Did you know that there is £1000 fine if you have an out-of-date driving licence? Over two million people have an invalid licence and risk facing a hefty fine.
Check the photocard driving licence expiry date
Photocard licences replaced paper licences in 1998, and must be renewed every 10 years. The DVLA says a whopping 2.3 million photocards are out of date.
Driving licence photos must be replaced every 10 years!
It’s easy to forget, but a quick check now could save you a fine of up to £1,000 if your photocard’s expired. It’s an annoying £14 to renew (£17 if you renew by post), but that’s a far better option.
There are a few dates printed on the photocard, but the one you need’s the photo expiry date printed on section 4b on the front of the card.
How to renew if your licence has expired
The process is similar, whether you’re renewing a licence or replacing a lost or stolen one. There are three ways to apply:
- Online.You can apply online at Gov.uk, providing you’ve a valid UK passport.
- By post.Alternatively, anyone can get forms from most Post Offices, or order one from the DVLA website (in the other ways to apply section).
- In person at selected Post Offices.This costs an extra £4.50 on top of the £17 fee.
How much does it cost?
There’s a £14 fee for each renewal if you do it online, £17 if you renew by post. You should be sent a reminder and form about two months before expiry. However, as many miss this or forget, it’s well worth making a note of when yours expires.
Though the photocard needs to be renewed every 10 years, in general, driving licences are valid until you’re 70, after which it needs renewing every three years. If you only need to update your address or name, or you’re over 70 and you’re just renewing it, this is free. There’s no limit to the number of times you can update your name and address for free.
The new card should arrive within three weeks (though it’s wise to apply earlier just in case). If you apply online, you’ll usually get your new card within one week.
My photocard’s already expired, will I be fined if I renew it?
The DVLA’s told the MoneySavingExperts it strongly advises people to renew photocards promptly to avoid the risk of being fined up to £1,000, but don’t panic if you’ve overlooked yours – it says renewing late won’t prompt a fine.
Check your correct address is on it
It sounds bonkers, but forget to update your address and you risk a £1,000 fine if stopped by the police – so check now to make sure it’s correct.
If your address isn’t accurate, or if you’ve moved since you registered, it’s free to update and you can do this as many times as needed.
How to update your address
If your address is wrong, you can update it online via Gov.uk, or by post (see Gov.uk for info). There’s no limit to the number of times you can do this for free, so it’s handy if you have any other house moves down the line.
Check your name is correct if you’ve changed it
The third check is to make sure your name is correct on your driving licence, particularly if you’ve changed it since getting married.
Direct Line previously found 3% of married women had an out-of-date name on their licence, which bizarrely could also incur a £1,000 fine. So if you think you could be affected, check now.
How to update your name
To update your name, order the form from Gov.uk and post it to the DVLA, along with the documents needed (forms are also available from most Post Offices).
As with address updates, handily there’s no limit to the number of times you can update your name for free.
Will my photocard’s expiry be renewed if I update my name or address?
If you’re only changing your personal details, the photocard’s renewal date won’t be updated. While it’s free to change your personal details, if you decide to include a new photo to renew your photocard at the same time, this will still cost £14 online, or £17 by post. But if you’re only updating your name, you don’t need to send a new photo unless your previous photo has expired.