The Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency has launched a new online system that should help to speed up second-hand cars sales and reduce waiting times for motorists.
It has launched a replacement V5C log book service that will allow owners to get a new document for their car or motorcycle within five days – a process which currently can take up to six weeks.
The DVLA said it receives around half a million requests for replacement log books due to loss or damage every year, with most owners only usually noticing they can’t find the document when they want to sell the vehicle.
No more log book log jams: The DVLA has made the process of applying for a replacement car V5C log book by setting up an online service that cuts waiting times from 6 weeks to 5 days
Previously, the only way to receive a replacement log book was via post – a service which will continue to be available to those who choose not to use the online form.
The new online service is the latest effort to ease this burden and cut waiting times for motorists.
Like many businesses, the DVLA is operating under Covid-19 restrictions with fewer bodies in its Swansea headquarters as staff continue to work from home.
As a result it has struggled to cope under the strain of thousands of postal requests for log books on top of millions of driving licence renewals received in the post from the start of lockdown.
From today, instead of vehicle owners needing to post a V62 request form to the DVLA – along with a cheque for £25 – and waiting up to a month and a half for the replacement V5C document to arrive, the new online option slashes that wait time significantly.
The £25 cost remains the same but is easier to pay online with card details rather than motorists having to hunt for little-used chequebooks or buy a postal order.
The new document will then arrive at the car owner’s address within five working days.
The online service will be most valuable to car owners who have misplaced the log book at a time when they need it most – when they want to sell or trade-in their vehicle.
Most car and motorcycle owners only notice they have lost their V5C document when it comes time to sell or trade the vehicle in, meaning they previously would have had to wait 6 weeks to complete a transaction
Since June, the DVLA has also allowed drivers to change the address on their log book electronically if they move home.
Before, motorists would have no other option but to fill in sections of their V5C document, post it and receive a fresh copy of the form – a process that takes weeks.
It means drivers in Britain can now apply for a number of DLVA services online rather than having to go through the rigmarole of postal requests.
This includes for the renewal or replacement of a driving licence, a change of address on a driving licence, taxing a vehicle or declaring it as off the road (SORN), informing the DVLA a car has been sold and to keep or assign a private (personalised) registration.
The online system is simple to use and easier to make the £25 fee required to receive a replacement log book
Announcing the new online log book replacement service, Julie Lennard, the agency’s chief executive, said: ‘DVLA’s new online service to apply for a duplicate log book is quick and easy to use and means customers who have unfortunately either lost or damaged theirs will receive their new document within a matter of days.
‘We know how important a log book is to motorists so if you have lost or damaged yours, the quickest way to get your duplicate document is go to GOV.UK.’
The DVLA has already twice extended the validity of photocard driving licences during the pandemic to ease the strain of incoming postal requests.
Having introduced a seven-month extension in June, the agency announced at the start of September it has increased the period to 11 months as it continues to buckle under demand for renewals during the coronavirus.
It means drivers whose existing pink plastic licences were due to expire between 1 February and 31 December 2020 will automatically have 11 months added to their cards’ expiration date. This is also the case for motorists with expiring entitlements to drive during the same period.