Industrial action at the DVLA is causing yet more misery after the agency admitted to a mammoth backlog in driving licence renewals.
The government body says that the ongoing strike at its Swansea head office has resulted in huge delays in handling paper applications.
There is currently a backlog of around 10 weeks before applications are even seen.
Requests then take between six and 10 weeks to be fully processed – leaving motorists waiting up to five months in the some cases.
The agency is currently handling requests that were sent on June 9, Wales Online reported today (Aug 19).
Motorists applying for their first provisional licences face a wait of up to 16 weeks, with the agency currently processing applications made on July 6.
The delays also apply to changes of name or address.
Posting on its website, the DVLA said: ‘Ongoing industrial action will directly affect DVLA’s services.
‘There will be delays in processing paper applications.
‘Please do not phone to chase up your application during this time as we are dealing with all paper applications as quickly as possible and in the order in which they are received.’
It added: ‘Currently, paper applications, including where further information has been required from you after an online application, are likely to take 6 to 10 weeks to process.
‘There may be additional delays in processing more complex transactions, for example, if medical investigations are needed as part of your driving licence application.’
DVLA employees in the Public and Commercial Services Union are currently on a month-long strike over Covid-related safety concerns.
Chairman Umesh Samani told Car Dealer that ‘horrendous’ delays were making dealerships ‘like graveyards’.
He said: ‘It is absolutely horrendous and a complete nightmare for all the dealers, to be honest with you.
‘The online automated services are working great, which is a major benefit, but then the flip side of that is when you do have to manually send for the paperwork, cherished plates or V5s it is just so unpredictable.
‘I’ve got dealers telling me that they are still waiting for V5s from early March and when they phone up to speak to somebody, obviously they’re not being answered for days on end.
‘How are we supposed to continue selling cars to keep customers happy? It is just an impossible situation because sometimes there is just no way around it.
‘You do have to send off for things physically and then we’re in their hands really.’
Pic: PA Images