Q1021: Are there any special arrangements for driver licensing including goods vehicles, buses and driving tests during the Covid-19 pandemic?
DVLA – general information
In line with the government's advice DVLA have a very limited number of staff on-site who are only dealing with applications from those who are directly involved in the response to the Covid-19 pandemic. In particular, they are prioritising applications relating to HGV drivers and key workers to make sure they get any documentation they need as quickly as possible. They are unable to deal with any other paper applications until further notice.
DVLA's customer reception in Swansea is closed. Please do not travel for assistance in person as there will be no one available to help you.
So DVLA can help those in most need, please do not call unless you are directly involved in the nation's response to Covid-19. Unfortunately, they will not be able to respond to any other calls or general queries until further notice.
DVLA's opening hours for key workers only are Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm – please see the information below for contact details:
Vehicles enquiry – 0300 123 1272
Drivers enquiry – 0300 123 2408
Drivers Medical enquiry – 0300 790 6103
Delays in issuing licences
DVLA are currently facing delays in issuing driving licence renewals for drivers with a medical condition.
This is because, with NHS staff rightly focused on the nationwide response to Coronavirus, if you have a health condition requiring further information or examinations, there are likely to be significant delays before NHS doctors, consultants or opticians are able to provide the DVLA with the information they need to be able to make a licensing decision and send you a new driving licence.
Providing you have a current driving licence and you have not been told by your doctor or optician that you should not drive, you will be able to drive while DVLA is considering your application.
Road safety is DVLA's top priority and by law, all drivers must meet certain minimum medical standards and drivers must ensure they are medically fit to drive. All drivers must notify DVLA of the onset or worsening of a medical condition – please see the link below:
Driving tests are currently suspended for up to 3 months (from 20 March 2020), theory tests until 8 May 2020 due to coronavirus. You can apply for an emergency test if you're a critical/key worker – see below. The links below provide further information about driving /theory tests:
Apply for an emergency driving/theory test if you're a critical/key worker
You can apply for an emergency test if your work is critical to the coronavirus response. This includes if you work in:
- health and social care
- education and childcare
- key public services
- local and national government
- food and other necessary goods
- public safety and national security
- utilities, communication and financial services
The links below allow you to apply for a driving/theory test if you're a key worker:
Bus and lorry drivers – D4 medical updates
The Government is making temporary provisions for bus and lorry drivers aged 45 and over to forego the need for a D4 medical in order to renew their driving entitlement. These changes are temporary and will only apply where the licence has not expired before 1 January 2020.
The licence will only be valid for one year instead of five years and the driver will need to submit a completed D4 when the licence is due for renewal in 12 months. Drivers with health issues will still need to declare these, and those with health issues that prevent them from driving safely will not have their licence renewed. All drivers must ensure they are medically fit to drive.
The above has been taken from information written and supplied by the DVLA, DfT and .GOV