Business News of Wednesday, 11 February 2015
Source: Graphic Online
Some of the printing machines of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) have broken down, causing delays in the issuance of new driver’s licences since the middle of 2014.
The situation has created a backlog of about 23,000 licences to be printed.
The Director of Driver Training, Testing and Licensing of the DVLA, Mr C.W. Musah, told the Daily Graphic that it was difficult for the DVLA to get the spare parts to fix the machines.
He said the DVLA had managed to fix three out of the eight machines which were being used to print the driver’s licences.
Apart from the backlog, Mr Musah said 8,849 fresh licences had been printed, out of which 3,590 were released to DVLA offices in parts of the country last January.
For the replacement of licences, a total of 10,370 had been printed, out of which 9,540 were released to the offices of the DVLA a month ago.
Mr Musah gave an assurance that all the outstanding licences would be printed by the middle of June 2015.
The current printing machines have been in operation for the past six years.
Mr Musah said the DVLA had decided to replace the printing machines with a new set of machines with higher printing capacity by the end of June 2015.
He said while the existing machines could print only 1,000 licences a day, the new machines to be procured would print 5,000 daily.
Besides, he said, unlike the existing machines which picked licensing information on pen drives, the new machines had Internet facilities that could pick information directly from DVLA offices at different locations.
Mr Musah said the expected changeover to a new system would not affect the data of DVLA customers and, therefore, asked the public to not be apprehensive about the new system.
Mr Musah said the delay in the release of licences was also due to steps taken by the authorities of the DVLA to screen all printed licences to ensure that the owners had gone through all the required tests.
So far, he said, the DVLA had rejected more than 3,000 fresh licences because their data were not captured in the input of those who had taken part in the theory test.
Mr Musah said the DVLA would invite the officers who gave the clearance for the issuance of those licences to ascertain whether, indeed, the people had not taken the tests.
He said if it turned out that the applicants had not gone through the tests, the applicants concerned would be required to take the theory tests again, while the officers would be sanctioned.
“We will cancel the licences and order for a retest. We will also discipline the officers involved,” he said.
Mr Musah said if the applicants appeared to be recalcitrant by refusing to take the tests, the DVLA would withhold their licences.
Meanwhile, some drivers have expressed worry over the delay in the release of their driver’s licences by the DVLA.
Even though they said the DVLA had extended the expiry dates on their temporary licences, they were still not comfortable with the temporary licences.