A Driving Instructor's Blog

This is (eventually) a complete rewrite of the original article, which I will leave below under the dotted line until this latest saga is completed. Apologies for the bad language, but you’ll probably see why.

Day 1 – As of 4 April 2022, I have received notification that my ADI badge is due for renewal in 6 months time. The email from DVSA tells me what I need to  do.

Essentially, I first have to apply for a Criminal Record Disclosure using an online link. I won’t detail the next steps just yet, since the fu*king link in the email to the website which issues the disclosures returns a 404 error (which means ‘Page not found’). And it does that from the GOV.UK website, too.

So at the moment, the first stage of renewing my licence is impossible to complete because First Advantage – the people issuing criminal disclosures this time around – have a ballsed up website.

I have emailed both DVSA and First Advantage to try and get it sorted. But hey, it’s not an important thing, is it? So why rush?

Day 2 – I got a reply from DVSA this morning (5 April) telling me First Advantage’s ‘systems were down’ yesterday. They gave me a phone number to ‘request an application pack’. A little later, First Advantage emailed me my PIN number, Org Name, and secret word with a link to begin registration. It worked this time, so no farting about with the Royal Mail and ‘application packs’ after all.

I’m going with my Passport, Driving Licence, and probably a bank statement (which I will have to go and get from my bank because I am paper free) as my verification documents. When I can find my passport, of course.

Remember what happened last time? My ‘valid from’ date on my licence had to be the date of my original test and not the start date of my current photocard. And my bank statement has to be less than three months old, but in the past, so I have to get it, then commence the application the next day.

Day 10-ish – I went to my bank a week ago and… they were shut early for ‘staff training’. When I got home, after spitting feathers for a while, I phoned the bank to request a paper copy of my statement. That arrived yesterday, and I applied for my ID check today at my local Post Office. Note that I said local Post Office.

Yes, unlike last time where there was only one office in Nottingham that did verification (the main one in the city centre that you can’t easily get to, and which is filled with people who look like rough sleepers with pushchairs), many smaller Post Offices now provide the service. And it turns out that unlike the main office, they are not intent on trying to reject your application for minor details such as a slightly faded printer line or anything. I used my pass date for my driving licence and explained what happened last time, and the whole process was completed in less time than it took each of the people in the queue before me (who still looked like rough sleepers, so I guess it’s a Post Office thing) to each post a small package.

Day 20-ish – I got an email from First Advantage telling me my application has now gone to the ‘next stage of processing’, which I think means the next stage after my initial application (indicating the ID check has been accepted).

Day 20-ish (a bit later) – I got an email from DVSA on 24 April advising me that my criminal record certificate has been accepted by the Registrar and I can remain on the Register until my current badge expires. I can apply for a new badge in the month the current one expires. So 1 October 2022 is in the diary and alarms are set.

I haven’t received my copy yet, but DVSA indicates it ‘may arrive after this email’.

Day 24-ish – My copy of my disclosure arrived this morning (28 April). So just to summarise: I have successfully completed my criminal record check application, and the result has been accepted by DVSA. All that remains is to do the renewal of my badge in October.

Watch this space – updates of the process to follow later in the year.

—————————————————————————————————————-

Note that I have updated the main renewal article for 2018 following my own recent renewal of my badge. The article below was written in 2016.

An email from DVSA points out that from 14 January 2016, when renewing your badge (or starting the qualification process) online you will need your CRB/DBS* certificate number.CRB/DBS check logo

The certificate must be less than 6 months old, have been generated by GB Group, and be specifically for the purposes of DVSA registration. You cannot use a CRB/DBS* check generated by anyone else, or one that has been generated for a different purpose.

DVSA advises that you get your CRB/DBS* sorted as soon as you get the letter (which is 6 months before your badge runs out) as it can take up to 4 months for the police to finish their checks.

I’m sure that the usual crowd will find fault with this. But for the record, when I renewed about a year ago the process was easy and quick (with a minor photo glitch that DVSA bent over backwards to sort out for me). All I am interested in is renewing my badge – not trying to build some sort of early 20th century political career against DVSA. Quite simply, if you do what you’re supposed to do, WHEN your supposed to, everything is fine. But if you’re an idiot who insists on delaying, then whining about time scales… it serves you bloody well right!

* The Criminal Record Bureau (CRB) is now the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). I tend to use the term CRB when I’m talking to people, but it’s strictly a DBS check these days.

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