Driving Licence Application

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Driving Licence Application

Post by PanBiker » 02 Jun 2019, 14:26

I created this new category and forum for other government departments. This particular thread for driving licence issues.

I have a particular reason for this as my application for return of my driving licence seems to have stalled somewhat so I have gone on the chase.

My first port of call was to the Meningioma FB support site that I subscribed to. I searched it for DVLA related issues. Some pretty bad horror stories of having to wait over 18 months in some cases to get your licence back! What is apparent from the posts though is that it is not a level playing field by any means. The processing of applications seems to be quite disjointed in many ways. I did pick up though that it is best to email complaints rather than telephone them. The telephone operators it would appear work from a script designed to delay their response. If you email them you have a paper trail.

Alarm bells regarding my application started to ring last night while browsing the DVLA site. I was actually looking to see if the Vehicle Tax that we paid for had arrived on the system. After checking that I noticed a link where you could check your own driving licence status so I followed it. You put your driver number in, NI number and postcode as ID checks. It then takes you to your driving licence status where you can see the categories you are qualified for and the status of any endorsements you may have. The problem with mine was that it states "You do not have any current driving entitlement". Bit of a slap in the face.

I have completed my 6 months suspension and expected to see some reference maybe to section 88 of the Road Traffic Act that allows you to drive if your doctor agrees that you are fit enough, which mine does.

One of the deciding factors of whether or not you get you licence back in a timely manner seems to rest on whether you surrendered or were revoked, the latter being a bit of an arbitrary decision when invoked.

My case in point goes like this. I was advised by my doctor not to drive on day one when I presented with my symptoms, I had already made that decision before I went to see him as my symptoms of temporary loss of function down one side were not conducive to correct control of a vehicle. I maintained this voluntary don't drive policy right through the stages of diagnosis and eventual surgery in early October. I was in hospital for three weeks and on discharge, the notes from my consultant advised me that I should inform the DVLA of my circumstances and condition which I did. This was late October.

I went online, downloaded the one form fits all medical questionnaire and with a bit of guidance from my doctor, filled it in to the best of my ability and sent it off to the DVLA. About 5 weeks later on the 04/12/18 they wrote back to me to say "you must not drive" and that my licence would be revoked (cancelled) from 05/12/18. I returned my licence on 06/12/18. The letter said that I had to surrender my licence for a period of six months and suggesting that I apply for it's return 8 weeks before the suspension time was up. It also stated that if I did not agree with their decision I could apply through my local magistrates court if I wished to appeal.

I got an appointment to see my doctor on Monday 22/04/19. I asked him to do neurological and strength tests and asked him to confirm on my notes that I was fit to drive. He put me through my paces and agreed that there was no reason why I should not apply for my licence back. As an aside I asked if I was OK to go back to blood donors and he also said there was nothing to the contra that should preclude me form that course either.

I picked up a D1 Driving Licence Application pack from the Post Office on my way back from the doctors and popped into the photo booth at the same time to get my picture taken for the licence. Spent the afternoon filling in the form and another 6 page specific medical questionnaire targeted this time a bit nearer to what had actually been wrong with me. The main thrust of my replies on here apart from all the dates and consultant and doctor contacts was that I had been medication free since discharge from hospital on the 24/10/18 and had never had a seizure either before or after surgery. I shoved it all in the black plastic bag provided in the pack along with a cheque for the new licence and copies of all positive correspondence from my consultant and physio's who had got me back fit enough to drive. I sent it next day tracked delivery before 1pm and it cost me £6.60 for the privilege. It was signed for at 07.50am in Swansea the next day.

Since then I have heard, nothing, no emails, phone calls or letters. In all fairness they have until Wednesday of this next week to deliver on time but they do say that if you have not heard from them within 3 weeks of your application you should contact them.

This is what I have done today, the email is an anonymous destination affair done online after selecting various radio buttons on the nature of your enquiry. It should get to the right department. After filling in the online form you get a reference for the email which is the start of the paper trail if required depending on their response. I have asked them to process my application in a timely manner and if there is to be a delay to issue me with a section 88 covering letter for the interim. Section 88 is there specifically to allow you to drive until all the medical checks are completed. We shall see.

If stopped by the constabulary or involved in an accident. All driver check are done via the Police National Computer which links into DVLA records, insurance databases etc. I put our new cars details on the insurance last night, quite painlessly online and I now have new documents that I can download referencing the same. Problem is, first check would reveal "no current driving entitlement" which then renders insurance null and void.

DVLA still does not acknowledge the £200.00 Vehicle Excise Duty I paid for yesterday. That would indicate that the so called automatic online system still requires human intervention of some kind. I will check again tomorrow, they took the payment OK by credit card and I have a receipt. No wriggle room for them there. :extrawink:

2 mins later, just checked online and you have to allow 5 days for the Vehicle Tax status to update. Begs the question what happens if you get stopped or picked up on ANPR cameras before then. Do the auto fine issuing computers do benefit of the doubt for 5 days? I could go to the car tomorrow and find it clamped. :sad:
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Re: Driving Licence Application

Post by plaques » 02 Jun 2019, 20:51

PanBiker wrote:
02 Jun 2019, 14:26
they took the payment OK by credit card and I have a receipt.
Is there a time lag for CREDIT card payments against Debit card where your money comes out of your account almost instantaneously?

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Re: Driving Licence Application

Post by Whyperion » 02 Jun 2019, 21:25

I can only suppose the 'tape' run of card number updates is done and matches to banking systems, there can also be a three to five day bank recall on some cards which might be allowed for too in the system. your reciept from DVLA though should cover in case of dispute though you might like to support your local post office if you can by renewing there then you do have the paperwork in. I always renew at least one day before VED runs out.

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Re: Driving Licence Application

Post by PanBiker » 02 Jun 2019, 21:32

There may be a very short delay as the transaction is verified and the credit is available which can be ascertained almost instantaneously but certainly not five days. Probably to allow for folk paying by cheque.
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Re: Driving Licence Application

Post by PanBiker » 02 Jun 2019, 21:45

I usually do renew at the post office but this was done at the dealers as the previous duty ran out on the vehicle in April. It had to be done online in order for us to drive it home.
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Re: Driving Licence Application

Post by Stanley » 03 Jun 2019, 02:21

Are they all busy working on Brexit?
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Re: Driving Licence Application

Post by PanBiker » 03 Jun 2019, 07:53

In my experience, I think the delays are brought about by inefficiency in the licensing procedure. It only seems to work for the simplest kind of applications. Step outside the box and you are into arbitrary decision making. By their own admission on the website they are in no position to assess anyone's ability to drive but the mechanism for involving those that can is where it all goes pear shaped as there is no common procedure. They cant seem to see the difference between surrender and revoke. I maintain that I surrendered my licence voluntarily when they asked me to return it, they class that as revocation simply because they asked. It puts you in a totally different ballpark, the regime needs major overhaul to make it more efficient.

I have had a reply to my email, auto generated of course:

This is a system generated acknowledgement - Do not reply to this email.

Dear Mr Lambert,
Thank you for your enquiry.
DVLA will send a reply to you within 3 working days.
If this takes longer because your query may need investigating, we will let you know.

Alternatively, for help, advice and online services you can visit the website at www.gov.uk/browse/driving


So, that's allright then.....
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Re: Driving Licence Application

Post by PanBiker » 03 Jun 2019, 17:00

Further to my previous post, I think I have found a section of the DVLA that actually uses joined up thinking.

After failure of my old Renault diesel, and the purchase of a replacement vehicle. I was left with the problem of a dead motor parked on the street without any insurance. You are obliged as a car owner to correctly dispose of the vehicle at the end of it's life. DVLA website gives you a list of authorised re-cycle centres when you pop your postcode in. Chris Watson is our nearest so I gave him a ring. As the car is a non starter I needed it to be picked up, unfortunately Watson's no longer have the facility for pickup so they only accept drive or tow ins to their site in the quarry at Salterforth.

All dealers are obliged to give you the current scrap price which is based solely on weight. If they consider the vehicle to be above scrap value they may offer more. All payments are made via cheque or bank transfer there is no legal alternative for cash transactions any longer. Once the vehicle is signed over they are obliged to render is ecologically friendly for dismantling. Once this stage is reached they issue you with an official certificate to guarantee that the vehicle has been responsibly handled.

As Watson's was not an option, I went for the next nearest which was Emmotts at Colne. No problem for them and my Renault said goodbye from the Croft early this afternoon. Bin men will be pleased as it was blocking their access for the bins tomorrow. :smile: Joe who picked it up, completed the V5 details for me and left me with the yellow slip all signed off so that I can notify the DVLC of legal scrapping. You are obliged to send this to the DVLC, or you can complete the notification online. I opted for the latter.

This is where I found the joined up thinking in this section. You enter your reg so that the system can find the vehicle, confirm that then select the recycle centre that you have used, shove their name and address in, tick a few boxes and you are done. You get a confirmation email within a few minutes. The bonus is that you don't have to separately claim for any unused tax, this is done automatically and I will be reimbursed by cheque for all unused months. Full marks here for the DVLA :good: They should use the team that designed this bit of the site to have a go at the licensing side of the operation.

I'm happy, bin men will be happy tomorrow and we have gained back a parking slot although I will not use it for ours. All the damage to the Renault was done while it was parked on the gable of Bessie St.
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Re: Driving Licence Application

Post by Stanley » 04 Jun 2019, 02:32

That perhaps explains why the scrapper hearse has been sat outside the Model for months, it is not capable of being driven or towed. What you might call an eyesore!
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Re: Driving Licence Application

Post by PanBiker » 04 Jun 2019, 07:51

Emmott's at Colne can shift anything, running or not. Joe had the use of a slope yesterday for mine so didn't even need the winch on the trailer. :good:
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Re: Driving Licence Application

Post by chinatyke » 04 Jun 2019, 08:10

Stanley wrote:
04 Jun 2019, 02:32
That perhaps explains why the scrapper hearse has been sat outside the Model for months, it is not capable of being driven or towed. What you might call an eyesore!
Is the scrapper on private land or a public highway? Is there somewhere you can report "eyesores" and get some action?

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Re: Driving Licence Application

Post by PanBiker » 04 Jun 2019, 09:14

If it's on a public highway and presumably has no tax or MOT you can report it to the DVLA. You can check online as to the tax and MOT status and report accordingly on the link below. An enforcement notice for removal would be placed on the vehicle.

DVLA - Driving - Enforcing the Law

Back in my forest, the DVLA website has now updated the status on my vehicle and shows it's tax and MOT status correctly. :good:
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Re: Driving Licence Application

Post by Stanley » 05 Jun 2019, 02:42

Image

Here it is China. I think the concrete section between the pavement and the wall is legally private land. The Model garage frequently parks scrappers there. Many like this one appear to have been strengthened and used in demolition Derbies. This particular car spent a long time sat on the flat of a wrecker's wagon parked in the road down to Gissing and Lonsdale's and the industrial estate and the wagon looked like a scrapper as well!
Incidentally, one place in Barlick where you can usually see a scrapper is in the fire station yard. They use them for training purposes for techniques used when dealing with road traffic accidents. There are two there at present....
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Re: Driving Licence Application

Post by PanBiker » 05 Jun 2019, 14:18

I have a response, (sort of) from The DVLA. A pretty good example of sidestepping the questions and kicking the can down the road. Still hiding behind an email firewall although the response was signed.


Dear Mr Lambert,

Thank you for your enquiry received on 2/6/2019.

Your case reference number is XXXXXXXX.

I appreciate you contacting us to check the progress of your application.

I can confirm that the information we have received is with the relevant team waiting to be reviewed.

I appreciate you have already been waiting some time, I can assure you that we will complete our enquiries as soon as we can.

There is no need to contact us unless you have new information for us to consider.

I am sorry I am unable to offer a more favourable reply at this time.

Do not reply to this email. If you wish to contact us again about this response then please use our reply form link or copy and paste the following URL in to your browser: URL supplied.....



They have not answered either of the main questions in my query namely:

Where is my licence in the queue and can I drive under section 88 of the RTA as my doctors say I am fit enough to do so which is the only requirement as I read it.

It's not good enough, my 6 months suspension is up, they have had my application for over 7 weeks.

I am going to ask them again regarding Section 88. :furious3:
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Re: Driving Licence Application

Post by Whyperion » 05 Jun 2019, 21:06

Is there a FOI or ask the minister (eiether wont be quick), to clarify the legislation interpretation, or is there any one at Traffic at Lancashire Constabulary who might be more helpful - sometimes they are .

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Re: Driving Licence Application

Post by PanBiker » 05 Jun 2019, 21:32

Lancashire Constabulary has nothing to do with the DVLA apart form the fact that they use it for reference purposes via the PNC. The DVLA by their own admission are not in any position to assess any individuals medical condition or fitness to drive they leave that up to the licence applicants doctor. Mine, after examination of myself has confirmed that I am now fit to do so.

Here is the INF188/6 document referencing the relevant section of the 1988 Road Traffic Act readily available via the DVLA website.

inf188x6-can-i-drive-while-my-application-is-with-dvla.pdf
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Re: Driving Licence Application

Post by Tripps » 05 Jun 2019, 22:00

Ian, was there ever the option just to put your licence in a drawer, and voluntarily not drive until you medical people told you it was safe to do so?

When I had my hips done - the book said don't drive for eight weeks. I remember after that time, speaking to my doctor, and my insurance company. From memory - the doc said to drive when I felt OK. I told the insurance that I'd had the surgery, and they said 'drive as long as the Doctor hasn't said ' don't drive'.

Just checked - my note made at the time says -from a home visit by my GP.

3. Driving. Says I can self certify, and drive when I feel able to do so.
In fact the 8 weeks mentioned in the handbook is only a guide.
Born to be mild. . .

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Re: Driving Licence Application

Post by Stanley » 06 Jun 2019, 02:12

Keep on at them Ian. Governance in this country has ceased to function....
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Re: Driving Licence Application

Post by PanBiker » 06 Jun 2019, 08:56

Tripps wrote:
05 Jun 2019, 22:00
Ian, was there ever the option just to put your licence in a drawer, and voluntarily not drive until you medical people told you it was safe to do so?
No, there is a requirement to inform the DVLA with certain medical conditions and mine falls into that. A lot of them are the seizure related ones, Epilepsy etc. Not necessarily the purely physical ones like hip and knee replacements and the like. Those in essence are just mending up jobs.

They are most concerned about seizures and I can appreciate that even though I have never had one. It could be and sometimes is a result of having someone poke around inside your head, but thankfully not in my case. My tumour was sat directly on top of the motor region and as such it's removal is more like the effects of a purely physical problem. As you know I had muscle memory loss which now has resolved to the degree that my doctor says I am fit enough to drive.

I think my problem is somewhat linked to the DVLA's interpretation of surrender and revoke. I did it by the book and the DVLA have marked me as revoked. I maintain that I surrendered my licence by return when asked. I have no licence at all now only my driver reference number. I keep checking my licence status online to see if there is any change in my status.

I reckon the revocation order is there for those that don't surrender their licence. The order is just marked on the DVLA against your licence and that is what is picked up by the police if they do a check. If they mark you as surrendered apparently it is a lot easier to get your correct status back.

Anyway, I have replied to them again expressing frustration that they did not answer my queries fully so I have sent them a loaded question. I have not asked IF I can drive under section 88. I have asked them to confirm that I can.
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Re: Driving Licence Application

Post by Stanley » 07 Jun 2019, 02:42

That's the way Ian, put the ball in their court. If you really want to grab their attention make the request in a registered letter, someone has to sign for it then and it automatically stands out. Bureaucracy hates registered letters and if they are marked 'Confidential' in red in the top left hand corner of the envelope and addressed For the Personal Attention Of.. and a named person they get even more priority. They have rules about these things.
A very senior man in the civil service once told me that the ultimate sanction was to do the above and but a bookie's name on the back flap! I never escalated that far but have used all the others.
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Re: Driving Licence Application

Post by PanBiker » 07 Jun 2019, 07:39

The problem with the DVLA is that it is a Gorgon headed beast. They have a huge range of departments at Swansea and different postcodes to go with them, you can't find which door any particular individual operates behind. Just to be sure, I will recheck the correspondence they have sent me. Word on the street (FB Meningioma site) is that they do actually respond faster to email, they have a strict policy of a reply within 3 working days. For written correspondence that is 3 weeks! My valid reason for contacting them by email in the first place was that they have not responded to my mailed application for new licence in the 3 week window.

The department is buggered I reckon, probably like everywhere else screwed down with cutbacks and underfunding. It needs a complete overhaul to improve and streamline the procedure. I think it works in the main for bog standard licence applications, endorsements etc but shove medical issues into it and they haven't a clue. Why can the NHSBT Medical Review Board turn my case round in less than three weeks but the equivalent department in the DVLA cant? I can probably answer that myself as the NHSBT board will be made up of clinicians and the DVLA's will be Civil Servants so pass the buck comes into force, it's damn frustrating. :sad:
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Re: Driving Licence Application

Post by Stanley » 07 Jun 2019, 08:26

"it's damn frustrating. :sad:"
I can understand that Ian and I sympathise. I would be very agry and sending the registered letter to the minister at the Houses of Parliament!
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Re: Driving Licence Application

Post by PanBiker » 07 Jun 2019, 09:04

Stanley wrote:
07 Jun 2019, 08:26
sending the registered letter to the minister at the Houses of Parliament!
They will probably be on holiday! Or the minister could change while it was in the post. :extrawink: :laugh5: You have to laugh or you would cry.

The 3 day clock is running from yesterday on my last email, I have a confirmation of receipt and a reference. :deal2:
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Re: Driving Licence Application

Post by PanBiker » 07 Jun 2019, 12:33

A bit later after the postie has been, nothing to do with my licence unfortunately.

However, correspondence from the functioning bit of the DVLA.

Yesterday I got notification that I am no longer responsible for my old Renault. Today I had more post with a refund cheque for my unused months of tax on the vehicle. I reported the transfer which I did online in my post last Monday. So four working days after receipt, excellent. If only the other bits of the organisation were as efficient. :extrawink:
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Re: Driving Licence Application

Post by Stanley » 08 Jun 2019, 01:41

Agreed Ian, that's good service. Makes the other matter even more annoying. Bit like us having to wait 18 months for HMRC to decide on Janet's tax status.... Same problem, staff shortages and no incentive for them to get their skates on.
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