39 DVLA offices to shut down, govt promises to improve online services

Govt to “modernise” the DVLA’s online services

The decision to close 39 regional Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency offices across the country, amidst staff walkouts and union calls, is forcing the government to “modernise” the DVLA’s online services.

In the Commons this week, Labour MP Kate Green asked the government about the potential for the Post Office to “pick up the slack” after a DVLA office closure was announced in her Stretford and Urmston constituency. The office was used by small local motor traders to get vehicle licenses.

Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude said that a number of functions and transactions could already be carried out by the post office network, adding that the DVLA also had “one of the best online services for renewing car tax.”

“But we are looking, with the Secretary of State for Transport, at how it can be further modernised to improve service and save more money,” he told the Commons.

Online services are set to become the norm across the public sector as the government is driving forward a policy known as ‘digital by default’, which could eventually mean an end to face to face and telephone interaction in order to to save money.

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