However, a spokesperson stressed to Motoring Research that this is only for paper services and applications: DVLA online services are working as normal.
The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) maintains the registration and licensing of drivers and vehicles, and the collection of road tax (VED).
“Paper applications sent to our office in Swansea will take longer to process as they must be dealt with in person on site, where we are working with reduced numbers to meet social distancing requirements,” a spokesperson told Motoring Research.
The 2 metre social distancing measures in Wales have resulted in a reduced number of staff on site.
Motorists should remain patient, says the DVLA, even if the delay is stretching into weeks.
“If you’ve already made an application, we will process this and return any documentation as quickly as possible.”
The DVLA says that its online services have not been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Since March, the organisation has processed more than 18 million online transactions.
For the fastest response, motorists should go online and fill in the necessary details, rather than sending paperwork to the DVLA in Swansea.
Motorists can access a range of services online, with a V5C log book address change being the most recent service added.
The organisation says its most popular online services are:
- Apply for, renew or replace a driving licence
- Change the address on your driving licence
- Tax a vehicle or declare it as off the road (SORN)
- Tell us you’ve sold a vehicle
- Keep or assign a private (personalised) registration online
All the DVLA online services are available and a spokesperson assured Motoring Research that “online applications will be processed quicker than paper applications”.
Drivers aged 70 and over
Motorists who are aged 70 and over need to renew their driving licence every three years.
A spokesperson at the DVLA told Motoring Research that some drivers applying to renew “may be able to drive while the DVLA is considering their application, providing they have a current driving licence and they have not been told by their doctor or optician that they should not drive”.
Full information is available online to see if you can drive while your application is with the DVLA.
Many drivers opted to take their cars off the road during the lockdown, registering the car with a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN).
Motorists get a refund for any full months of remaining VED car tax, so there has been a spike in the number of SORN applications this year. Click here to tell the DVLA you’re taking your car off the road.
VED refunds are being processed as normal, insists the DVLA.
During the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the DVLA restricted its telephone contact centre to key workers only.
This restriction has now been lifted, but officials still request that “while demand is very high, please only call our contact centre if it is urgent”.
The DVLA contact centre is open Monday to Friday from 8am to 1pm, and 2pm to 7pm.
It is also open on Saturdays between 8am and 2pm, but is closed on Sundays. Contact details can be found here.
This piece was updated on 30 July with more information for drivers aged 70 and over