The National Federation of Subpostmasters (NFSP) is delighted with today’s news that Driver Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) and Post Office Ltd (PO) have signed an extension to their contract.
Vital services such as the DVLA need to remain within the post office network, and we have to thank everybody who has helped this decision come to fruition.
More than six million people use the post office network for accessing DVLA services each year, and essential local and central government services need to be available to the general public. The post office network is the only infrastructure able to provide that and Government needs to ensure these services are always available.
The contract extension between DVLA and PO is a one-year rolling contract for up to three years, with PO and the DVLA having to agree at the end of each year if the contract will continue for the following year. We know that PO were working hard behind the scenes to ensure that these services remained available via the network and it is important to acknowledge that.
For postmasters, the size of the network is the same as is the remuneration per transaction they receive.
The contract will start from Monday 1 April 2024. International Driving Permits are not included in the new contract and are subject to a separate procurement exercise, the outcome of which is expected in early 2024.
More than 100,000 people signed the NFSP’s petition to keep DVLA services within the post office network and this was delivered to 10 Downing Street on Thursday 2 November.
We thank all our colleagues who promoted the offline petition in their post offices, lobbied their MPs and contacted the local press. We also have to thank the 100,000 customers who signed the petition, and PO for all the work they have done internally to bring the contract back on board.
We want to let all customers know that they can still go into their post office to pay their car tax or get their driving licence at participating stores.
NFSP CEO Calum Greenhow said: “This just shows what can be achieved when everybody works together. We thank all our customers for their support. Collectively 100,000 people signed our petition across the United Kingdom and we’re grateful that has encouraged DVLA to look closely at any offline provision that is required.
“They can see that the Post Office network is vital in providing services of public economic interest.”
NFSP Public Affairs Manager Ruth Buckley-Salmon added: “A big thank you to everyone for their help in promoting this campaign. The result highlights what can be achieved when the NFSP membership works together. We will continue to campaign for Government services to remain at post office counters as we believe everyone has a right to in-person access.
“As ever, please feel free to contact me about any issue you feel the NFSP should be campaigning on at firstname.lastname@example.org”
MP Marion Fellows supported the NFSP's campaign and was at Downing Street to help deliver the petition. She said: "The Tory administration in Westminster previously said that post offices would be the ‘front office’ of government in communities across the UK, yet they continue to take action that is the opposite of that.
Kington Main postmaster Tim Allen, who attended Downing Street to hand in the petition with the NFSP in November, said: “I heard the news that the DVLA have reversed its decision to terminate our ability to provide road tax with a mixture of delight and relief.
“When so many people are involved in a campaign like this it’s hard to know where the credit lies but the power of the petition and the signature of the individual are clearly alive and well when the cause is important enough.
“Let’s hope we see DVLA reminders, with the Post Office as a means to pay, reinstated on them in the next few weeks to wipe away the shame of their removal in the first place.
“I look forward to spreading the news to our customers and more people than ever taxing their vehicles with us.”
Barnards Green postmaster Jenny Cain also attended Downing Street to deliver the petition. She said: “What absolutely fantastic news both for postmasters and for the general public. A very sensible decision that will mean access to all for such an important service.
“I would now call on the DVLA to reinstate the option to pay at a post office on the back of the reminder letter and actively promote the renewed relationship. We look forward to letting all our customers know the good news and welcoming them into branch.”