Back on 2nd February, my driving licence expired.
So, as the law-abiding citizen that I am, on 1st February I went online to renew it.
They have this clever system where you give them your passport number and they can use your passport photo for the new driving licence, thus saving a lot of faffage.
Only, the online system didn’t work. When I rang them they said to just send the old licence, a postal order (!) and the application form by post, and they would still be able to do the passport photo thing. So I did.
My old licence, postal order (!) and application form came bouncing back, with a letter saying I should have included a photo.
So I wrote a covering letter explaining that I’d tried to renew online and been told to send the old licence, postal order (!) and application form to them, and they could use my passport photo. And I sent the old licence, postal order (!) and application form back to them.
This morning the whole lot came bouncing back again, with a letter explaining that I should have included a photo…
I rang them. Again.
Remember the last time I rang them, and they said I didn’t need to send a photo? They could take the one from my passport?
This time the man at the DVLA said that they should be able to use the photo from my passport, but they can’t. He has no idea why not.
This is going well, isn’t it.
The renewal should have cost me £17.00 and taken about 20 minutes, if I’d been able to do it online. So far it’s cost me £19.40 (they charge you £2.40 for the privilege of sending your own money to someone using a postal order), three stamps at 85p each, three trips to the post box, and 38 days. This time I have to include a passport photo – luckily I have a couple of spare ones, so no need to go to a photo booth and pay out even more money.
The man assured me that I was still OK to drive. I think he expected me to thank him profusely. I didn’t. I just said, ‘I should hope so’.
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