The Post Office will continue to offer DVLA services for the next seven years, the government has announced.

Announced by Secretary of State Patrick McLoughlin, it is hoped the DVLA contract will provide scope for the Post Office network to provide front office counter services for other government departments.

The contract, which comes into effect next April, will run for seven years with an option to extend for up to another three years. The contract will enable the Post Office to offer DVLA services at over 4,700 outlets for road tax and vehicle transactions, 750 of which will also cater for driver licensing.

George Thomson, general secretary of the National Federation of Subpostmasters, welcomed the decision. “The importance of today’s decision cannot be underestimated and is a victory for subpostmasters and their customers who made clear that DVLA services are highly valued and are essential for the future viability of the post office network,” he said.

Thomson added that the government should consider offering more of its services through the network. “This vital contract must be the first of many awarded by government and local authorities if our cherished national network of post offices are to have a sustainable future,  and if the pledge by ministers to use our post offices as ‘the front office for government’ is to be realised,” he said.

Paula Vennells, chief executive of the Post Office, said the decision was “a ringing endorsement of the Post Office’s strong track record in successfully delivering essential government services”. “It is welcome news for everybody at the Post Office and is testimony to the quality of our employees and subpostmasters whose longstanding commitment to efficiently delivering essential services to local communities contributed greatly to this successful outcome,” she said.