Disabled drivers facing long delays in licences

Disabled drivers are facing long delays in their driving licence applications being approved by the Driving and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).  The waiting time for motorists with medical conditions has risen by 65% in 12 months.

Drivers must tell the DVLA about certain health conditions.  These include diabetes, sleep apnoea, epilepsy or a heart condition.

An investigation by an online car dealership (Heycar), found a 65% rise in the time it took to get their application approved, with more than 300,000 Disabled drivers affected by delays.

The report said one of the causes of the backlog include DVLA staff working from home not having access to a vital database.

The DVLA expects to get back to their ‘normal’ turnaround times later this year, with 90 per cent of medical applications being dealt with within 90 days, by the end of September.  However, the current delays are seriously affecting the lives and mobility of Disabled people.

As well as the long delays in dealing with licence applications, Disabled people are finding it extremely difficult to contact DVLA, which means they don’t know what is happening to their application.

DVLA seems to not be aware, or not care, that these delays mean many Disabled people are having to make monthly payments for vehicles that they cannot use. 

While the Forum understands that the pandemic has caused a backlog and delays within many services, it is not acceptable that Disabled drivers receive a worse service from the DVLA than not-yet Disabled people -leaving some drivers waiting up to six months for a new or renewed licence.

Laura Welti, the Forum Manager, said:

“The DVLA must cut the amount of time it takes to deal with licence applications from Disabled drivers and improve its communications.”

For more information, including medical driving licence FAQs, please visit the Heycar medical licence guide.

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