DVLA licence renewal times excessive, says driver

The amount of time taken by DVLA under some circumstances to return renewed vocational licences to people who are over 65 has been questioned by one coach driver. He says regular delays are costing him work. They are also making it difficult for employers to plan around his availability, he adds.

The unnamed driver, 73 accepts that previous heart problems may lead DVLA to take a close look at his application. However, he says that his latest renewal has taken almost 11 months.

The driver alleges that DVLA has blamed a backlog for the delays. He also claims that earlier this year the agency said it had not received his medical form but subsequently located it. His licence was then renewed.

The driver also says he has been sent for the same test on three occasions. He passed each one.

Although not commenting on any particular case, DVLA says that it sometimes requires additional information before it is able to make a decision to renew a driving licence. That may extend the renewal process.

The driver concerned is able to continue to drive under Section 88 of the Road Traffic Act. That allows driving to be undertaken without a licence it as long as the individual’s doctor deems it safe among other criteria. But he says that the delays have caused hardship as operators are reluctant to employ him with no physical licence.

“I drive during the summer for several coach companies. Some cannot offer me work because of the delays with renewal,” he says.

“That means I have lost money. The operators involved have also suffer because they have been unable to use me for tours during the busy summer season.”

The driver’s licence was suspended by DVLA for a year following his medical at age 65. It was returned later.