DVLA discriminating disabled drivers with long delays, MP warns

·2-min read

Drivers with disabilities and medical conditions are being discriminated against by the DVLA with some waiting months for their licence applications to be approved, an MP has claimed.

Peter Grant from the SNP said sufferers are forced to use an "outdated manual" system when applying, rather than online, because they have to declare their conditions.

Labelling it a gross "discrimination", Mr Grant warned the Government faces a "massive compensation bill if they do not get their act together pronto".

The DVLA has acknowledged the "vast majority" of applicants waiting 10 weeks or more have a medical condition that must be investigated.

Successful online applicants receive their licence within days.

'Just ridiculous'

Jennifer Kirchacz, 17, who has epilepsy, said she has waited seven months for a licence despite meeting all the requirements.

Her mother, Julie Brownlie, said: "I'm all for them checking with the specialists, but they need to do it in a timely way and not discriminate against people who have a condition.

"I can understand a few days longer for processing, but to wait seven months to send a form that needs to be filled in - that's just ridiculous."

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman is a proven route for those seeking compensation from the DVLA over delays in issuing licences.

In October 2014, a man with early-onset dementia won £1,000 after the watchdog found the DVLA took nine months to give his licence back.

'Utterly indefensible'

Mr Grant added: "The crux of the issue is that DVLA are failing to provide the service that they are supposed to be providing to a significant minority of the population. It's utterly indefensible.

"The gap in quality of service between two groups within the population is so vast as to be utterly unacceptable."

A DVLA spokesman said they are currently issuing 200,000 driving licences a week.

In cases when they need additional information, such as a doctor’s note, the DVAL is "wholly reliant" on receiving this before making a decision, they added.

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