Licence renewal scam: do not pay these sites, warns DVLA

Licence renewal scam: do not pay these sites, warns DVLA
The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has warned elderly drivers to always use the official government website when applying for driving licence renewals this winter.

When drivers turn 70 they must renew their licence every three years.

The DVLA says some sites are charging up to £81 as a handling fee to renew a driving licence, while this service is free of charge via GOV.UK.

DVLA said in the past year it had been notified by more than 800 British drivers who had renewed their licences through a third-party website and paid a fee for doing so.

Chief executive Julie Lennard has urged elderly drivers to always use GOV.UK when renewing a licence for a quick, easy and free service.

“Drivers looking to renew their licence at 70 and over should use our online service which is secure, free of charge, and also the quickest, easiest way to transact with DVLA,” she said. “Customers usually receive their driving licence in just five days.

“Always remember to always use GOV.UK when using any of DVLA’s many online services.”

Many third-party sites appear high up in Google search results for the DVLA, often causing many drivers to inadvertently use them, as they mistakenly think they’re dealing with the DVLA.

These third-party websites charge a fee to pass a driver’s application to the DVLA, but they are not affiliated with the government agency in any way. Applications made through external sites are not processed any faster than those made through the GOV.UK website, the DVLA warns.

The DVLA has previously explained that third-party sites comply with regulation if they display a disclaimer stating they’re not affiliated with the DVLA and link back to the official government services.

A DVLA spokesperson said: “There was a time when these types of sites operated without anyone able to do anything but now there are regulations in place.”

A DVLA update this week revealed the agency is still renewing paper driving licence applications received in September due to delays caused by the pandemic.

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