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What Happens if My Driving Licence Has Expired?

By: Sally Aquire - Updated: 19 Jun 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Driving Licence Expired Driving Licence

Q.

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)

A.

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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[Add a Comment]
Kerrij- Your Question:
Hi I'm confused. About to move house. My licence was issued May 2010! According to my photo licence it expired May 2012! I thoaught it was 10 years? I've never had a reminder. Will I be prosecuted & fined?I'm scared!

Our Response:
Contact the DVLA and ask them why . Unless it was a provisional licence (even then they will usually use the same photo and automatically issue a new one when you pass the test), we can't see a reason for this.
YourDrivingLicence - 21-Jun-17 @ 12:33 PM
Hi I'm confused. About to move house. My licence was issued May 2010! According to my photo licence it expired May 2012! I thoaught it was 10 years? I've never had a reminder. Will I be prosecuted & fined? I'm scared!
Kerrij - 19-Jun-17 @ 4:09 PM
Myphotocard liscense exspired 3.5 years ago I haven't driven in this time but I now need to renew my licence I do I go about this and what are the potential reprocusions Thanks paul
Prousey - 9-Jun-17 @ 7:52 PM
My photo card driving liscense expired 3 and half years ago I haven't driven a car in this period but I need to renew my liscense how do I go about this and what are the potential reprocusions. Thanks paul
Prousey - 9-Jun-17 @ 7:45 PM
My licence expired on the 1st of this month can i still drive?
Legz - 9-Jun-17 @ 10:20 AM
I haven't driven for a number of years due to having an accident which restricted this. I now am able to start driving again but my licence expired a number of years ago. Will I be fined if I re apply now. I am very worried about this
Sazle - 8-Jun-17 @ 8:46 AM
My driving licence has inadvertently become out of date.It is ten months out of date, a fact of which I was not aware. Where do I stand.As soon as I discovered that it was out of date I applied for another one. Who checks their driver's licence regularly?Anyway, does this mean I will have to take a driving test?i have been driving for over 50 years and though I was involved in an accident, it wasn't my fault.Can anyone help? It dos not say anything about a retest on the application form .Apparently there is a four week delay in the licensing office producing the new licence.What do I do in the meantime?Can I say that my licence has been applied for and continue driving?
Murphy - 5-Jun-17 @ 5:02 PM
Nat33 - Your Question:
If it says expired on a discaulifcation does it mean I'm not banned from driving anymore

Our Response:
Yes there is a usually an expiry date when a driver is banned. Depending on the nature of the ban, you will usually receive a letter from the DVLA before the ban is up. This tells you whether you need to sit an extended test or take a medical etc.
YourDrivingLicence - 31-May-17 @ 11:09 AM
Hi , I just need the address of the DVLA of where to sent my expired Driving licence too as I have now received my new Driving licence, but throw away the letter of which address to send it back too? Or can I just use the standard DVLA address?
Lisa - 30-May-17 @ 11:05 AM
My provisional has expired but I have applied for a new one, can I still drive if the new ok hasn't arrived yet ?
Jamie - 29-May-17 @ 6:19 PM
I have lost my driving licence but also notice my renewal is due for tomorrow, and I don't have a passport to do it online. Can I go into the post office and still do it with my renewal letter and counterpart bit?
Lucas - 29-May-17 @ 3:45 PM
My licence ran out in March but waiting for decision for it to be returned for medical reasons can I drive my car till that decision is made
Villafan - 29-May-17 @ 11:07 AM
If it says expired on a discaulifcation does it mean I'm not banned from driving anymore
Nat33 - 29-May-17 @ 12:13 AM
Bill- Your Question:
My car licence expires on the 6th June. I am not driving at the moment as I am waiting for a cataract operation. How do I apply to renew my licence after my operation?Many thanks

Our Response:
You will need to order a D1 application form and the relevant medical form. You can send this up to 8 weeks before you want to start driving again. You may need evidence from your doctor that you are fit to drive.
YourDrivingLicence - 26-May-17 @ 12:56 PM
Dee - Your Question:
My licence expires in April 2018 next year, but I am not 70 until October 2020.Will I have to submit an application for renewal in 2018 and again in 2020?

Our Response:
We're not sure about this to be honest. It's probably better to contact the DVLA.
YourDrivingLicence - 26-May-17 @ 11:48 AM
My daughter has received her replacement 10 year photocardlicense I think she needs to cut the old one in half and return it ? If so what is the address please
Phil - 24-May-17 @ 8:24 PM
My car licence expires on the 6th June.I am not driving at the moment as I am waiting for a cataract operation.How do I apply to renew my licence after my operation? Many thanks
Bill - 24-May-17 @ 1:04 PM
My licence expires in April 2018 next year, but I am not 70 until October 2020. Will I have to submit an application for renewal in 2018 and again in 2020?
Dee - 24-May-17 @ 10:58 AM
Which form should I fill if I want to change only a photo I am a bus driver 42 years old.
Rob - 21-May-17 @ 12:51 PM
Friends licence lost and expired 10+years ago. What to do?
Joshie - 21-May-17 @ 8:59 AM
My driving licence has just expired,I tried to renew online for £14 but was quoted £71.90 for cover charges and vat. What is this charge and why is it not advertised as such. I cannot afford 70 quid, but I can £14, what am I supposed to do now?
Mazz69 - 20-May-17 @ 8:24 AM
shim - Your Question:
Hi my photocard license expired a few days ago, ive just renewed it now but do I have to wait 2 weeks before I can drive again. When I renewed it says 'the law allows you to drive before you receive your driving license as long as. The entitlement on your license has not expired' What does this mean? Can I drive before I receive my new license.

Our Response:
Yes you can continue to drive while awaiting your new photo licence, as your main/full driving licence is usually valid until you're 70.
YourDrivingLicence - 19-May-17 @ 11:50 AM
My D1 exspires on the 5/8/17, what do I need to do to renew it? Many thanks
Just - 18-May-17 @ 1:14 PM
Hi my photocard license expired a few days ago, ive just renewed it now but do I have to wait 2 weeks before I can drive again. When i renewed it says 'the law allows you to drive before you receive your driving license as long as.... The entitlement on your license has not expired' What does this mean? Can I drive before I receive my new license.
shim - 18-May-17 @ 10:48 AM
Pogie - Your Question:
Hi,my hgv licence expired 5/12/14.promotion want to renew this licence but need to renew my photo licence,how do I go about this ta

Our Response:
There are full instructions on how to apply here on the government website
YourDrivingLicence - 17-May-17 @ 12:06 PM
Hi,my hgv licence expired 5/12/14 .promotion want to renew this licence but need to renew my photo licence,how do I go about this ta
Pogie - 16-May-17 @ 1:50 AM
Hello, I have EU driving license which expired 3 years ago. I have noticed only now as I wasn't driving in UK for this period of time. I would like to start driving now but can I exchange my expired EU licence to UK one now? Or what should I do if I cannot? Thank you in advance.
KB - 14-May-17 @ 1:14 PM
edds - Your Question:
My license expired 11 months ago. I Renewed at the post office using the reminder letter and their digital service. Will there be any issues as the reminder letter was 11 months old? (The post office didn't seem to think it was a problem.) Also how long does this service take? Is it like an online application. (The man at the post office said it should me much quicker than by post.)thanks in advance.

Our Response:
There shouldn't be any issues if the PO digital system accepted it. It usually takes two to three weeks depending on the level of demand.
YourDrivingLicence - 3-May-17 @ 10:17 AM
My license expired 11 months ago. I Renewed at the post office using the reminder letter and their digital service. Will there be any issues as the reminder letter was 11 months old? (The post office didn't seem to think it was a problem.) Also how long does this service take? Is it like an online application. (The man at the post office said it should me much quicker than by post.) thanks in advance.
edds - 2-May-17 @ 11:27 AM
Hello , My driving licence has expired 5 years ago what should I do , can renew it on line , or what should I do plz , I don't now what to do
Jon - 30-Apr-17 @ 11:36 PM
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