Updated: Thursday, 23rd November 2017 @ 12:04pm

DVLA offices face closure under proposals to make the organisation primarily 'online' by 2013

DVLA offices face closure under proposals to make the organisation primarily 'online' by 2013

By Francine Ponticelli

Up to 39 regional DVLA offices face proposed closure in the new year in order for the organisation to provide greater customer service.

The proposals were announced last week by Roads Minister Mike Penning, who believes that this scheme could offer greater choice and flexibility to motorists who regularly deal with the DVLA.

Under the new proposals, services offered by the DVLA, such as renewing your tax disc, will be available online.

When speaking on this potential scheme, Mr Penning dsaid: “Centralising the DVLA’s services is the first crucial step towards making more of its transactions available online, allowing people to deal with the DVLA at their chosen time and place.

“This will mean quicker turnarounds and meet our customers’ growing needs.”

This scheme is calculated to save the DVLA an estimated £28million year, which includes thousands of salaries.

Out of the 39 regional offices that would be closed, 10 will be regional enforcement centres. These centres will be amalgamated into one hub based in Swansea.

With four localised offices based in the North West and one of those in Manchester, there are current concerns with job losses in already difficult times.

A DVLA spokesperson admitted on the aftermath of the proposals: “We do expect local offices to close down and it may be the case that people will have to be re-deployed; that would be seen as an option.”

As the DVLA is government funded, employees could be moved to the civil service, or other areas of the private sector.

However, it seems the issue of job insecurity is not the worry of the general consensus, as the spokesperson added: “The decision on this proposal will be based on what the customers want and we should use the public’s money in the best way.”

A similar take on the proposal was announced last week by The DVLA’s Chief Executive, Simon Tse: “It’s essential that we move with the times and make the best use of our services and experience to make sure we give the motor industry and the general public a service that is fit for the 21st century and allows them to carry out their business in a way that suits them and offers the best value for money for the taxpayer.”

Jack Dawes, 76, of Stockport, is sceptical about the DVLA’s online arrangements, stating: “I don’t know how to use a computer, so I definitely don’t know how to use the internet. What’s wrong with face to face help?”

The DVLA spokesperson assured me that due to the scarcity of centres, local post offices will provide internet assistance to those who don’t own a computer.

“If it’s online it means that people won’t have to deal with opening and closing times of offices,” they concluded.

Karen Parker, 41, who lives in Plumley, Cheshire, is delighted with the possible changes: “I have two young boys and it’s a relief to know that I won’t have to take time out to travel elsewhere and queue. I hope it ends up happening.”

The decision to the DVLA’s will be finalised on Tuesday 6 March, with modifications to the service to begin in 2013.

For the consultation document, see link: http://www.dft.gov.uk/dvla/consultations.aspx