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What Happens if My Driving Licence Has Expired?

By: Sally Aquire - Updated: 21 May 2019 | 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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My Hgv licence needed renewing at the age of 45 I needed a medical, but I wasn’t driving class 1s at the time. 7 years have passed since would I have to take a retest or can I just get my medical done ?
Skinner - 21-May-19 @ 1:55 PM
I'm 74 and just realised my driving licence expired in Jan 2018.Can I renew or will i have to take another test?Please can anyone advise?Thanks
sarn - 19-May-19 @ 10:34 PM
Hi, I am 74 and have just realised my driving licence expired 16 months ago - in Jan 2018.Can I renew or will I have to resit test?
sarn - 19-May-19 @ 10:28 PM
Hi, My photo driving license expired 3 months ago, can i renew at a post office?
John - 18-May-19 @ 12:24 PM
My driving licence has lapsed not having had a reminder from the DVLA. Can I renew it at a post office and what documents do I need.
Toots - 12-May-19 @ 5:33 PM
I didn’t receive a renewal for my driving licence which expired on 15 January 2018 can I renew it at a post office and what documents do I need.
Toots - 12-May-19 @ 5:28 PM
I have moved twice since my provisional licence expired.I totally forgot to tell the DVLA both times.I am special needs (and they know that because when I moved back to Glasgow in 2009 I told them.)my handlers/support workers and I had ENOUGH to do when I was moving both times.I didn't bother renewing my provisional when it expired what do I do? Do I send in a new application and a letter explaining what an imbecile I am or do I just forget about EVER learning to drive?No one seems to be able to tell me (and they don't care enough to do so)please help (and since I am DUMB please make sure you FULLY and RESPECTFULLY explain everything in baby language - you are dealing with an UNEDUCATED FREAK with an EXTREMELY rare thing.) Thanks
undeucated_dunderhea - 11-May-19 @ 9:37 PM
I haven't driven for a few years however i have kept my licence up to dare. My wife is now trying to add me on her insurance but my drivers licence is not recognised. Why would this be?
Tracie85 - 11-May-19 @ 8:27 PM
I changed my surname but didn't update the changes on my driving lince yet. I'm on holidays abroad. Can I drive? If so, for how long is it allowed till my lince is consedered invalid due to the name change.
Meg - 2-May-19 @ 12:12 PM
MyHGV licence expire in April how long have I got to renew before I need to do a retest.
Branson - 24-Apr-19 @ 10:11 AM
I have recently discovered that my licence expired in January a I have never received a renewal. I now want to renew it so do I just renew as normal if so do I have to enclose my present licence?
N/A - 20-Apr-19 @ 6:26 PM
I have become UK resident for 17 months.Can I still drive in the UK with my home country driving licence?Is it illegal to do so?What is the highest penalty?
BC - 15-Apr-19 @ 10:17 PM
Whoever designed this site is grossly overpaid. Where is the send button?I don't know if my message has been sent
I don't have a nick - 8-Apr-19 @ 12:23 PM
My drivers licence expires on 13th January this year. Presently I am in Vietnam. I work internationally. I often need a drivers licence whenever I visit the UK. My UK address is 19 Southgate Road RH10 6BL.I can find no application form in PDF format. Please advise what I should do to expedite my application J F Barlow.
No nickname - 8-Apr-19 @ 12:16 PM
My UK drivers licence expired last January. 13th Presently I amworking in Vietnam. My home address is 19 Southgate Road, Crawley RH10 6BL. Since I briefly return to the UKfrom time to time I need to renew my licence. I can see no forms to to this in PDF format. I should mention I work internationally. Once I have the necessary form I can post by airmail. J F Barlow
I don't have a nick - 8-Apr-19 @ 12:07 PM
Trying to get a new provisional licence on line at gov org but keep getting not eligible, I am 48 born UK lived at same address 10y did have a provisional before but more than 20 y ago. do I need to go to the post office instead?
mr mk2 kph - 31-Mar-19 @ 2:56 PM
I have given up my hgv licence but cannot find a way on the dvla website to renew my plastic licence. The 4b part of the licence is now out of date. Any ideas?
Iain - 29-Mar-19 @ 8:29 PM
I am awaiting my new passport as thisruns out March it has been returned to passport office can i still apply for drivers licence or can I give you my old passport number
Megs - 25-Mar-19 @ 3:09 PM
My license expired near 8 years. Now I am staying in hk and I just renewal my BNO passport can i renewal my UK driving licence? or I need to haveretake my test?
HC - 22-Mar-19 @ 1:46 AM
I have been outside the country for a few years.. hence why I haven't renewd my drivers license when it expired 2015. I have lost the the plastic photo part. I am returning to the UK this year. Can I go through the normal renewal procedure for my new license.? I have a valid passport less than 5 years old.
James - 17-Mar-19 @ 11:53 PM
UK Photocard licenses now only valid for 3 years, not 10.Changed undeclared.Check your expiry dates listed in category 4b people.Driving with an expired license could get you stopped, your car seized, and a max fine of £1000.Check your dates.
Mr Smith - 17-Mar-19 @ 12:46 PM
for how long I could driver a motor vehicle after expiry of my license ?
a. s. bhatti - 13-Mar-19 @ 11:55 AM
I have not driven a car since 2002.My license has long expired I have only just found it clearing out the filing cabinet. Will I be able to renew it for ID as I dont intend to drive again. Or shall I just surrender it.
mo - 9-Mar-19 @ 12:55 PM
My licence expired Sept 2018,I want to renew it but surrender my class1,what do I do
Graham - 7-Mar-19 @ 2:10 PM
I recently returned from the United States after seven years and wasn't planning on returning. However I'm back and now need to renew my drivers license as it ran out in 2013. My pass port is over five years old but still valid till 2022. To renew my drivers license its asking for my passport to be with in five years. I don't feel like updating and paying for a new passport when I don't need to. Is there another way around this to renew my license ?
Cory - 1-Mar-19 @ 6:24 PM
Hi . looking for some advice .. My my is 84 .. she has renewed her Licence 5 times (each 3 years).. but we cant find the latest one .. the current one shows it ran out Aug 16 ... Its possible she sent the form and never got a reply ., or didnt send the form.. i see on the frm it states to inclose the current one .. so would assume she did not send the form or the plastic licence ,, .. Its a bit worrying . any advice much appreciated Thanks
will - 26-Feb-19 @ 12:30 PM
my car licence has run out but i have a class 2 hgv licence which is valade does that mean i use my class 2 hgv licence instead but if i gave up my class 2 how would i get my car licence
scotty - 17-Feb-19 @ 4:55 PM
My Australian License expired several days ago, can I still apply to exchange it to the UK one? I moved to the UK 2 years ago and became resident 15 months ago.
GCOS - 14-Feb-19 @ 11:06 AM
My Spanish driving license expired about 4 years ago. Can I apply for a UK exchange at this stage? I'm wary that if I apply for the exchange they might reject and I'd lose £50 Thanks!
Ines - 13-Feb-19 @ 10:18 PM
Returning to UK to live after 20 years away. Used my old paper licence for many years then my Hong Kong licence to hire cars when visiting UK. Can I get a new UK licence when I return by converting my old paper licence? If so what documents do I need?
CDS - 5-Feb-19 @ 4:30 PM
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