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What Happens if My Driving Licence Has Expired?

By: Sally Aquire - Updated: 22 Mar 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 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
My license expired 3 years and 4 months ago I didn't realise as have been able to. Afford a car as well as my husband having one for work but he has a new job so I get to use the car so I am sendi g off to renew but as its been so long will I have to retake my test?
Kat - 27-Jan-19 @ 1:25 PM
Hi, My partner has just realised their licence expired4months avo. They never received a reminder as we moved during the summer and forgot to change the address on licence. They have just renewed online and updated all details. Are they ok to drive? Or do they need to wait a certain amount of time? Thanks
Con - 16-Jan-19 @ 6:09 PM
We recently discovered that my wife's driving licence had expired 3 years and 4 months ago ..she has never had any points or anything and is extremely worried about the possibility of having to resit her test . She is 42 years old and has no medical issues . Any advice appreciated
Noddy - 15-Jan-19 @ 12:55 AM
I have a 3 year restricted licence due to epilepsy. I renewed my licence prior to it expiring, completed all the forms and recieved a letter from dvla to confirm that I satisfy all the medical standards for driving and a licence would be sent. I’ve still not recieved this from 5 months ago despite phoning twice. I am now really concerned as I need a courtesy car use to car being recalled by dealer but I have no licence. I’ve checked on the dvla website and it states that my licence has expired. I’m waiting to contact dvla but under section 88 it states that I am still able to drive???
Prettypink - 13-Jan-19 @ 5:09 PM
Hi! I am Irish living in UK permanently. My Irish full licence expired in April 2018 (didn’t realise) but now I can’t renew in Ireland as I don’t have a permanent address there. I have to switch my licence to UK - but can I do that with an expired licence or do I need to sit my whole test process again?! Nightmare! Thanks for your help everyone.
Osully123 - 12-Jan-19 @ 11:00 PM
Hi I have a Spanish driving licence and was recently caught speeding in the uk and when I checked my licence was expired by a month can you please advise if i will be fined by DVLA os Spanish traffico where my licence was issued or heaven forbid both Thank You
CMF - 8-Jan-19 @ 3:27 PM
I will be 70 this month so sent off all the documents to the DVLA for a new licence. I got a letter yesterday which shocked and distressed me as it turns out that when I passed my test in 1987 no one told me that my provisional licence had to be changed for a full licence within 10 years. I have driven with no accidents or points on my licence for 34 years and now cannot drive on my own, need to go through another driving test and theory test.How can it be that I am reminded that my licence needs to be renewed when they say I have no licence.I received no letter to tell me this happened so have really been driving illegally.Is there anyway to appeal.
Mormor - 4-Jan-19 @ 4:47 PM
Hi My driving licence expires while abroad but I plan to come back to the UK a few months after it expires. Will I be able to renew it once I'm back in the UK? Or will I have to retake the driving test? I don't plan on driving until I get my renewed licence.
Tim - 20-Dec-18 @ 7:22 AM
I have received passed all the tests after having my license revoked under the new driver act (6point) what will the date be on my driving licence? Will it be the date of the first pass or the second pass?
Nb2 - 12-Dec-18 @ 12:30 AM
Returning from USA. My license was lost. How should I proceed? This was in 1984. Thank you.
Moseley - 30-Nov-18 @ 11:14 AM
My expiration date is 11th Dec 2018. Was unble to get an appointment until jan 8, is that OK? Appreciate a response.Thank you. Julia
Una - 29-Nov-18 @ 5:30 AM
Hi please help me I got a letter from Kent police about speeding wen looking at my driving licence it’s out of date by 4yrs I sent it of and that now but what will happen help me I’m so worried I’ve never been in trouble or nothing help x
Kj - 27-Nov-18 @ 4:11 PM
I have an old provisional licence exp over 12 years ago, I’ve since changed name and address and now want to start lessons again. How should I apply for new provisional licence?
Car - 26-Nov-18 @ 12:51 AM
I was 70 in June I didn't know I had to renew my licence at 70.thought it was 80 the DVLA have just Sent me the forms what do I do? I need my licence for work as I'mNurse.
Chris - 22-Nov-18 @ 7:42 AM
I just realised that my driving licence has expired last month. I am 73. I went online to renew it and was told by the web site that I was not eligible to use that service. What can I do now please?
Derek C - 10-Nov-18 @ 4:06 PM
I have returned to uk only to find my plastic licence is missing. I have the paper one but need the address changed. Please advise.
Rob - 1-Nov-18 @ 7:56 PM
I need to renew my photolicence but want to surrender just my lorry licence which I got in the army but have never used and never will. I've been sent forms to fill in but they've included medical and eye test forms. All I want to do is surrender my lorry licence and retain my car driving licence. Not clear how I do this.
Trooper - 14-Oct-18 @ 11:37 AM
I have been livingabroad for some years now but now have returned to Uk my licence was due to be renewedbut not sure when { only one or two months ] now i can not find my licenceand im back in UKplease help
Billy - 12-Oct-18 @ 12:36 PM
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