DVLA’s Secret Service

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency lays out the steps you need to take to renew your Driving Licence. I remember doing this once, on the same day, some time back, by going to the DVLA HQ at Swansea. However when I tried to do this again more recently I discovered that there is no longer a ‘same day service’ option on their comprehensive but in this case unhelpful website. It seemed very odd to me, because I was sure there was still a staffed office in Swansea for this service.

So I tried the helpline as advertised on the website. After going round in circles two or three times I finally spoke to another  human being and was informed in no uncertain terms that there is no ‘same day service’ at Swansea. But I still had my doubts, so I asked someone who is living in Swansea to take a look for me. Lo and behold, they very quickly discovered that there is indeed a DVLA office where you and I can get  a same day licence renewal service.

So my question is: is it a a secret service? Available only to those in the know (i.e. people who live in Swansea). I certainly don’t begrudge them the extra service, but it seems odd to me that having won all sorts of awards for being a super, modernised agency, the DVLA seems to be taking a step backwards. I also find it interesting that the DVLA can be more flexible when there is money to be made, by selling car registration data for example while backsliding on the basics such as same-day licence issue and a helpful helpline for punters.