Skip to main content

DVLA website succumbs to traffic, drivers furious

The Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVLA) has released a new system it's been working on “for months”, and the implementation was all but smooth.

The site was offline for many users, and taking into account the fact that the abolition of paper driving licences also took place today, people were infuriated.

The abolition of the paper driving licences means all evidence of driving convictions and endorsements will be stored online. Also, motorists hiring a car must access a temporary digital code.

The code is only valid for three days, raising the concern that holiday-goers will have to cut short their family getaways to hunt down an internet connection.

Car hire firm U-drive reported having a queue of 20 people after staff struggled to access their online details, Express writes in a report.

Richard Stock from the company said: "The DVLA system has fallen over a dozen times this morning".

"Another operator nearby had a queue of customers out of the door."

Even though the system was less than perfect, DVLA says 20,000 drivers managed to access the site online. The blame fell on DVLA rushing the new system.

Gerry Keaney, the chief executive of the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA), said: "The project's being rushed through. It's not brilliant".

Oliver Morley, the DVLA's chief executive, has defended the new system: "It's very easy to view and share your driving record. Just go to and search for 'view driving licence.”

Paper licences issued before this change will remain valid until they expire, after which only digital ones will remain. The government says this change will save millions of pounds and reduce needless bureaucracy.