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What Happens if My Driving Licence Has Expired?

By: Sally Aquire - Updated: 15 Apr 2021 | comments*Discuss
Driving Licence Expired Driving Licence


Could you please tell me what to do if my driving licence has expired? Also what happens if it has been expired for more than a year?

(Mrs S Pitts, 8 September 2008)


It is important to know when your driving licence expiry date is (or was), as it is illegal to drive without a valid licence. Although the DVLA may send renewal reminders prior to the expiry date, it is your responsibility to make sure that your licence is up-to-date, including getting renewal forms if necessary. Driving without a valid driving licence can result in a fine of up to £1,000, and between three and six penalty points on your licence. Your car can also be seized. Vehicles of persistent offenders can be crushed/disposed of by the police.

Renewing a Driving Licence

Renewing A Driving Licence is free, unless you have been disqualified. The fees for renewing your driving licence are shown below. You can renew your driving licence at 70 plus online at the DVLA website, or using the D46P application form. For medical renewals, you need to get the D42 or D48 application forms.

Fees for renewal:

  • Renewing a licence at aged 70 (or over): Free
  • Renewing a licence for medical reasons: Free
  • Renewal after disqualification: £65
  • Renewal after disqualification for some drink driving offences: £90
  • Renewal after revocation (under the New Drivers Act): £50
  • To renew the photo on your licence: £20

Renewing a Photo Driving Licence

If your Photo Driving Licence has expired, you can be fined up to £1,000. Your photo licence must be renewed every 10 years; if you fail to renew it at that point, your driving licence will be invalid. You can choose to update your photo sooner than this if your appearance changes significantly. This can be done online via direct.gov.uk or by filling in the DVLA's D1 application form, which you can get online, from the DVLA form ordering service or from certain Post Office branches.

To renew your photo licence online at www.direct.gov.uk you will need your passport number, driving licence (if you don't have your licence you must say why as part of the application) and a form of payment such as a debit or credit card, the cost is £20. The reason you need your passport number - which has to have been issued within the last five years - is because the DVLA will use the picture and countersignature from your passport for your driving licence. Once you've filled in all your details and paid for it then the DVLA will send your new licence out to you in the post. Couldn't be easier!

How do I know if my photo licence has expired?

To check the status of your photo driving licence, the front of the card shows the expiry date of the photo license (marked 4b). The DVLA will send a renewal application pack before the photo needs to be renewed. Renewing the photo licence is usually £20. Your new licence should be sent back to you within three weeks, although it may take longer than this if medical and personal details need to be verified. As long as you have previously held a UK driving licence and are not likely to have your renewal rejected for medical reasons, it should be fine for you to drive while you await your new licence.

It may seem confusing to people looking to renew their photo licence, as on the DVLA's D1 form it does not mention renewing the licence. What you are really doing is renewing the photo on the licence as this is what expires.

Renewing a driving licence that has been expired for some time

If more than two years has passed since your driving licence expired, you may be made to retake your driving test in order to get a new licence. This is especially the case if your licence has expired due to age (driving licences need to be renewed when you reach seventy years of age) or for medical reasons. For these, you may also have to pass a medical. In other cases, you can simply apply for a new licence without problem, although the DVLA will often want to know why your licence has been expired for so long.

Renewing Your Licence

It's compulsory to renew your licence every 10 years - and if you don't you could face prosecution!! Check out Renewing Your Photo Driving Licence Every 10 Years to keep yourself up to speed on what's required to stay legal.

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I have a South Africandrives licenceand it has expiredand I could not go back to SA to renewwith all that happenedand I didn't have the moneybeforelockdownto go i have had my SA licencefor over 30 years I been driving sinceI was 18 year old and now I'm 51 years old and want to drive here UK and I'm live here the UK since2019 and need my licencefor my job what can I do.
Alex - 15-Apr-21 @ 5:15 PM
My driving license expired 2018 what do I do ? To get a new one ASAP
Shy - 11-Apr-21 @ 6:13 PM
I'm thinking of purchasing a car, but I have just realised my European driving licence has expired during Covid-19. Would I still be able to change it to a UK licence? Many thanks I look forward to hearing from you. Many thanks, Lorena
lorenadejuan - 1-Apr-21 @ 8:32 PM
Im thinking of purchasing a car, but i Have just realised i never changed my european driving licence which expired in 2018. would I still be able to change it to a UK licence. Many thanks I look forward to hearing from you. Regards Gigi
Gigi - 29-Mar-21 @ 5:12 PM
I passed my driving test 10 years ago this month so went to renew my license only to find out the license expired in 2016. I wasnt aware it was 10 years from your provisional. Im so worried im going to get my license taken off me now due to a genuine error. Please has anyone any advise? I need to drive for my job.
Chris86 - 13-Mar-21 @ 4:36 PM
I didnt realiise my driving Licence had expired .I was looking at the date on the back of my photo card which said 18/02/1975 to 15 /12/21 .The date on the front says 25/08/09 to 08/11/10why is this when i passed my test in 1975 .....so can i renew my licence ?
Alfie - 8-Mar-21 @ 9:34 AM
Ididn't renew my driver's license in 1/15/18.I didn't have a car at the time and had a state ID that now has expired.My fiance has been driving me around for a long time now and UBER has been becoming a costly thing if she is not around. Please advise what my next steps should be in renewing?Thanks
Mikey - 22-Feb-21 @ 8:36 PM
My photo licence has an expiry date this month,I have spoken to DVLA and been told that as the licence entitlements on the rear of my licence say 2028,I am still legally able to drive, Is this correct. Many thanks.
Ste - 5-Feb-21 @ 2:33 PM
Hi my mother has just lost her driving license on medical grounds. The current car insurance policy has her as main driver and me, daughter and normally resident in Australia, as well as my brother (UK resident) as named drivers on the policy. I am usually in UK for 3 months at a time but I am now in UK and will be for the foreseeable future to care for her due covid and wish to still to be able to drive her car. She is still the registered owner of the car. Having my Australian driving license I am permitted to drive in Uk for 12 months and I still have a UK driving license which was issued over 40 years ago. What are our options insurance wise?
Blue Flash - 2-Feb-21 @ 12:13 PM
I've never had a provisional licence for over 40 years how do I apply for a new one
Scanny - 30-Jan-21 @ 1:28 PM
Hi my driving license expired in August 2014 i didn't realise I had to renew it.What can i do to get a new one quickly. Thank you
Wee Tootz - 15-Jan-21 @ 3:47 PM
Hi my driving licence expired in August 2014, i didn't realise i had to renew, what can i do to get a new one quickly. Best wishes Gillian
Wee Tootz - 15-Jan-21 @ 3:45 PM
I have already applied for renewal about 8months after expiry of my driving licence. My license expired in June 2018 and I have applied after January 2019 online. I have paid renewal fees also. But I failed to submit the necessary documents in RTO office. I have completed the age of 70years.in October 2020. What do I do now to get the driving licence renewed.
AVL - 28-Dec-20 @ 2:32 PM
Hi, I have a question,I am 53 and my photo licence ran out in November 2005 I never renew the licence because my company went bankrupt and I never bought a car after that.But now I want to drive again, what do I do to renew my photo licence
Ron - 17-Dec-20 @ 1:40 PM
Maze two wheeler ? four wheeler transport license 2014 la sample aahe mala aata renew karayche aahe kiti penalty bharavi lagel
Patil - 6-Dec-20 @ 10:38 AM
I sent in my old provisional paper license to update it for a change of address but DVLA held on to it saying i need to update it to a picture ID license. that was 20 years ago because I moved to another Country and never followed up on the renewal. I would like to now send off for for a new provisional license do I just fill in a new driving license form for a first provisional driving license with all my new information?
tweetiepie6 - 24-Nov-20 @ 2:52 PM
I’m 70 in jan 2022 but will be out of country and still have paper license.How early can I apply for new license
Lindyloo - 10-Nov-20 @ 8:16 AM
Had my driving licence expired at end of August 2020. I had cardiac arrest back in 2017 September now fitted with ICD defibrillator and advice was not to drive...amI able to renew my driving licence.
Bij - 5-Nov-20 @ 9:03 PM
When will I get notification to renew my license
Moi - 26-Oct-20 @ 7:03 PM
I want to renew my driving licence on line but my passport is out of date
Rachael - 19-Oct-20 @ 5:39 PM
I want to renew my driving licence on line but my passport has expired ..what do i do ..i had no remder letter
Rachael - 19-Oct-20 @ 5:36 PM
I want to renew my provisional license that expired 16 years ago, do I just go ahead with a routine renewal or do I need to apply from scratch?
Emzlou - 28-Sep-20 @ 11:27 AM
Beginning of yr I was booked in for theory test to then do block booking and test in feb beforeMy licence runs out in March but due to covid-19 and weak immune system I canciled , now I need to renew before booking .. BUT I also need to change my signature as I no longer sign the same (signing 10yr ago I loved it and made sure looked neat ?? now after so many it’s a scruffy mess and can’t for the life of me get near what it was and have been refused in bank and test centre before Cos not the same even tho I’ve always took every other form of proof multiple infact with no joy unless someone else working there can confirm for me) .. do I need to just get renewal or should I just send off again for new like it was my first time x
Sticky B - 19-Aug-20 @ 9:44 PM
I received a new driving license in2016. The expiry date Oct 2017! I only saw it is out of date! I haven't been driving as when I was in the UK I had no reason to drive,plus I had sold my car, I had my freedom pass! I have moved to Capetown,and want to sometime driveway car here! Do I have to apply here in Capetown at their licences department, or should I be able to renew my license on line?please advice me of what I must do,please
Paul - 19-Aug-20 @ 5:01 PM
My licence is due to expire in September but I haven't had the renewal letter that it is saying you need to have to apply for it at the post office, how do I renew it? I can't do it online as my passport has also expired.
COL - 4-Aug-20 @ 5:42 PM
The photo on my licence is die to expire on 6/8/20. I was originally book in to do my practical driving test in May this year we high hot cancelled due to covid-19. Do I still need to re new my licence before booking test again or does the extension the government has given people to renew licences cover me?
Cats - 4-Aug-20 @ 4:47 PM
My license has ran out and needs renewing but I have misplaced the old license and can’t renew without the license number. Can someone help?
Shakac29 - 4-Aug-20 @ 2:22 PM
Hello, my partner needs a new provisional driving license as his old one is both lost and out of date. We don’t know whether to apply for the renewal (I think it is around 2 years out of date though so don’t know if we can), a lost or stolen renewal, or if he just has to apply for a new one. Can anyone help please? Thanks in advance.
Soph - 3-Aug-20 @ 1:50 PM
I am 73 and hold a full driving licence after a medical and eye teat 3 yrs ago enabling me to drive vehicles B1/B/C1/D1..etc. It expired end June 2020. According to the DVLA my licence has been extended for 7 months due to COVID 19. My licence on the DVLA site shows it is expired. I assume this is an error. Please confirm this as I cannot contact the DVLA.
Pedro - 1-Aug-20 @ 5:00 PM
I passed my driving test on 30 ago and then immediately went to live abroad and didn't need UK licence until now. Will there still be any record of me passing my test? I'm sure the answer is no but does anyone have any ideas? Cheers Marcus.
Mar - 30-Jul-20 @ 11:46 AM
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