HL Deb 11 January 2000 vol 608 cc109-10WA
Lord Skelmersdale

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What efforts are they making to speed up the response time of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency. [HL274]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (Lord Whiny)

Approximately 80,000 items of mail are received at DVLA daily. For security and operational reasons, DVLA post is stored unopened in strict date order and is called for processing in that order. Currently there is a four-day queue of unopened mail, which is about normal for the time of year. The level of work awaiting processing is carefully monitored each day.

On the driving licence side, which accounts for 20,000 to 30,000 applications per day, DVLA undertakes to issue driving licences and return original documents to customers within three weeks (15 working days) of the date of receipt of their applications. This three-week standard has been met or bettered consistently throughout the year.

In cases where a driver declares a medical condition—amounting to some 1,100 applications a day—because of the increased complexities the service standard is five weeks for a car licence and seven weeks for a bus or lorry licence. Some current cases in these categories are taking longer. Action is being taken to bring this service up to standard and the position is steadily improving.

The advertised service standards for vehicle registration and licensing services have also been met or bettered during 1999.

There are no exceptional operational difficulties at the agency. Over the past 18 months major changes to both driver and vehicle computer systems have been successfully introduced.