Is the DVLA in chaos?

After I did some more googling after I posted the information below (beyond the more tag), I suddenly found this!

“To make it easier for drivers who need to update their photocard licence with a new photograph at the end of the 10 years validity, photocard driving licences that expire between 1 February 2020 and 31 August 2020 will be automatically extended for a period of 7 months from the date of expiry.”

How come DVLA on Twitter was not aware of this?

How come this information did not show up before or during the online renewal procedure?

And how come the post office was not aware of this either? My license got snipped with scissors and discarded and I was told that as of the next day, I would be breaking the law if I drove.

(For many people, their driving licence is their main ID.)

How come that apparently this information is not that easy to find on the web? (Failure to submit to the search engines at the time? But then, it is not that easy to find on the DVLA website either.

Was the information announced retroactively, such as on 4 June, perhaps?

(By the way, it also explains why I didn’t get the renewal reminder. Sorry anonymous.)

My driving licence expired in May. A lot of my postal mail disappears and I did not receive the renewal reminder either.

The DVLA’s website was barely functional at the time, but on Twitter, DVLA said there were no problems with it.

At the post office, I was told it could take around five weeks for my new licence to arrive. Those five weeks have passed. In view of the fact that several bank cards and other important documents as well as lots of fairly random letters have previously disappeared from my postal mail in the past 9 to 10 years (i.e., at my current address), I find this a worrisome development.

Driving licenses get sent in highly recognisable envelopes without any tracking or other kind of postal service protection, after all.

But now I find that I cannot call the DVLA (I get a recording saying that they are getting a high number of calls and cannot accept my call for that reason), that their webchat has been closed and that they are not accepting e-mails either… By the way, that message below only popped up AFTER I answered all the questions (lists with options as to what your enquiry is about).




Update history of the information on that page on the DVLA web site:

5 thoughts on “Is the DVLA in chaos?

  1. I called again, different time, different day, tried to e-mail, tried to chat, got the same nonsense. I started wondering whether I know anyone at the DVLA, then for a minute or so thought that I know the person who actually runs it – nope, close but no cigar – then found the DVLA on LinkedIn, but it does not look like that is going to be helpful either. They are hiring lots of new staff. What that means? No idea. (Is Dominic Cummings in charge of the DVLA’s staffing now?)


  2. Turns out that they’re currently processing… wait for it… March.

    “So it’s going to take a long time.”

    “It’s going to take a VEry long time.”

    I stopped by at the post office. No point in protesting or getting upset. I am lucky. (So far. Haven’t needed to drive anywhere yet.)

    I overheard one guy, possibly a lorry driver or cabby, who needed to pay something and got flagged or fined last month because he had not paid but (probably because of the backlogs), the direct debit is not going out yet. Apparently he could not pay at the post office either (but he was still there when I left). If he has enough info for the direct debit, he has enough info for a direct payment and can pay online or at his bank'[s office, so that he will have proof that he paid, too. Does he know that? It was something to with a car, something monthly.


  3. Someone’s started a petition, a month ago, and it was noticed by the BBC a few days ago so
    maybe now something will change. People are losing jobs and lots of money over this.

    It just so happened that I started to wonder a few days ago whether the media know about this. It’s utterly ridiculous.

    It sounds as if they are currently processing the applications that are arriving now much more quickly but some people have been waiting for four months. So many people are experiencing problems caused by the DVLA because it is holding all their ID, including people who need the ID for visa applications, the Home Office. I also noticed that quite a few foreign nationals seem to be caught up in this but that may have to do with the fact that we have no UK passports.


  4. It gets curiouser and curiouser. I found a page at the DVLA where I can check my licence and it says that they renewed it on 13 June. How can that be if they were still processing MARCH appplications in JULY? Where is my damn licence?


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