Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) services could be scrapped from Post Office (PO) branches as early as next month, if a deal isn’t agreed offering “fair” remuneration.
In a message sent to postmasters today (23 May), seen by Better Retailing, the PO’s group chief commercial officer Owen Woodley explained that ongoing negotiations since Autumn 2022 had failed to reach an agreement. “Throughout our conversations with the DVLA, our number one priority has been to ensure postmasters receive fair remuneration for transactions, while also covering associated overhead costs,” he said.
As a result, it’s understood the most likely outcome is a 12-month extension agreement which will see the services cease and the contract permanently end on 31 March 2024.
Although this would see postmasters receive improved remuneration, backdated to 1 April 2023, Woodley went on to claim “there is still a chance that the negotiations could fail” because the PO “are simply unwilling to sign up to a deal that does not provide fair remuneration”, which the DVLA are yet to commit to.
DVLA services enable customers to pay vehicle tax, renew driving licenses and apply for international driving permits. Last month, journalist Victoria Coren Mitchell tweeted that on a recent letter she’d received, the only way to carry out any DVLA services was online. “Sorry, just clarify for me again: what is it I do if I haven’t got a computer?” she said.
Woodley advised postmasters to speak to their area manager if they have any questions about the potential impact of the service withdrawal on their branch.
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