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What Happens if My Driving Licence Has Expired?

By: Sally Aquire - Updated: 16 Sep 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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[Add a Comment]
I’ve just got my license out and realised it’s nearly 2 years out of date , I have diabetes and wish to renew my license but my passport has ran out of date as well and I need my car to get to work and look after my disabled dad. What do I need to do .
Shaz - 16-Sep-19 @ 6:56 PM
My licence expired for more then 3 years what i have to do to renew it do i need a retest i have no blackpoints
Umar - 9-Sep-19 @ 6:53 PM
My car has been stolen and I’m in the process of making a claim, i didn’t realise my licence was out of date, Will my insurance be void?HELP
Lill - 8-Sep-19 @ 11:24 AM
I renewed my licence when I was 70 & thought I had to do so again at 21.11.2020 (4b on photo licence). Now realise my mistake, confounded as i did not receive a reminder in 2017. How do I now renew? To complicate matters further I cannot find the green back up to my license and do not have an up to date passport. I am British and have lived in UK all my life. I do not have any disqualifications nor have ever had any
jen - 8-Sep-19 @ 9:46 AM
My driver licence expired on 2014 i was out of the country what i have to do
yacine - 6-Sep-19 @ 5:45 PM
My licence has expired I have sent of my renewal form can I drive or do I have to wait till I get my new licence
Ref - 2-Sep-19 @ 9:30 PM
I've just realised that I should've renewed my licence over 2 years ago and don't have a current passport. I need my car for work and medical reasons and am really worried now. Please help, thank you
Maczii - 29-Aug-19 @ 3:38 PM
Can I sit my theory test whilst I wait for my new licence to come back?
Alice - 29-Aug-19 @ 2:36 PM
I misplaced my driving licence and now realised that it expired in2013, i didn't receive a renewal reminder. I've been abroad and working in cities and travelling in public transport. Will i be able to renew my drivers licence?
Vicky - 26-Aug-19 @ 9:45 AM
I have just noticed my driving licence is over 2 years out of date I need to send it in to the courts for a fixed penalty please advise me what to do
Dic - 23-Aug-19 @ 2:45 PM
My driving licence photo card is out of date by 12 yrs with my old address will I be fined...I didn't drive for about 8yrs in that time ..will I still be fined . When I try renew ????
Nettynoo - 19-Aug-19 @ 1:05 PM
I had a provisional Drivers license about 10 years ago which I have lost along with all the paperwork .. due to moving ..I am also married now with a name change .. can I reapply without my previous license details?Advice is very welcomed .. many thanks sue
Sue - 17-Aug-19 @ 9:57 PM
My driving license expired on 2012 but validity on 2028 how to renewal please guide me
M yadav - 14-Aug-19 @ 4:35 PM
I've just discovered that my driving licence expired two years ago in 2017. Fortunately I've been living and working aboard in cities so I haven't needed my licence, but now that I'm aware of it, I want to renew it just in case. It's actually comforting to see that so many other people have also experienced this situation and that I'm not alone.
ForeignOctopus - 12-Aug-19 @ 8:32 PM
is it possible to renew licences early as im leaving the country before it expires . it willexpires 07.09.2021 but i am leaving the country for 5 years on august 2020 and will need my licence abroad
chas - 10-Aug-19 @ 10:10 PM
Due to medical reasons, I am still waiting the 'all clear' from the DVLA, whilst waiting I've now noticed my existing licence has now 'ran out' by a few days (4) can I still drive whilst I await their decision?
Micky - 9-Aug-19 @ 10:16 AM
Hi I left the uk and my licence expired in 2013. I am now living here how do I go about renewing the licence and the address. I still have a valid South African licence.
Bath - 8-Aug-19 @ 12:45 PM
My dads licence expired 2 years ago. He did not receive a renewal reminder.We have only realised as my mum and I both received a reminder andhe checked his to find it had expired.What can we do to rectify this and will there be any penalties?
Ali - 4-Aug-19 @ 9:08 PM
Found the renewal form from just over a year ago, forgot about it at the timeoops. Will there be a fine or points.
Al - 30-Jul-19 @ 2:40 AM
SHE - 29-Jul-19 @ 3:54 PM
Because I moved to Northern Ireland I renewed my driving licence this year and exchanged it for a Northern Irish one, but, even though the photograph was a recent photo, the end date is showing as October 2019 and I'm already being asked to renew it AGAIN. Why is this happening?
Vaughnie - 28-Jul-19 @ 11:43 AM
hi. l mislaid my hgv driving licence renewal application form. just found it, but now 4 weeks late. can i still use the form and will dvla process it.
mart - 20-Jul-19 @ 2:42 PM
Hi my Licence expired just under 3 years ago ! will i have to sit a driving test again ?
JAS - 15-Jul-19 @ 9:08 AM
My UK photo licence expired 19-11-2013. My green paper licence is valid until 02-08-2035. I now live in Norway. What can I do?
Martin Hugh Henley - 7-Jul-19 @ 2:21 AM
Realized that my driving licence has runout, I am living in Germany, but did have then a fixed abode in England, what do I have to do to renew so that I can apply for a German license before BREXIT. Thanking you.
Glynn Maloney - 4-Jul-19 @ 9:36 AM
My license is out of date, is my insurance valid?
Coop - 3-Jul-19 @ 10:17 AM
My driver license expired 3years ago and i don’t have a valid passport. How do I go about renewing it. Many Thanks
Ger - 2-Jul-19 @ 12:12 PM
My license expired 8 months ago. How much will it cost to renew it. Will there be any fines
Wandy - 24-Jun-19 @ 11:07 AM
My license expired 6 yrs ago and i am being made to resit my test! Complete mistake on my part as i thought it was in date, i am full time carer for my special needs son and rely on my car, can i appeal this decision?
Gee - 20-Jun-19 @ 3:03 PM
Hi, I passed my test when I was 17 drove for 5 or so years and moved house. I stopped driving as I didn’t need a car. I have started to drive again and can’t find my licence ( I understand it’s probably expired) and need to renew however I can’t remember my last address that it was linked to. I rand up the DVLA and they can’t find me on the system. Could you please help? Many thanks Andrew Young
Andyyoung1977 - 20-Jun-19 @ 6:22 AM
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