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  1. #1
    Veteran ผู้มีประสบการณ์ Cliff's Avatar
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    Thaiboi would like to learn to drive so needs a provisional driving licence. We assumed that by appying in person at the local DVLA office they would check his passport while we waited. Not so. They wanted to send it to the DVLA in Swansea for checking which takes 20 working days! We have a few overseas trips planned over the next couple of months so he needs to keep his passport. Also I'm concerned about it going missing on its return journey along with his new licence.

    When I exchanged my Irish licence for a UK one all necessary paperwork was completed in one visit to the DVLA local office in Wimbledon. They took about 40 minutes to check my passport was in fact a passport and I was happy to wait. However it appears that this express service is exclusively for exchanging licences rather than applying for new ones.

    If we were to drive to Swansea would they perform the necessary checks on his passport while we wait? Or is there some other way around this?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Veteran ผู้มีประสบการณ์ Cliff's Avatar
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    Thaiboi would like to learn to drive so needs a provisional driving licence. We assumed that by appying in person at the local DVLA office they would check his passport while we waited. Not so. They wanted to send it to the DVLA in Swansea for checking which takes 20 working days! We have a few overseas trips planned over the next couple of months so he needs to keep his passport. Also I'm concerned about it going missing on its return journey along with his new licence.

    When I exchanged my Irish licence for a UK one all necessary paperwork was completed in one visit to the DVLA local office in Wimbledon. They took about 40 minutes to check my passport was in fact a passport and I was happy to wait. However it appears that this express service is exclusively for exchanging licences rather than applying for new ones.

    If we were to drive to Swansea would they perform the necessary checks on his passport while we wait? Or is there some other way around this?

    Thanks!
    Cliff - คลิฟฟ์

  3. #3
    Veteran ผู้มีประสบการณ์ db1's Avatar
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    Cliff, there was another thread on here about this but I cant find it now but I do remember it saying you only had to shown your passport and NOT send it to Swansea.
    dont judge me by my past, I dont live there anymore.

    David & Aree

  4. #4
    Veteran ผู้มีประสบการณ์ Bryn&Mot's Avatar
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    Going back a few years whenMot applied for her prov licence,
    I am pretty sure we took her passport to the local post office and they looked at it and gave it her straight back.
    Doe's your local post office still offer these services?
    I'm there
    Bryn

  5. #5
    Veteran ผู้มีประสบการณ์ Cliff's Avatar
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    Hi Bryn - yes the post office offers this service but...only to UK passport holders.
    Cliff - คลิฟฟ์

  6. #6
    Premium Member Grahame's Avatar
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    I think you can go to your local DVLA office with all the necessary ID and they do everything there... only problem is I seem to remember they have to keep the passport whilst everything is processed? This is going back three years mind!
    Grahame
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  7. #7
    Veteran ผู้มีประสบการณ์ Cliff's Avatar
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    Grahame, that's what we did yesterday. The DVLA local office in Reading wanted to keep the passport for a month! We need the passport to travel. I'm wondering if we can drive to, say, Swansea and have them check the passport there and then, while we wait, so we can take the passport home with us.
    Cliff - คลิฟฟ์

  8. #8
    Premium Member Grahame's Avatar
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    Ah! I see... It seems logical...

    I just called DVLA and they said that if you went to Swansea directly, as it is a Thai passport they would still need to keep it for approx 15 days while everything is processed.
    Grahame
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  9. #9
    Veteran ผู้มีประสบการณ์ Cliff's Avatar
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    Thanks Grahame. That's 15 working days if we drive to Swansea or 20 working days if we drop it off at Reading. Swansea is obviously quite far - it takes five working days to get there from Reading! I'm at a loss to understand why they need to keep the passport for so long. It seems ridiculous.
    Cliff - คลิฟฟ์

  10. #10
    Old Hand มือเก่า galahad's Avatar
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    I can,t be 100% sure but when my wife got her provisional I think it took about 2 weeks to be returned to her.
    I know she wasn,t happy about posting it ...as The DVLA bloke said it would only be returned by normal mail.
    To think it costs £30-40 and they can,t even pay for adequate/secure return postage.

  11. #11
    Premium Member caller's Avatar
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    Ooy got her provisional license recently via Wimbledon. We went in person and the passport was retained and sent to Swansea, but she got it back a week later. Most Govt. depts return original documents as soon as they have been verified/copied/scanned, whatever.

    A day later she received her photo ID card and the paper certificate.

    Pretty good considering we were told to expect to wait about 4 weeks.

    Hope this helps.

    Self edit based on a correction by the wife!
    'Tis me

  12. #12
    Veteran ผู้มีประสบการณ์ Cliff's Avatar
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    Thanks to everyone who replied to my question. It certainly looks like the only way to get a licence is to be without a passport for up to 20 working days. I just wish there was a faster, more sensible way, but as there doesn't appear to be, we'll just need to delay our trip to Ireland by a month or so, and Thaiboi will have to wait to start driving lessons. Mind you, it will probably take the Irish Embassy another month to get around to replying to my email about visit visas.
    Cliff - คลิฟฟ์

  13. #13
    Old Hand มือเก่า packpao's Avatar
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    Cliff,

    Mue just applied for her UK provisional licence at DVLA Wimbledon (using photo checking service). She got her licence within 8 working days and her passport back a day later.

    Packpao

  14. #14
    Veteran ผู้มีประสบการณ์ Cliff's Avatar
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    Packpao - isn't the photo checking service only for those who have been in the UK for two years or more? At least, the person signing the back of the photo must have known the person in UK for two years. Thaiboi has only been here a little over a year. How did you get around this? Maybe I've missed something. Eight days would be fantastic! He could start lessons before the end of 'summer'. Thanks
    Cliff - คลิฟฟ์

  15. #15
    Forum Regular สมาชิกประจำ
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    Hi Cliff

    If it does come down to sending the passport to DVLA Swansea then you can include a paid for special delivery (or whatever they call it now) envelope addressed back to yourself for the passport, takes a little bit of the worry out of getting it safely back.

    Think it only took a couple of weeks to get the passport back when Aea applied for hers earlier this year.

  16. #16
    Forum Regular สมาชิกประจำ
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    cliff we live near the dvla in swansea and when we did saranyas 3 years ago we went along there, they have a photo booth there and the staff signed to say it was her they kept her passport but passport and license were back in less than 2 weeks.
    i think its the same thing that packpao has mentioned

    steve

  17. #17
    Premium Member caller's Avatar
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    Cliff, have a look at my post again. Packpao is reiterating the service we got when Ooy applied for her PL. As the passport was handed in, the officer dealing with the application verified the likeness that otherwise would have needed the photo countersigned. As Ooy only arrived here 23/10 last year, that was impossible. We got everything back about a week after the application was handed in.
    'Tis me

  18. #18
    Veteran ผู้มีประสบการณ์ Cliff's Avatar
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    Got it. Thanks.
    Cliff - คลิฟฟ์

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