How can we get my son’s provisional driving licence from the DVLA?

We applied two-and-a-half months ago, and we don’t understand why it is taking so long

Can you please help me to find out what has happened to my son’s provisional driving licence application to DVLA? We filled in the form and sent off all of the supporting ID documents – birth certificate and national insurance notification letter – in August. More than two-and-a-half months have passed, and there is no sign of his licence, or the documents.

There is no way to find out why it is taking so long, no way to complain, no way to ask for another form, or to find out if it is just stuck in a backlog. We were hoping to start teaching him to drive but without the licence we are stuck.

CG, Bristol

Regular readers will know DVLA – and its customers – have had a torrid pandemic that has led to staff strikes and long delays in the processing of licence applications.

While basic licence renewals are being carried out promptly, anything that requires human intervention has been taking months.

It is a massive problem for those who have been cleared to drive after their licence was previously taken away for medical reasons. Simple name changes for people who have married takes months – along with applications from first-time drivers.

Happily, I can report DVLA was able to find this application, and it has now been processed and sent out. The agency continues to blame the problems on the Covid safety measures introduced at its Swansea HQ. However, I can’t be alone in feeling that these excuses are starting to wear thin, and if things are not resolved soon, ministers really need to intervene.

Happy ending over fine

I recently featured a letter from MB of Falmouth whose 91-year-old neighbour was being sent letters about a parking fine, addressed to another man, but at his home.

It was being handled by a firm of solicitors called QDR, with the threat of bailiffs. At the time, I said I had contacted QDR, which had not responded, and advised him not to worry as there was nothing the firm could do as he was not the person it was chasing.

Having seen the article, QDR has confirmed that no further correspondence concerning this matter will be sent to his address.

We welcome letters but cannot answer individually. Email us at or write to Consumer Champions, Money, the Guardian, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU. Please include a daytime phone number. Submission and publication of all letters is subject to our terms and conditions.


Miles Brignall

The GuardianTramp

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