As with all government organisations, making a complaint about the DVLA is a relatively straightforward process. Unlike most private companies, any taxpayer funded branch is obliged to make the entire process and transparent and accessible as possible. However, this goes both ways – with any complaint procedure being highly regulated. Here, you can find out how to make a DVLA complaint in the correct way, as well as finding out what are the further options should they rule against you.
How to make a complaint about the DVLA
Any complaint about the DVLA should first be directed to the department that you have been dealing with via their contact number. One of the most complained about sections of the branch is believed to be the SORN division, for example. If you have been sent any correspondence on the matter that you are raising with the agency, it should also detail on there the precise team that you have been dealing with.
When you call the DVLA contact number to make a complaint, it is important to have the right information to hand, otherwise they may not be able to action your complaint immediately. These include (but are not restricted to):
- Your full name
- Your registered address
- Your date of birth
- Your driver number (if you have one. If yours is lost, you will need to order a replacement here)
- Your vehicle registration number, along with your vehicle’s make and model (if you have one)
Once they have taken this information and the details of your complaint, they should be able to immediately assess whether you have a right to feel aggrieved. In some cases, they may ask for time to investigate further, and specify a time at which they will call back. However, this course of action is relatively rare, due to the time constraints of DVLA call centres employees.
If it is felt that you have a right to have you complaint upheld, the member of staff that you are speaking to will be able to detail exactly what steps will be taken next. If your issue is not considered worthy of a complaint or you feel that they are not taking the correct next steps to make amends, the next step is to make a formal, written complaint.
Making a formal complaint about the DVLA
If the helpline have been unable to help you in your complaint, the next step is to put your issue in writing and direct it to the Customer Complaint Resolution Team (CCRT). This is the division of the DVLA that deals exclusively with problems that drivers have experienced with the agency, and are experts at assessing whether the organisation has broken their code of conduct in any way.
The CCRT can either be contacted through the official DVLA website via their online e-mail service, or by post. Either way, they aim to respond with 2 weeks of receiving any complaint, and this can either be to say that your case has been rejected, to describe the resolution that they have decided upon or to tell of further investigations that are being made. If you wish contact the CCRT via post, their address is:
Responses are normally made via post, but are occasionally done over the phone or by e-mail – please note your favoured method of communication in your written complaint.
Escalating your complaint further
If the CCRT do not provide an adequate response to your complaint, the next step is to send it to the DVLA Chief Executive for review. Again, the Chief Executive will need full details of your issue, as well as an explanation as to why you feel that the previous methods of raising your complaint have not been sufficient. They can also be contacted via the DVLA website, or through the post at the following address:
Chief Executive’s Office
Referral to an Independent Complaints Assessor
Acting almost as an ombudsman for the DVLA, the Department for Transport’s Independent Complaints Assessor (ICA) is one of the final steps that can be taken in a complaint. Upon the final review of your complaint to the Chief Executive, there should be information about how you can do this. It is important to note that this course of action cannot be taken without the preceding step.
Contact your Member of Parliament
Finally, if all of the above methods have not given the necessary recourse, you can write to your local Member of Parliament (MP) for them to contact the DVLA complaints team on your behalf, or to refer the matter to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) who may be able to investigate. Please note that both of these methods are only recommended in the most extreme of circumstances, and for minor issues it is unlikely that they will look into the matter. You can find out your MP and their contact details here.
Further information about the Department for Transport’s wider complaints procedures can be found here.