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The Commons Select Committee for Transport met to question the DVLA on what their strategy is for overcoming the current backlog of over 1.4 million license applications. Also, to answer MPs questions around industrial disputes and staff shortages brought about by the pandemic.

The Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs has lent its support to the hardworking staff at the DVLA who have been dealing with a hugely increased workload in the wake of personnel shortages brought about by the pandemic. We think every workplace can relate to the struggles of the past 18-months.

The Federation, through their constant dialogue with the DVLA and the close working relationship built up over many years, has managed to put systems in place whereby member clubs, (such as the TR Register), their representatives and experts on the ground are able to assist the DVLA through the outsourcing of certain elements of registration processes to the historic vehicle community. These have included in the past the V765 scheme but also more recently, the validation of imports and VHI applications. The Federation believe these established processes are key to helping the DVLA deal with the backlog for historic vehicles and effectively outsources much of the investigative process and verification the historic vehicle community.

FBHVC Chairman David Whale said, 

"We understand that although there have been increased turnaround times, the DVLA for our sector at least, are beginning to get back on top of applications and have been in dialogue with them now to understand how best we can lend our assistance. Our focus is always to ensure that historic vehicles that should be on the road are on the road and being enjoyed by their owners and the public as quickly as possible."

As a result of those recent discussions on how the historic vehicle movement can assist the DVLA, the FBHVC has now been officially appointed as key stakeholder in the DVLA. The DVLA have put in place and a newly designated relationship manager to work through the various pain points for the historic vehicle community in partnership with the FBHVC.

A spokesperson for the DVLA said,

We are pleased that the FBHVC has a positive and constructive relationship with the DVLA’s Vehicle Policy team, and I am keen that this continues and is strengthened. We also now have a dedicated Corporate Services team who work closely with our key stakeholders.

Speaking specifically on the subject of applications for historic vehicles, the DVLA commented;

When applications for historic vehicles cannot be processed using the usual methods, we consider each case individually on its own merits. If required, we also provide guidance to applicants on how best to proceed with their application if further evidence is required. Applications that may not have all the expected historic documentary evidence are considered taking into account all the available evidence so as to build a picture of the vehicle’s history. Where appropriate, these vehicles are able to retain their history.

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