Personal Finance

Why did the DVLA go into communication lockdown?

I am puzzled and frustrated by the DVLA failing to respond to any communication. I bought a car in March, just before lockdown, but the (V5C) logbook had been filled in incorrectly by the garage I bought it from (Arnold Clark). The garage offered to send it to the DVLA again with the correct details. But three months later, I still haven’t received it. For the past month I have been trying to contact DVLA by phone, email and web chat but it seems to have shut down.

Is it acceptable for a government agency of this importance to shut down for three months and not accept any communication?

AS, London

It turned out, annoyingly, that your V5C had, indeed, been sent by the garage to the DVLA (in Swansea) and was sitting there for all this time. It should be back with you by now.

Early in lockdown the DVLA was prioritising applications for HGV drivers and key workers, with its phone and support lines buckling under the pressure.

The DVLA says its online services are running as normal, and are the quickest and easiest way of making an application.

“Paper applications are taking longer to process as we need to ensure we are a Covid-19 secure workplace, and in following the legal requirements in Wales around social distancing we are limited in terms of the number of people we can have on site at one time,” it says.

“We understand how frustrating delays can be and we apologise for any inconvenience – we are working hard to process applications as quickly as possible. Guidance and support regarding our services is regularly updated on”

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