How Long Does DVLA Take to Return Your Driving Licence?

Have you ever wondered how long it takes for the DVLA to return your driving licence once you’ve submitted an application for renewal or made a change? The wait time can vary depending on a few factors, but rest assured, we have all the information you need to know.

Processing Time

When you’re eagerly awaiting the return of your driving licence from DVLA, you may wonder how long the process will take. Typically, the processing time for DVLA to return your driving licence is around three weeks from the date they receive your application. However, this timeline can be affected by various factors such as the volume of applications they are currently handling, any additional documentation they may require from you, or any errors or missing information on your application.

One essential tip to expedite the process is to ensure that you provide all necessary information correctly and clearly on your application. This includes verifying that your personal details are accurate, submitting the required supporting documents, and paying any applicable fees promptly. By following these guidelines, you can help reduce the processing time and increase the chances of receiving your driving licence within the expected timeframe.

Online Application vs. Paper Application

Are you debating whether to submit your driving licence application online or through traditional mail? One factor to consider is the processing time difference between the two methods. Submitting your application online tends to be quicker and more efficient, with a processing time of around one to two weeks. On the other hand, paper applications may take slightly longer, with a typical processing time of three weeks.

In addition to the quicker processing time, applying online offers the convenience of tracking your application status and receiving email updates throughout the process. This can provide peace of mind and keep you informed of any potential delays or issues that may arise. While both methods ultimately lead to the return of your driving licence, choosing to apply online can save you time and streamline the overall process.

Bonus Tip: If you opt for the online application route, make sure to double-check all information before submitting to avoid any delays due to errors or missing details. This proactive approach can help ensure a smooth and timely return of your driving licence.

Common Reasons for Delays

Wondering why your driving licence return is taking longer than expected? One common reason is errors or missing information on your application. Simple mistakes like forgetting to sign the form or not including required documents can cause delays. To avoid this, double-check your application before sending it off to the DVLA.

Another reason for delays is a backlog of applications. During peak periods, such as after lockdowns or holidays, the DVLA may receive an influx of applications, leading to longer processing times. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do to avoid this issue other than being patient.

Lastly, if your driving record has any complications, like previous driving offences or medical conditions that need further review, this can also delay the return of your licence. To prevent this, ensure all necessary information is provided upfront and be prepared for potential additional checks.

Contacting DVLA

If you’re getting anxious about the status of your licence return, don’t worry, there are ways to get in touch with the DVLA for updates. The most efficient method is to call their customer service helpline at 0300 790 6801. Be prepared to provide your driver number and any reference numbers related to your application for faster assistance.

If you prefer online communication, you can also reach out via email. Visit the DVLA website and navigate to the contact page to find the appropriate email address for your inquiry. Remember to include all relevant details, such as your full name, address, and application reference number, to receive a prompt response.

To save time, you can also check the status of your application online using the DVLA’s Track your driving licence application service. Simply enter your details, and you’ll get real-time updates on the progress of your licence return.

Remember, staying informed and proactive is key to resolving any concerns about your driving licence return. By being diligent in your application and utilizing the DVLA’s contact options, you can ensure a smoother process and get back on the road sooner.

Expedited Services

If you’re in a hurry to get your driving licence back from the DVLA, you might want to consider their expedited services. The DVLA offers a fast-track service for those who need their driving licence returned quickly. By paying an additional fee, you can have your driving licence processed and returned to you in a shorter amount of time. This can be particularly helpful if you have upcoming travel plans or need your licence for work purposes. Make sure to check the DVLA website for the most up-to-date information on expedited services and how to apply.

Lost or Stolen Licences

If your driving licence has been lost or stolen during the return process, don’t panic. The first step you should take is to report it to the DVLA as soon as possible. You can do this online or by calling their helpline. The DVLA will then be able to issue you a replacement licence. Keep in mind that this process may take some time, so it’s important to notify the DVLA promptly. Additionally, consider contacting the police to report the loss or theft of your licence. It’s always a good idea to keep a record of your licence details in a safe place to make the replacement process smoother.

Extra tip: Make sure to keep a photocopy or digital scan of your driving licence in a secure location. This can help expedite the replacement process if your licence is ever lost or stolen.

Interesting Facts

Did you know that the DVLA aims to return your driving licence within three weeks of receiving your application? This timeframe may vary depending on the volume of applications they are processing, so it’s essential to plan accordingly. Additionally, if you haven’t received your licence after three weeks, you can contact the DVLA to inquire about its status. Remember, patience is key when waiting for your driving licence to be returned.

Tips for a Smooth Process

  1. Check your application: Before sending off your driving licence renewal or replacement application, double-check that all the necessary documents are included. Missing information can cause delays in processing.
  2. Use recorded delivery: Sending your application via recorded delivery can help track its progress and ensure it reaches the DVLA safely. This can provide peace of mind during the waiting period.
  3. Follow up if needed: If the three-week timeframe passes and you haven’t received your driving licence, don’t hesitate to contact the DVLA for an update. They can provide you with information on the status of your application and any potential delays.
  4. Stay informed: Keep an eye on your mailbox and any communication from the DVLA. Sometimes, they may request additional information or documents to complete your application, which can prolong the return process.
  5. Update your details: If your contact information has changed, make sure to update it with the DVLA. This ensures that any correspondence regarding your driving licence reaches you promptly.

Remember, staying organized and proactive can help streamline the process of getting your driving licence back from the DVLA.

  • Alex Mitch

    Hi, I'm the founder of! Having been in finance and tech for 10+ years, I was surprised at how hard it can be to find answers to common questions in finance, tech and business in general. Because of this, I decided to create this website to help others!