Dear DVLA, where is my driving licence?

After weeks of trying to access its dysfunctional website, I took my driving licence to the Post Office where an employee took my photo, my payment and also my licence, which she snipped into pieces and discarded. It had not expired yet but was about to.

That was in late May, about ten days before the DVLA retroactively extended the validity of all licences as of 1 February 2020. With SEVEN MONTHS!

It later amended this information and added that it was implementing this automatic extension because of the EU. The UK left the EU at the beginning of the year.

In July, I was still without licence and I enquired at the Post Office. I was told that the DVLA was handling March applications at the time and that it would take a very long time for my licence to arrive. I figured that it would take about four months, then.

There is no way to contact the DVLA, which stubbornly refused to acknowledge any difficulties for months.

(At least now, its voice mail acknowledges that they’re having issues and that there is nothing they can do for us. We must wait patiently.)

At some point, I was able to access a part of the DVLA site that informed me that my licence was renewed in early June. WTF?

I continued to wait, as it is clear that the DVLA is in deep shit, but some weeks later, I sent a letter by special delivery asking the DVLA to let me know whether or not the licence had been dispatched as so many items are getting lost from our postal mail and deliveries these days.

I haven’t had a response to that either. So what shall I do? Report my licence as stolen or lost? To avoid being told later that I should have reported its disappearance sooner?

Ten years ago, I exchanged my Dutch licence – acquired in 1984 – for a UK one as I’d been living in the UK too long to still be allowed to have a Dutch licence.

I wonder if there is some kind of international law that I can apply to this as the DVLA is withholding an important form of ID for me that was initially issued in the Netherlands. I have been without it for four months.

I happen to have met the guy who runs the DVSA – not the DVLA – and he is one of my LinkedIn connections. He has a chunk of oceanography in his past.

But the DVSA apparently has similar issues as the DVLA.

It appears that he knows it, too, as his LinkedIn profile summary at some point made him sound so much like the manager of a hedge fund or manufacturing plant that I concluded that I must have remembered his professional context wrong. Then I ran into an article in The Guardian that mentioned him.

He’s leaving the DVSA. Smart choice. I think he is a very capable guy. And he can’t do a thing about my driving licence.

I am lucky. Lots of people have actually been forced to send original documents such as passports and marriage licences to the DVLA and being without them and their driving licence for too many months has led to issues such as being unable to get the visa for a planned trip, being unable to start the new job and problems with the Home Office.


4 thoughts on “Dear DVLA, where is my driving licence?

  1. Have heard back from the DVLA in response to my communication via DVLA website form. Have contacted Portsmouth Police as well as the DVLA (again). I sent the following to the DVLA.


    I have received S Abramo’s e-mail in which he or she stated that the DVLA did indeed post my licence to me but the message did not include WHEN the DVLA sent it.

    I am unable to call the DVLA. As you know, the DVLA’s number has not been working properly for months. I have not been able to get through even once in the past half year and I was pleasantly surprised that the e-mail option is functional again. I also sent a letter by special delivery on 2 September that I have not yet received a response to.

    What I would like you to do right now is sent a recorded letter to me as well as to Portsmouth Police with the following information at the very least:
    – Exact date of when the DVLA sent the licence to me;
    – Address the DVLA sent the licence to;
    – Any other information you have such as whether it was sent recorded and whether it was sent first class or second class.

    Address 1:
    Angelina Souren
    6F Kingston Road
    Portsmouth PO1 5RZ

    Address 2:
    Portsmouth Central Police Station
    Winston Churchill Avenue
    Portsmouth PO1 2DG

    I have been the target of something called sadistic stalking for over 12 years and this has included the theft of many postal items. That said, I understand that tens of thousands of postal items have gone missing in recent months.

    I thank you for your cooperation. Stay well.

    Best regards,

    Angelina Souren

    • Police just e-mailed me back that the constabulary I contacted is not the constabulary. O-kay. I’ve also once gotten e-mail from the Central Police Station in Southampton on behalf of Portsmouth Central Police Station telling me that crimes such as burglary and hacking are not crimes. I kid you not.

      Also, someone appears to have set up a LinkedIn profile using my business e-mail address to which I no longer have access since the last bank holiday weekend. That’s also when I lost access to my business website.

  2. They issued a new copy. It made it. Let’s assume that it just went missing along with the tens of thousands other items that went missing in England recently.

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