Q1. Are you allowed to drive if you have posted your Drivers Licence Application to the DVA but not received a provisional licence?
A Department for Infrastructure spokesperson said:
“The DVA understands and apologises for the inconvenience and frustrations the current restrictions are causing for many customers, including new drivers. The Agency also understands how frustrating it must be for new drivers to have to wait but, unfortunately, the law is such that an applicant for a provisional driving licence is not covered to drive until the driving licence has been processed or until the commencement date shown on their driving licence.
“On 27 March 2020, the Driver & Vehicle Agency (DVA) suspended the processing of postal driving licence applications, including applications for a first time provisional driving licence. The decision was taken to protect staff and help fight the spread of Covid-19 and allowed the DVA to direct its limited resources towards the continued provision of essential services. The DVA has continued to process paper applications for Group 2 (lorry and/or bus) driving licences and online renewals for Group 1 (car, motorcycle and tractor licences).
“Anyone who submitted a paper application prior to the cessation of services and who has not, by 20 May 2020, received their driving licence, will not have their application processed until the service is resumed.
“If you want to renew your car, motorcycle or tractor driving licence, you can do so online at https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/services/renew-your-driving-licence-online and staff are working remotely to process those applications. If a paper application has already been submitted but not processed, a driver can apply online and any fee already submitted with the paper application will be refunded once processing of paper applications by the DVA resumes.
Q2. If paper renewal applications were sent to the DVA prior to Lockdown and the applications were not processed, are you allowed to drive after the driving licence has passed expiry date?
“Drivers are not covered to drive where the existing licence has expired and they have not received confirmation that the DVA is in receipt of a qualifying application, which is a fully completed application form (with no errors or omissions) and where the relevant fee and photograph have been supplied.
“The DVA’s priority is to keep people safe and minimise disruption to customers. We can assure our customers that normal services will resume again as soon as it is safe to do so.”