IT Glitch Hits Drivers Over 70

Tue 20th Apr 2021

Is there a conspiracy against drivers over seventy? Less than a week after plans were revealed which would restrict many older drivers’ freedom on the roads, a new report has revealed that the DVLA does not currently allow some drivers over-70 to renew their driving licence online.

The report on the Honest John website says that a technical issue with digital signatures is behind the problem, with the DVLA normally collecting these electronically from the Passport Office, but since January 2017 all passports have been issued without a digital copy of the holder’s signature.

The DVLA has acknowledged the issue and explained that they are working on a solution but in the meantime anyone who cannot apply for a renewal online can complete the forms at the Post Office.

A DVLA spokesperson said: "Around 2 million motorists renew their driving licence online every year. For the vast majority, we are able to use their digital signature from the Passport Office.

"We are also developing a new system for renewing a driving licence – which we intend to launch later this year – which will allow customers to upload a signature online even if they don’t have a passport."

Driving licences have been under scrutiny this week, with news that up to 2million drivers may be driving without their licence up to date. The DVLA issued an 11-month amnesty during the lockdown last year, but that is now expired and many drivers may have forgotten to renew. The maximum fine for driving without an up-to-date licence is £1,000.