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What Happens if My Driving Licence Has Expired?

By: Sally Aquire - Updated: 6 Apr 2020 | 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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Hi my hgv license is going to expire in may but I can’t get a medical due to Covid 19 how can I renew this. Thanks luke
Luke - 6-Apr-20 @ 11:43 AM
My licence expires the day before my 73rd birthday. the form sent says I need a new photo. as I am in a vulnerable group I am in isolation. I cannot renew on kline as I don't have a valid passport. if I could get a photo done dvlc now say they are not accepting postal forms.m why can the driving licence be extended the same as the government has done with the MOT. If these restrictions go on for 6 months as they say it might I cannot get to a photo machine to get a photo anyway. not very good organisation when one part of driving is extended but the other is not. dvlc just say when I could phone them was just ait and see what happens. now they are not taking phone calls as well what a cock-up by the government.
big grandad - 5-Apr-20 @ 5:33 PM
My driving licence is due to expire. I don'thave UK passport. Because of Coronovirus DVLA not accepting paper applications. What to do? Are we all gonna be fined for late applications? Thanks.
Oks - 5-Apr-20 @ 6:15 AM
I'm in the same situation in that I have to renew my driving licence by 15 May 2020. I can't do it online as I don't have a passport. I was able to request a D1 form on line and it was sent to me however there is now a cryptic message on the DVLA website saying their not accepting paper applications and they're giving priority to HGV drivers and medical staff! I can't get hold of anyone. What should I do?
Boos2000 - 1-Apr-20 @ 5:36 PM
My driving licence expired on 20/3/2020. I never received a reminder. I am unable to renew it online as I don't have a passport. Because of covid-19 I am self-isolating so I can't go to a post office to get forms. DvlA are not taking calls or sending out forms. What can I do? Thank you Trish
Trish - 1-Apr-20 @ 4:01 PM
My hgv licence is due to expire but I can't get a medical as all the GP surgeries are on lockdown due to the Coronavirus. I have rang the DVLA but basically they weren't interested, I even said I am needed to deliver to supermarkets. Any ideas what I can do?
Baffled driver - 31-Mar-20 @ 3:55 PM
My licence will expire this July coming. If I send now the new picture, form and payment, will it be automatically renewed for the next 10 years or I need to wait for the dvla to send the renewal pack at home?
Alex - 20-Mar-20 @ 6:29 AM
Why didn't I receive a statement that my Drivers License needed updating???
Dickerson - 14-Mar-20 @ 4:36 PM
I never received a reminder in the mail to get my Drivers license Renewed
Phipps - 14-Mar-20 @ 4:33 PM
My licence expired 4yrsago what do I do now
Shamilla - 8-Mar-20 @ 7:22 PM
My driving licence expired on 22/09/2014. As I was abroad and not drivingin UK I hadn't noticedit had expired until I came back to UK. How can I obtain a newlicense please
Nic - 26-Feb-20 @ 3:05 PM
"Renewing A Driving Licence is free, unless you have been disqualified. The fees for renewing your driving licence are shown below. ... To renew the photo on your licence: £20" Is this a new meaning of "free"?!
Niall - 24-Feb-20 @ 8:35 AM
Hi my father in law licence expired November 2019 how does he apply again and will it cost him it is a photo card he has no passport
Su - 19-Feb-20 @ 8:37 PM
Hi my drivers lienceran out in 2012 but online line it says I've got a full drivers lience I don't understanddoes this mean I can still drive
Pea - 17-Feb-20 @ 5:49 PM
My driving license expires in August 2020 how soon can I apply for replacement without loosing days on my current license for example I can applyfor passport 9 months before renewal date so the new passport would have ten years and nine months on it before renewal
Russ - 15-Feb-20 @ 11:04 AM
My licence expired 3 and a half years ago,I applied for a renewal today by post can I still drive or do I have to wait until I receive my new licence
Tiny - 25-Jan-20 @ 4:25 PM
My partners license expired last may and he didnt realise it had as he never looks at it but the problem we have is the fact he was caught speeding in a 30mph zone. He received a fixed penalty notice and 3 points but they want him to send his license back with the payment reference, he has received back his renewed license but could they still punish him for the fact his license was out of date before the speeding fine?? I cant seem to get a simple answer to my question. Hes never had anything before and hes been driving for 10 years. Help please!
Lulu - 24-Jan-20 @ 9:06 AM
please help just found out my driving licenceis out of date by two years as have been careing for my 91 year old mother and have not been able to find the licence as mum has deamentia will i have to retake my test .
stuart bain - 18-Jan-20 @ 6:12 PM
My driving license expired 6 years ago due to money issues I haven't had a car! What happens now please Thankyou
Kelly - 18-Jan-20 @ 12:27 PM
Driver no: Turnb 401088 D99JF My licence was valid from 06/10/1977 until 07/01/2018. As I was working abroad & not driving in UK I hadn't noticed it had expired until recently planning a UK visit & hiring a car. It is the old style without photo. Please note I've driven safely in Saudi Arabia then U.A.E. since 1980. How can I obtain a new licence please. Please note I have a new address in U.K.
Reiverdave - 14-Jan-20 @ 6:50 AM
My licence expired 3 weeks ago I had a reminder for my lorry licence and as I havnt used my lorry licence I didnt read any further into it just realised it meant my car licence aswel I've now just sent the form in am i ok will I have to retake my test
Shane - 12-Jan-20 @ 4:34 PM
I was in the hospital back in the end of 2017 i got out all most at the end of 2018 my license has exp i have try to renew them
Ann - 8-Jan-20 @ 6:16 PM
My driving licence has lapsed by 3 months How can I renew and pay the penalty?
Cathy - 4-Jan-20 @ 2:58 PM
Hi, I moved back to the UK in 2016. My Australian driving license expired in the July 2017. Can i send my license back to Australia to have it renewed so i can drive in the UK where i am permanelty living now? Is there/was there a time limit for me to send it back and have it converted to a UK driving license? Thanks!
gb - 20-Dec-19 @ 3:35 PM
I totally forgot to look at my drivers license till yesterday and it expired in July of this year. I am 77. Will I have to take the written test b/4 I can get a new one. I live in Iowa
Merna - 9-Dec-19 @ 5:02 AM
I just renewed my licence as it expired been a week and DVLA have sent a letter to either email reference number and name and dob I have emailed the response back and got an automatic reply just only I had replace licence 6 months ago for loosing just wondering how long it will take for me to receive my new licence
Kris8843 - 4-Dec-19 @ 10:41 PM
Hi, my licence expired 6 years ago. I’d sold my car a year prior to this so just didn’t think to renew my licence as thought I’d never have another car. I’m now able to purchase a car, will I be able to renew my licence.
Jules - 3-Dec-19 @ 6:25 AM
My photo driving licence will expire on the 29th November 2020. What is the procedure for renewal.I am 68years old and in good health
Ronnie - 20-Nov-19 @ 9:34 AM
My photo driving licence expires on 29th November 2020.What is the procedure for renewal?
Ronnie - 20-Nov-19 @ 9:30 AM
My licence has been expired for over 3 years. I just didn't have any need to drive in the UK since I was out of the country working else. But now I'm back and I need my licence back to drive in the UK. What should I do now
Lee - 19-Nov-19 @ 1:34 AM
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