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What Happens if My Driving Licence Has Expired?

By: Sally Aquire - Updated: 23 Oct 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]
Vilma - Your Question:
I have sent my EU driving license to be exchanged for the UK one. I have not heard anything back yet and it is due to expire in 3days time. Am I allowed to drive after it’s expiration date since I have sent it away to be exchanged? Many thanks.

Our Response:
As long as you are eligible for a UK licence and/or your EU licence is still valid, you should be OK to drive. It's probably worth calling the DVLA to find out whether there are any problems.
YourDrivingLicence - 23-Oct-17 @ 2:53 PM
I am a learner and my friends lisence has just expired. Can he still sit with me as mypassenger legally. Or would we both get in trouble?
Nat - 23-Oct-17 @ 9:30 AM
rosie - Your Question:
I'm 62years old and haven't driven for a couple of years as I had no need to. I've noticed that my licence has expired around the same time. I now want to start driving again. I'm in excellent health. Will I have to retake my test?

Our Response:
Is it your photocard licence that expired? If so, you should be able to renew it in one of the usual ways.
YourDrivingLicence - 20-Oct-17 @ 3:17 PM
Hi my son has been living aboard but is returning to live in U.K.His photo card has expired what is the best way to renew. Thanks
Mum - 20-Oct-17 @ 2:34 PM
I have sent my EU driving license to be exchanged for the UK one. I have not heard anything back yet and it is due to expire in 3days time. Am I allowed to drive after it’s expiration date since I have sent it away to be exchanged? Many thanks.
Vilma - 20-Oct-17 @ 12:15 AM
I'm 62years old and haven't driven for a couple of years as I had no need to. I've noticed that my licence has expired around the same time. I now want to start driving again. I'm in excellent health. Will I have to retake my test?
rosie - 18-Oct-17 @ 3:00 PM
I lived in Bristol for best part of my life I had to leave cause of ex husband so moved to Warrington didn't get my licence been in warrighton 9 years haven't drove since been here I no my licence ran out a long time ago so didn't renew it cause didn't drive now I'm ready to drive again will I be fined and will I have to take my test again
Mandy moo - 14-Oct-17 @ 6:42 PM
DB - Your Question:
I've been working in Canada since Jan 2013 and just realised my plastic licence expired July 2013. I'm moving back to the UK at the end of the year. Will I be able to renew without having to retake the test? I'm 36 with no health issues. Thanks.

Our Response:
You should be able to renew, but you may have to do so via the post rather than via the online system.
YourDrivingLicence - 13-Oct-17 @ 2:26 PM
NG - Your Question:
My driving license expired last month. I renewed it a little later than I should have and the new one therefore hasn't arrived just yet. Can I drive legally before it arrives?

Our Response:
Yes as long as you have applied for it you should be fine to drive.
YourDrivingLicence - 13-Oct-17 @ 12:33 PM
Panicing - Your Question:
Its jist come to light my license expired back 2013. What do I do? Will I be prosecuted? Will I need to retake test?

Our Response:
Is it your phocard licecne or you full driving licence?
YourDrivingLicence - 13-Oct-17 @ 11:04 AM
I've been working in Canada since Jan 2013 and just realised my plastic licence expired July 2013.I'm moving back to the UK at the end of the year. Will I be able to renew without having to retake the test? I'm 36 with no health issues. Thanks.
DB - 12-Oct-17 @ 4:30 PM
My driving license expired last month. I renewed it a little later than I should have and the new one therefore hasn't arrived just yet. Can I drive legally before it arrives?
NG - 12-Oct-17 @ 12:42 PM
Its jist come to light my license expired back 2013. What do i do? Will i be prosecuted? Will i need to retake test?
Panicing - 12-Oct-17 @ 12:03 AM
Breathright- Your Question:
My Mums licence expired 7 years ago. She has been driving constantly. She was unaware and I have just found out. Can I renew online for her, or will she have to retake her test, under the circumstances?

Our Response:
How old is she? Sorry you haven't made that clear.
YourDrivingLicence - 10-Oct-17 @ 12:39 PM
raj - Your Question:
Sir my driving licence was expired in jun 2015 and I want renewed it so please tell me which process for it and how much panalty on the renew of my driving licence

Our Response:
You should be able to renew it by post or via the post office. You probably won't be able to renew online as it's a significant length of time since your exisiting one expired.
YourDrivingLicence - 10-Oct-17 @ 10:49 AM
My Mums licence expired 7 years ago. She has been driving constantly. She was unaware and I have just found out. Can I renew online for her, or will she have to retake her test, under the circumstances?
Breathright - 9-Oct-17 @ 11:09 AM
Sir my driving licence was expired in jun 2015 and I want renewed it so please tell me which process for it and how much panalty on the renew of my driving licence
raj - 7-Oct-17 @ 9:56 AM
I passed my pvc test in 2007 and it should have been renewed in 2014 ...can I do it now or have to retake the test
Dawnny - 6-Oct-17 @ 1:10 PM
Diesel - Your Question:
My licence expires next week, age related, do I loose my licence or can I reapply for it next month and not have to test again

Our Response:
Reapply for it now. You simply have to renew every three years once you're 70. You're not expected to re-sit you test each time you renew.
YourDrivingLicence - 4-Oct-17 @ 1:50 PM
my licence expires next week, age related, do i loose my licence or can i reapply for it next month and not have to test again
Diesel - 3-Oct-17 @ 10:50 AM
JB - Your Question:
I have lived in Japan for 4 years. My UK license will expire in 1 month and I am unable to renew it as I am no longer a UK resident. I need to return to the UK to start a new job in 1 month. I need to drive for the job. I previously changed my UK license to a Japanese driving license and I understand I can use that to drive in the UK for 12 months. My question is, can I change my Japanese license back into a UK one after 12 months without retaking a UK driving test.It seems like a ludicrous situation that someone with a UK driving licence has to take this course of action.

Our Response:
If it's just your photocard licence you will be able to apply to renew it when you return to the UK.
YourDrivingLicence - 3-Oct-17 @ 10:44 AM
poolmaster - Your Question:
Hi I have just noticed my photocard licence expired in March this year. I have been driving 10 years, I have just tried to renew online but its not finding my records. I am concerned I will need to re take my test, any information would be greatly appreciated.

Our Response:
You should not need to retake your test if it's only your photocard licence that has expired. Try applying by post...you'll need to the DVLA form pack D1 (some post offices have these in stock).
YourDrivingLicence - 2-Oct-17 @ 3:12 PM
I have lived in Japan for 4 years. My UK license will expire in 1 month and I am unable to renew it as I am no longer a UK resident. I need to return to the UK to start a new job in 1 month. I need to drive for the job. I previously changed my UK license to a Japanese driving license and I understand I can use that to drive in the UK for 12 months. My question is, can I change my Japanese license back into a UK one after 12 months without retaking a UK driving test. It seems like a ludicrous situation that someone with a UK driving licence has to take this course of action.
JB - 30-Sep-17 @ 4:21 PM
Hi I have just noticed my photocard licence expired in March this year. I have been driving 10 years, I have just tried to renew online but its not finding my records. I am concerned I will need to re take my test, any information would be greatly appreciated.
poolmaster - 29-Sep-17 @ 8:59 PM
Andy - Your Question:
My wife is learning to drive againBut we have noticed her provisional licence has expired Has she got to pay for another one

Our Response:
It's £14 online or £17 by post.
YourDrivingLicence - 27-Sep-17 @ 12:03 PM
My wife is learning to drive again But we have noticed her provisional licence has expired Has she got to pay for another one
Andy - 25-Sep-17 @ 1:47 PM
lenny - Your Question:
I have just discovered that my photo license expired in 2011 can I just simply renew it

Our Response:
You can try...there seems to be no specific information about this scenario. We do have examples of people who've simply renewed when their photocard licences expired some time ago.
YourDrivingLicence - 25-Sep-17 @ 12:54 PM
Elena - Your Question:
I have been living abroad since 2001 and no longer have my driving licence. I have now returned to Northern Ireland and wish to drive again. I drove whilst I was away but my partner was always with me. Will I need to resit the test?

Our Response:
Did you have a full licence or a provisional? Sorry it's not clear. If it was a full licence, you may be able to simply renew it on your return. Try contacting the DVLA.
YourDrivingLicence - 25-Sep-17 @ 10:43 AM
I have just discovered that my photo license expired in 2011 can I just simply renew it
lenny - 22-Sep-17 @ 2:04 PM
I have been living abroad since 2001 and no longer have my driving licence.I have now returned to Northern Ireland and wish to drive again.I drove whilst I was away but my partner was always with me. Will I need to resit the test?
Elena - 22-Sep-17 @ 12:30 AM
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