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What Happens if My Driving Licence Has Expired?

By: Sally Aquire - Updated: 22 Aug 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]
Hi, my UK drivers license expired in 2013 and I've been living outside of the country since 2008.However, i plan to return in the near future. Would I have to retake both the theory and practical test? Please advise going forward
Drew - 22-Aug-17 @ 6:16 PM
Hiya, I am UK citizen and my Photo Driving Licence is due to expire in Oct 2017. I moved to Germany in 2013 for work and now I am in India until Jan 2018, after which I plan to return to UK. At the moment, I don't have a permanent address in UK and I also don't have the counterpart with me as it is in Germany. How should I approach to renew my licence? What is the best course of action, let it lapse and then get it renewed once I am back in UK or renew it from India( If that is possible)? Do I need to retake the tests if the licence is lapsed/expired? Many thanks!
Pace - 18-Aug-17 @ 8:09 AM
Peter - Your Question:
Hello, I moved to the UK 5 years ago. I have a Brazilian driving license that has expired 3 or so years ago. However, I have taken up a motorcycle license instead so I'm very familiar with the UK traffic rules.If I was to renew my car driving license to a UK one, do I have to do all tests again?Thanks for any information, can't find a similar situation anywhere.

Our Response:
Unfortunately for you, yes you need to take the UK theory and practical driving tests as Brazil is not a designated country for driving licence exchange with the UK.
YourDrivingLicence - 14-Aug-17 @ 12:12 PM
Hello, I moved to the UK 5 years ago. I have a Brazilian driving license that has expired 3 or so years ago. However, I have taken up a motorcycle license instead so I'm very familiar with the UK traffic rules. If I was to renew my car driving license to a UK one, do I have to do all tests again? Thanks for any information, can't find a similar situation anywhere.
Peter - 11-Aug-17 @ 4:54 PM
Am I too late to get my licence from a designated country exchanged after 6 years of living in the UK without resitting my tests? I've not been driving during this time but would like to get back to it soon.
Bez - 10-Aug-17 @ 11:00 PM
Stevo - Your Question:
My license has expired and I've applied for a new one. Can I hire a car without my physical licence?

Our Response:
Most hire companies will want to see your licence. Some hire companies may be willing to do an online check...you have to go online to arrange this, more information on this can be found here.
YourDrivingLicence - 10-Aug-17 @ 10:22 AM
ScottyTee27 - Your Question:
I have just realised I did not receive my new license when I applied for it some time ago via post. My license expired on the 12/04/16, I have just completed the online forms to renew the license but was wondering if I will receive a fine due to the time it has been expired?Thanks

Our Response:
You should be fine assuming you have proof that you applied for it last year.
YourDrivingLicence - 9-Aug-17 @ 2:23 PM
Stevo - Your Question:
I moved to the UK 5 years ago from Australia, both my parents were born in the UK and moved to Australia in the 1950s, so when I arrived from Australia in 2012 I applied for a English passport through having English parents.I received my UK passport 7 months later.my Australian drivers licence expired December 2012.I called my mum before it expired from the UK to Australia asking if she could pay for it to keep it from expiring. They told my mum I had to pay in person which obviously I could not do being in the UK so I had to let my Australian drivers licence expire.i was told you have 1 year to change your drivers licence from Australian to the UK which I failed to do.I work as a carer and need a English drivers licence , my question is there anyway I could get my UK drivers licence without having to start all over again as I'm 52 years of age and been driving for 35 years.

Our Response:
You will have to apply for a new licence, but you won't need to take your test again.
YourDrivingLicence - 9-Aug-17 @ 2:05 PM
My license has expired and I've applied for a new one. Can I hire a car without my physical licence?
Stevo - 8-Aug-17 @ 11:36 PM
I have just realised I did not receive my new license when I applied for it some time ago via post. My license expired on the 12/04/16, I have just completed the online forms to renew the license but was wondering if I will receive a fine due to the time it has been expired? Thanks
ScottyTee27 - 8-Aug-17 @ 11:16 AM
Martina- Your Question:
Hi, I'm returning to N Ireland from Australia. I have my Australian driving licence. Can I apply for my UK licence again, it has been out of date since 2011.

Our Response:
You can apply for a UK driving licence once you're back in the country...until then you can continue to use your Australian licence.
YourDrivingLicence - 8-Aug-17 @ 10:29 AM
I moved to the UK 5 years ago from Australia,both my parents were born in the UK and moved to Australiain the 1950s, so when I arrived from Australiain 2012 I applied for a Englishpassport through having Englishparents.I received my UK passport 7 months later.my Australiandrivers licenceexpired December2012.I called my mum before it expired from the UK to Australiaasking if she could pay for it to keep it from expiring. They told my mum i had to pay in person which obviouslyI could not do being in the UK so I had to let my Australiandrivers licence expire.i was told you have 1 year to change your drivers licence from Australianto the UK which I failed to do.I work as a carer and need a English drivers licence , my questionis there anywayI could get my UK drivers licence without having to start all over again as I'm 52 years of age and been driving for 35 years.
Stevo - 8-Aug-17 @ 1:46 AM
Hi, I'm returning to N Ireland from Australia. I have my Australian driving licence. Can I apply for my UK licence again, it has been out of date since 2011.
Martina - 5-Aug-17 @ 8:07 AM
Kelly - Your Question:
Hi, I never knew about the renewing of my license, I moved home and it was left in a box of our important documents, I haven't driven in about 8yrs, just couldn't afford a car and to be honest I completely forgot about it until now, I never changed address either as I had a lot happening in my personal life and I wasn't using it and forgot about it. I am now able to maybe get a car and looked it out and I noticed about the address, it was my daughter who noticed the expiry date which was 25-09-10. I am worried that I might get into some kind of trouble, as I said luckily I haven't been driving, if I had though I would've pulled this out sooner and noticed. What do I do now, will I be able to renew it ok? Thank you

Our Response:
Yes you should be find to renew it but you may not be able to do this online. If you're unsure, contact the DVLA first.
YourDrivingLicence - 4-Aug-17 @ 2:29 PM
Having got one - Your Question:
My wife passed her test years ago. Sent the pass certificate off. But moved. Police say they have a record off her passing on their data bank. So can she just apply for her licence.

Our Response:
Yes she should be able to apply on that basis, it might be worth giving DVLA a call.
YourDrivingLicence - 4-Aug-17 @ 10:59 AM
Hi, I never knew about the renewing of my license, I moved home and it was left in a box of our important documents, I haven't driven in about 8yrs, just couldn't afford a car and to be honest I completely forgot about it until now, I never changed address either as I had a lot happening in my personal life and I wasn't using it and forgot about it.I am now able to maybe get a car and looked it out and I noticed about the address,it was my daughter who noticed the expiry date which was 25-09-10. I am worried that I might get into some kind of trouble, as I said luckily I haven't been driving, if I had though I would've pulled this out sooner and noticed. What do I do now, will I be able to renew it ok? Thank you
Kelly - 2-Aug-17 @ 6:11 PM
Sonic - Your Question:
Can you renew a license if it expired just over a month ago and if so why does the website not allow me to do so

Our Response:
You can renew it but it's not always possible to do so online.
YourDrivingLicence - 2-Aug-17 @ 11:54 AM
My wife passed her test years ago. Sent the pass certificate off. But moved. Police say they have a record off her passing on their data bank. So can she just apply for her licence.
Having got one - 1-Aug-17 @ 4:29 PM
My driving licence expired yesterday, 31/07/2017. I have just realised. I am going to fill in a D1 form and have a new passport picture with the fee posted off by Friday 5th August. Will I get a fine as one week late?
Skeltza - 1-Aug-17 @ 12:19 PM
Please can you help I was supposed to renew my dads licence as he asked for me to do it on line but I tossed it in the draw and forgot about it until coming across it now so his licence has expired and he is still driving he has not questioned where his new licence is as he probably forgot or presumes everything is ok please advise on what I can do to put this right
Sonic - 30-Jul-17 @ 11:37 AM
Can you renew a license if it expired just over a month ago and if so why does the website not allow me to do so
Sonic - 30-Jul-17 @ 11:34 AM
rachel - Your Question:
Hi,Can I start driving lessons with an expired provisional ?

Our Response:
No, you will need to apply for a new provisional licence.
YourDrivingLicence - 28-Jul-17 @ 10:26 AM
Hi, Can I start driving lessons with an expired provisional ?
rachel - 25-Jul-17 @ 11:29 AM
MO - Your Question:
MY DRIVING LICENCE EXPIRES ON July 17TH. I have applied for my new licence. Can I still drive on this day i.e on the 17th of July till midnight?Redgards

Our Response:
Yes, this shouldn't be an issue unless there are any medical issues that need investigating by the DVLA.
YourDrivingLicence - 24-Jul-17 @ 10:53 AM
I haven't driven for about 14 yearsbut now getting a car will have to resit test its for an automatic car
Sue - 21-Jul-17 @ 8:02 PM
hi my daughter is travelling for a year and she has just received a letter from dvla stating her driving licence has run out, i tried to renew it for her on line using her passport details but it wouldnt allow me, any idea how else this can be done before she gets fined?
MILDGE - 20-Jul-17 @ 11:33 AM
MY DRIVING LICENCE EXPIRES ON July 17TH. I have applied for my new licence. Can I still drive on this day i.e on the 17th of July till midnight? Redgards
MO - 17-Jul-17 @ 9:57 AM
What a load of rubbish about if your licence has expired over two years ago then you may have to retake your test! So if you forget to add a new photo this means you have probably forgotten how to drive? ludicrous!
Candy - 16-Jul-17 @ 8:24 AM
I had a defibrillator fitted about 2 years ago and didn't notify DVLA.My licence is now due for renewal. When I disclose my medical condition am I likely to be fined for the delay in reporting
Lorras - 14-Jul-17 @ 3:22 PM
I've been driving nine years and assumed that I would have to renew in ten years. But I just found out that my license says it was only valid for eight years? My passport expired two months ago and I need to reapply for that too. Does that mean I have to wait for my new passport and then reapply for my driving license (which btw has no points) I feel vicitimised.
GW - 14-Jul-17 @ 12:19 PM
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