the DVLA mentioned that Tanya Prime’s paperwork had been acquired. “The letter was despatched to her in error and we’re processing her modifications of tackle utility. We’re writing to her to let her know,” it mentioned.
The BBC has been despatched extra complaints, whereas on social media the DVLA is being saved busy apologising to fed-up motorists.
The DVLA mentioned the easiest way to cope with queries was on-line by the GOV.UK web site as on-line transactions will likely be processed extra rapidly than paper ones.
It added that it’s prioritising transactions that create the most important affect on the client, which embrace these with ID paperwork.
The estimated 790,000 drivers over 70 who’ve utilized for a renewal since March might have been hit by the issues, however the DVLA identified that some drivers making use of to resume their licence could possibly drive whereas the company is contemplating their utility.
They might want to have a present driving licence and never been instructed by their physician or optician that they need to not drive. More information can be found here.
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