A massive backlog of driver’s licenses and tests persists, with experts predicting a ’24-week wait’.
As the coronavirus continues to wreak havoc on the automotive industry, motorists are facing multiple backlogs on driving license applications and driving tests.
According to the latest data from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), some paper license applications dating back to mid-October are still being processed.
As of October 13, 2021 – almost 12 weeks ago – the DVLA is still processing paper applications for new photos on driving licenses.
As of the same date, paper applications for over-70s driver’s licenses, as well as applications to change names or addresses on their license, are being processed.
Some applications, such as new tachograph cards or a first vocational driving license, are being processed more recently, with any applications received prior to December 22 being reviewed.
The pandemic has wreaked havoc on the DVLA, as well as many other government agencies, resulting in a backlog of applications.
According to the organization’s website, “there are ongoing delays with processing paper applications as a result of ongoing COVID safety measures and the impact of previous industrial action by members of the Public and Commercial Services union.”
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The pandemic has taken a toll on driving tests, with instructors being forced to follow Covid guidelines and limit the number of driving lessons and practical tests.
The backlog is holding back young people, according to Ian McIntosh, CEO of RED Driving School.
“Learner drivers in some parts of the country face a wait of up to 24 weeks for a driving test,” he told this website.
“The backlog has grown with 2,000 17-year-olds entering the market every day and driving lessons and tests being canceled during the lockdown months.”
“According to the Department for Transport, the number of practical car driving tests conducted in the United Kingdom between April and June 2021 was 26% lower than the same period in 2019.”
“Driving schools are also dealing with a significant increase in demand – at RED, we’ve seen a fourfold increase in learner driver inquiries this year alone, and our instructors have never been busier.”
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