Contact DVA, complain or claim compensation

The Driver & Vehicle Agency (DVA) is committed to providing a high standard of service and continually strives to improve performance. Find out how to contact DVA and what to do if you are not satisfied with the service you have received.

Contact DVA

Telephone and email contact details for DVA are available at the links below.

DVA aims to reply to emails within 10 working days.

Booking Services:


If you are not satisfied with the service you have received, ask to speak to the office or centre manager as they can deal with most complaints quickly and informally.

If your complaint is not resolved informally, you can make a formal complaint. DVA aims to reply to formal complaints within 10 working days.

Make a formal complaint

DVA works within a framework set by law and the decisions made have to be in line with relevant laws. It may not always be possible to meet your expectations.

To make a formal complaint, you can write, email or telephone using the details at the link below:

At each stage you will need to give:

  • you full name and address
  • you date of birth or driver number (if your complaint relates to your driving licence)
  • your vehicle's registration number (if your complaint relates to a vehicle or a driving test)
  • your daytime contact number (if possible)
  • full details of your complaint, including any previous dealings with us about it

Stage one

Your complaint is forwarded to the manager of the section, office or centre that you have been dealing with so that a detailed explanation can be given to clarify the decision you were unhappy about.

Please provide as much information at this stage as possible so that your complaint can be investigated fully.

All the letters you receive from DVA will give the contact details of the person who sent them and a reference number.

Stage two

A senior manager responsible for the area of concern will reconsider all the information received from you and the response given at stage one. Their reply will be reviewed and discussed with the Customer Services Manager before being issued to you.

Stage three

If you still feel your complaint has not been dealt with fully, you can write to:

The Chief Executive
Driver & Vehicle Agency
148 - 158 Corporation Street
Town Parks

If you are still not satisfied

If you remain dissatisfied with the Agency’s response or how your complaint has been handled, you can ask a Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly (MLA) to refer the matter to the Northern Ireland Ombudsman on your behalf.

The Ombudsman is independent and can investigate complaints against government departments and their agencies. Usually, before you complain to the Ombudsman, you will be expected to have exhausted the body's internal complaints procedure. In exceptional circumstances the Ombudsman may be prepared to accept your complaint before you have exhausted the body's internal complaints procedure. Your reasons for this should be set out in your complaint to the Ombudsman.


Sometimes when things go wrong you may be entitled to compensation. DVA will consider a claim for compensation if:

  • a test is cancelled for any reason within its control and the notification given is less than one clear working day for vehicle tests and three clear working days for driving tests
  • your vehicle is damaged on DVA property and the Agency is found to be negligent
  • an Ombudsman investigation finds that there has been maladministration by the Agency causing you an injustice

DVA will not consider compensation if the reason for cancelling a test is outside its control. For example, if a test is cancelled because of bad weather or a power failure. However, every effort will be made to give you a new test date as soon as possible.

DVA aims to:

  • make applying for compensation as easy as possible for you
  • pay you within 10 working days of your claim being settled
  • identify areas where problems often occur and take steps to improve its services

Amount of compensation paid

If the DVA:

  • does not give you the accepted period of notification and the reason for cancellation was within its control, you will get an automatic refund of 50 per cent of the test fee
  • accepts liability, you will get reimbursement of any expenses that arise as a direct result of a cancelled test or a damaged vehicle which are verifiable and reasonably incurred

If a compensation claim needs to be independently assessed, the Agency will normally pay the amount recommended by the Ombudsman or the DVA Central Claims Unit.

How to claim compensation

If a test has been cancelled:

  • claims for expenses must be in writing
  • where possible, you should provide receipts for any costs you incurred
  • the claim and supporting evidence should be submitted to the centre where the test was due to take place

50 per cent of the test fee will be paid automatically and you do not have to claim this.

If your vehicle has been damaged:

  • you should report it as soon as possible to the centre manager who will inspect the damage or if you have already left the premises, arrange a time for you to return with the vehicle for inspection
  • the centre manager will provide you with a claim form
  • the claim and three quotes showing the cost of repairing the damage should be returned to the centre manager

Once a claim is received

DVA aims to issue a decision to all formal requests for compensation within 10 working days

It will thoroughly investigate your claim and examine all evidence available. As part of this process it may be necessary to ask you for additional documentation or information.

You will be informed if additional time is required to investigate your claim.

Still not happy?

If during or after the processing of a claim you wish to complain about any aspect of DVA's service or the handling of your claim, you can write to the customer services manager at the link below.

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