Complaints procedure

You can complain to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) if you're not happy with the quality of service you got from us.


Our commitment

We’re committed to providing a high quality of service to everyone.

We need you to tell us if we get things wrong. We’ll listen to your complaint and treat it seriously and in confidence.

We aim to:

  • put things right for you when it’s possible and appropriate
  • learn from where we went wrong
  • make sure we do not make the same mistake again

How to make a complaint

The way you make your complaint depends on what you want to complain about. Follow the process for:

Complain about your theory test

You can complain about your test by email or post. We aim to reply to you within 10 working days. We’re currently busier than usual, so it might take longer to reply to you.

What to include in your complaint

You need to tell us:

  • the type of test you took
  • the date, time and place you took your test
  • what your complaint is
  • what you want to happen - but we cannot change your driving test result

You need to include all of these pieces of information:

  • your theory test booking reference (if you’ve booked a test)
  • your driving licence number
  • your full name as it appears on your driving licence
  • your address and postcode
  • your date of birth

DVSA customer services
theorycustomerservices@dvsa.gov.uk

DVSA
PO Box 349
Newcastle-Upon-Tyne
NE12 2GN

If you’re not happy with our response

Contact our Public Liaison Manager if you’re not happy with our response. You need to do this within 6 months of the date of the test you’re complaining about.

Our Public Liaison team aims to reply to you within 10 working days. This might take longer because they’re currently busier than usual.

DVSA Public Liaison team
public.liaison@dvsa.gov.uk

Public Liaison Team
DVSA
The Axis Building
112 Upper Parliament Street
Nottingham
NG1 6LP

You can take things further if you’re not happy with their response.

If you told us the driving examiner did not follow the law about carrying out your test, but we did not agree with you, you can appeal your driving test to a court. However, the court cannot change your test result.

Complain about your driving test

You can complain about your test by email or post. We aim to reply to you within 10 working days. We’re currently busier than usual, so it might take longer to reply to you.

What to include in your complaint

You need to tell us:

  • the type of test you took
  • the date, time and place you took your test
  • what your complaint is
  • what you want to happen - but we cannot change your driving test result

You need to include 2 of the following 3 pieces of information:

  • your driving licence number
  • your theory test pass certificate number
  • your test booking reference

DVSA customer services
customerservices@dvsa.gov.uk

DVSA
PO Box 349
Newcastle-Upon-Tyne
NE12 2GN

If you’re not happy with our response

Contact our Public Liaison team if you’re not happy with our response. You need to do this within 6 months of the date of the test you’re complaining about.

Our Public Liaison team aims to reply to you within 10 working days. This might take longer because they’re currently busier than usual.

DVSA Public Liaison team
public.liaison@dvsa.gov.uk

Public Liaison Team
DVSA
The Axis Building
112 Upper Parliament Street
Nottingham
NG1 6LP

You can take things further if you’re not happy with their response.

If you told us the driving examiner did not follow the law about carrying out your test, but we did not agree with you, you can appeal your driving test to a court. However, the court cannot change your test result.

Complain about services for driving or motorcycle instructors

You can complain about our services for driving or motorcycle instructors by email or post. We aim to reply to you within 10 working days. We’re currently busier than usual, so it might take longer to reply to you.

There’s a different process to complain about a driving instructor or a motorcycle compulsory basic training (CBT) course if you’re a learner driver or rider.

You need to include your:

  • instructor reference number or driving licence number
  • date of birth
  • postcode

ADI Registration
DVSA
The Axis Building
112 Upper Parliament Street
Nottingham
NG1 6LP

If you’re not happy with our response

Contact our Public Liaison team if you’re not happy with our response. They aim to reply to you within 10 working days. This might take longer because they’re currently busier than usual.

DVSA Public Liaison team
public.liaison@dvsa.gov.uk

Public Liaison Team
DVSA
The Axis Building
112 Upper Parliament Street
Nottingham
NG1 6LP

You can take things further if you’re not happy with their response.

Complain about a vehicle test

You can complain about a:

  • heavy goods vehicle (HGV), bus or trailer MOT result
  • vehicle approval test result
  • specialist vehicle test result

Complain about a HGV, bus or trailer MOT test

There’s a different process to appeal a car, van or motorcycle MOT test result.

If you disagree with a test result you can either:

  • talk to the assessor at the test station when you get your result
  • contact us if the assessor is not available or you leave the testing station after you get the result

You need to contact us within 2 working days of getting your result.

HGV, bus or trailer MOT complaints
technicalofficers@dvsa.gov.uk

We will contact you within 2 days to discuss your result. We might arrange for the vehicle to be retested. You will not have to pay a fee if we decide to retest your vehicle.

You should get a result within 5 days. If you’re not happy with the result after we have looked at your evidence you can make an appeal.

Make an appeal

Appeal using the form for:

Do not make any repairs or adjustments to the defects you disagree with until the vehicle has been examined again.

Complain about a vehicle approval test

Talk to the local staff before you complain about a:

  • vehicle approval test
  • specialist vehicle test

They may be able to help with any issues you have.

If you disagree with the examiner’s assessment, we might need to examine the vehicle again. Appeal using the form for:

Do not make any repairs or adjustments to the defects you disagree with until the vehicle has been examined again.

If you’re still unhappy with the service you received

You can complain if you’re still unhappy with the service you’ve received.

Complain by email or post. We aim to reply to you within 10 working days. We’re currently busier than usual, so it might take longer to reply to you.

DVSA customer service centre
csccomplaints@dvsa.gov.uk

DVSA
The Ellipse
Padley Road
Swansea
SA1 8AN

If you’re not happy with our response

Contact our Public Liaison team if you’re not happy with our response. They aim to reply to you within 10 working days. This might take longer because they’re currently busier than usual.

DVSA Public Liaison team
public.liaison@dvsa.gov.uk

Public Liaison Team
DVSA
The Axis Building
112 Upper Parliament Street
Nottingham
NG1 6LP

You can take things further if you’re not happy with their response.

Complain about vehicle operator licensing services

You can complain by email or post about the service provided by the Central Licensing Office or Office of the Traffic Commissioner. We aim to reply to you within 10 working days. We’re currently busier than usual, so it might take longer to reply to you.

You need to include:

  • your vehicle operator licence number (if you have one)
  • which office you’re complaining about

DVSA customer service centre
csccomplaints@dvsa.gov.uk

DVSA
The Ellipse
Padley Road
Swansea
SA1 8AN

If you’re not happy with our response

Contact our Public Liaison team if you’re not happy with our response. They aim to reply to you within 10 working days. This might take longer because they’re currently busier than usual.

DVSA Public Liaison team
public.liaison@dvsa.gov.uk

Public Liaison Team
DVSA
The Axis Building
112 Upper Parliament Street
Nottingham
NG1 6LP

You can take things further if you’re not happy with their response.

Complain about enforcement action

Follow the roadside prohibition guidance if you disagree with the prohibition.

You can complain if you’re still unhappy after speaking with local staff. You need to complain within 14 days - complaints after this will only be accepted in exceptional circumstances.

We aim to reply to you within 10 working days. We’re currently busier than usual, so it might take longer to reply to you.

DVSA customer service centre
csccomplaints@dvsa.gov.uk

DVSA
The Ellipse
Padley Road
Swansea
SA1 8AN

If you’re not happy with our response

Contact our Public Liaison team if you’re not happy with our response. They aim to reply to you within 10 working days. This might take longer because they’re currently busier than usual.

DVSA Public Liaison team
public.liaison@dvsa.gov.uk

Public Liaison Team
DVSA
The Axis Building
112 Upper Parliament Street
Nottingham
NG1 6LP

You can take things further if you’re not happy with their response.

Taking things further

You can ask us to pass your complaint to an independent complaints assessor (ICA) if you’ve been through the final stage of our complaints process and are not happy with the response.

The ICA is:

  • independent of the Department for Transport and DVSA
  • not a civil servant

The ICA looks at whether we’ve:

  • handled your complaint properly
  • given you a reasonable decision

It does not cost you anything for the ICA to assess your complaint.

When to ask us to pass your complaint to the ICA

The ICA cannot usually look at any complaint that:

  • has not completed all stages of our complaints process
  • is more than 3 months old from the date of the final response from us

You need to explain why you think the ICA should review your complaint if it falls into either of these categories. We’ll send your explanation with your complaint to the ICA.

What happens when you ask us to pass your complaint to the ICA

The ICA will need to see all the letters and emails between us. We aim to send these to the ICA within 15 working days of you asking us to pass your complaint to them.

The ICA will decide how best to deal with your case and will then contact you.

In some cases, the ICA might decide that they cannot help to resolve your complaint. If this happens, you’ll need to ask an MP to refer your case to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO).

The ICA will aim to review your case within 3 months of getting it. They’ll tell you if they expect it to take longer.

After the ICA has reviewed your case

The ICA will tell you the outcome and if they’ve made any recommendations. This ends their involvement with your case.

Types of complaints the ICA can review

The ICA can look at complaints about:

  • bias or discrimination
  • unfair treatment
  • poor or misleading advice
  • failure to give information
  • mistakes
  • unreasonable delays
  • inappropriate staff behaviour

Types of complaints the ICA cannot review

The ICA cannot look at:

  • government, departmental or delivery body policy
  • contractual disputes
  • complaints about the law
  • matters considered by Parliament
  • matters where only a court, tribunal or other body can decide the outcome
  • decisions taken by independent boards or panels, for example, applications under the HS2 ‘Need to Sell’ scheme
  • decisions taken by, or for, the Secretary of State for Transport
  • legal cases that have already started and will decide the outcome
  • an ongoing investigation or enquiry
  • how we handle requests for information made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 or the Environmental Information Regulations 2004
  • how we handle subject access requests made under the Data Protection Act
  • personnel and disciplinary decisions or actions
  • any professional judgment by a specialist, including, for example, the clinical decisions of doctors

The ICA cannot look at any complaint that has been, or is being, investigated by the PHSO.