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DVLA driving licences expiring between February 1 and December 31 will be offered the extra boost under temporary changes. The DVLA’s initial extension period finally expired at the end of August before this new policy was announced.
Under the changes, motorists do not need to apply to new their licence when it would have expired.
Motorists will only need to worry about extending their photocard when they receive an official DVLA reminder.
DVLA chief executive, Julie Lennard said the changes will ensure motorists do not need to worry about paying any “admin or associated costs”.
She warned the extension would be a “temporary” measure due to the coronavirus pandemic.
But drivers will not need to do anything to secure the extension and can simply carry on using their vehicles.
In a statement, Ms Lennard said: “Being able to drive is a lifeline for millions of people and this further extension will ensure that in these continued uncertain times, drivers don’t need to worry about the admin or the associated costs with renewing their licences.
“The temporary extension is automatic, and drivers do not need to do anything.
“Drivers who have already applied to renew their photocard driving licence or entitlement to drive can usually carry on driving while we process their application providing they have not been told by their doctor or optician that they should not drive.”
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The DVLA says the extension only applies to full driving licence holders but not to provisional driving licence entitlements
They say anyone who has already applied to renew their photocard can continue to drive while their application is processed.
The extension comes just over a month after drivers were left angry after delays at the DVLA offices.
Many road users have reported waiting months for replacement documents or licence renewals after delays in processing forms.
In early August, the DVLA confirmed some paper applications would take “longer to process” due to reduced staffing levels.
A DVLA statement said: “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.
“If you’ve already made an application we will process this and return any documentation as quickly as possible.
Although the extension will come as great news to those who already hold a driving licence, many learner drivers were left heartbroken with a lack of tests.
The DVSA offered a small number of tests for the next six week period earlier this week but they were all booked up within hours.
The DVSA has now confirmed they will open up a further 375,000 tests over 18 weeks.
The agency has said that the extension will mean that “almost everyone” should be able to secure an exam.
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