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What Happens if My Driving Licence Has Expired?

By: Sally Aquire - Updated: 15 Jan 2018 | 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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Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
Ks - Your Question:
Hi I will be moving to the uk in a few months I hold an Australian licence which expired in 2006. I never renewed it cause I was living in Greece till now and I did not renew it. Can I apply for a uk licence when I came to the uk? Plus my surname has changed cause I got divorced. what is the procedure??? Do I have to sit for a test. I am 46 yrs of age have been driving since the legal age in Australia Thank you

Our Response:
Yes if you have no current valid licence, you will have to apply and take the test when you come to live in the UK and have a UK address.
YourDrivingLicence - 15-Jan-18 @ 3:00 PM
Plase helpmy fur Driver Lisence UK maine Driver Lisence Usa 2003 bis 2008 Expair no rimier number thanks Thomas Germany
na - 15-Jan-18 @ 10:51 AM
Hi I will be movingto theukin a fewmonthsI holdanAustralianlicencewhichexpiredin2006. I neverrenewedit causeI waslivinginGreecetill now andI didnotrenewit. CanI applyfora uklicencewhenI cameto theuk? Plusmy surnamehas changedcauseI gotdivorced. .. whatistheprocedure??? Do I haveto sitfora test. . I am 46 yrsof age havebeendriving sincethelegalagein Australia Thankyou
Ks - 12-Jan-18 @ 5:20 PM
My licence expired Aug 2016, and didn't realise it expired until today (jan 2018). Is it too late to renew it?
Nisha - 11-Jan-18 @ 9:54 PM
If 4 years later renewal my license what happens?
bash - 11-Jan-18 @ 8:21 PM
My license run out in aug 2017 and I’ve lost the actual card I wish to renew both picture and address as I moved.can anyone advise best on how to get a new one
Sambo - 11-Jan-18 @ 6:24 PM
Eli Sue- Your Question:
Hello, my Australian drivers licence has recently expired (Nov 17) Can I still exchange/renew it for a UK one? I hadn't realised it expired.

Our Response:
No you may now have to apply for a UK via the normal procedure.
YourDrivingLicence - 8-Jan-18 @ 2:23 PM
hi my 7.5ton lorry licence expired march 2017 will i still be able to renew it without takeing a driveing test
lee - 6-Jan-18 @ 11:07 PM
Hello, my Australian drivers licence has recently expired (Nov 17) Can I still exchange/renew it for a UK one? I hadn't realised it expired.
Eli Sue - 5-Jan-18 @ 8:56 PM
My photo licence needed replacing 3 and a half years ago but as I had sold my car and thought i would not be driving anymore I didn't renew it. I may now be in the position of being able to buy another car. Can I still renew my licence.
molly - 4-Jan-18 @ 1:55 PM
Hi, my eu driving licence have just expired, can I still exchange it to UK licence?
ZS - 3-Jan-18 @ 12:26 PM
hi my previsional driving licence as expiredand i still not been learning too drive and not wanting too either so do i have to phone dvla up to tell them
elaine - 27-Dec-17 @ 4:29 PM
Go to the post office,they can make a new one ....
Delano - 24-Dec-17 @ 6:31 AM
Cliff - Your Question:
My wife was 73 this year. Unfortunately, she broke her leg late August, and was unable to drive for approximately 8 weeks. Then,in November,she was in hospital with a severe and unrelated episode of sepsis and has only really started to drive again this month (December). Unfortunately,during the summer, we did not appear to receive a written reminder and we forgot that her licence was due for renewal on 21st August. As a result she has been driving, albeit for a very short time without a current licence. Quite fortuitously we have just realised this and are concerned that we will be unable to renew her licence without a lot of red tape, a fine,retaking her driving test etc.She has now returned to full health, is very active, has good eyesight and no chronic medical conditions.I have tried to resolve this on-line but to no avail. Obviously she will not be driving again until this can be sorted. What is the best course of action?

Our Response:
Just go ahead and renew the licence via post/post office using form D1. Do so as quickly as possible, she should not have retake her test.
YourDrivingLicence - 19-Dec-17 @ 3:03 PM
hi if you have just done a medical to renew your licence and the dvla have request a updated photo does this mean your licence has / is being renewed or is there any other reasons the dvla would request an updated photo when applying to renew a licence
kyle - 17-Dec-17 @ 11:07 PM
My wife was 73 this year. Unfortunately, she broke her leg late August, and was unable to drive for approximately 8 weeks. Then,in November,she was in hospital with a severe and unrelated episode of sepsis and has only really started to drive again this month (December). Unfortunately,during the summer, we did not appear to receive a written reminder and we forgot that her licence was due for renewal on 21st August. As a result she has been driving, albeit for a very short time without a current licence. Quite fortuitously we have just realised this and are concerned that we will be unable to renew her licence without a lot of red tape, a fine,retaking her driving test etc.She has now returned to full health, is very active, has good eyesightand no chronic medical conditions.I have tried to resolve this on-line but to no avail. Obviously she will not be driving again until this can be sorted. What is the best course of action?
Cliff - 17-Dec-17 @ 5:43 PM
The Man from Millwal - Your Question:
My wife's driving licence expired and we chose not to renew it as her eyesight was very poor but an operation recently has proved to be very, very successful so we would now like to renew.She is over 70 years old.what is the best method of renewing her licence.?I cut the old licence up so do not have the number or exact expiry date (which I am sure was within the past twelve months.

Our Response:
Contact the DVLA to ask about this, they should be able to find sufficient details to renew without the driving licence number but may want further medical information.
YourDrivingLicence - 6-Dec-17 @ 3:45 PM
Driver76 - Your Question:
I still have an old, non-photo driving licence from 1994.I've never renewed it, applied for a photo one or been asked for any information relating to it so have never thought of doing anything with it.Am I able to change it to a photo licence now - will I be fined?

Our Response:
No you don't have to change it for a photo licence unless you want to, so you won't be fined if you apply for a photo version.
YourDrivingLicence - 4-Dec-17 @ 3:55 PM
I still have an old, non-photo driving licence from 1994. I've never renewed it, applied for a photo one or been asked for any information relating to it so have never thought of doing anything with it. Am I able to change it to a photo licence now - will I be fined?
Driver76 - 4-Dec-17 @ 2:47 PM
My wife's driving licence expired and we chose not to renew it as her eyesight was very poor but an operation recently has proved to be very, very successful so we would now like to renew. She is over 70 years old.......what is the best method of renewing her licence.? I cut the old licence up so do not have the number or exact expiry date (which I am sure was within the past twelve months.
The Man from Millwal - 30-Nov-17 @ 5:51 PM
Ks - Your Question:
Hello I hold a Australian drivers licence which expired in 2006. I never bothered to renew it cause I moved to Greece in 2005 and I have been living here ever since. I don't hold a European licence. I am thinking of moving to Scotland next year can I renew my australian licence there or do I need to go through the whole procendure to optain a new license?

Our Response:
If your Australian licence is no longer valid, you will need to apply for a UK licence when you get here.
YourDrivingLicence - 22-Nov-17 @ 12:53 PM
SAH - Your Question:
I have a clean UK driving licence which expired in 2012. I have been living in Spain since 2012. I have never driven in Spain. I would now like to. Can I renew my licence?

Our Response:
Surely you'd be better applying for a Spanish licence? You can only renew your UK licence with a UK address.
YourDrivingLicence - 21-Nov-17 @ 12:40 PM
I live in UK since 2006. My EU driving license expired on 07/2014. How could I to renew it and change to UK driving license?
Adrija - 21-Nov-17 @ 11:19 AM
I have a clean UK driving licence which expired in 2012.I have been living in Spain since 2012.I have never driven in Spain.I wouldnow like to.Can I renew my licence?
SAH - 20-Nov-17 @ 6:13 PM
Hello I holda Australiandriverslicence which expiredin 2006. I neverbotheredto renewit causeI movedto Greece in2005 andI have been livinghereever since. ... I don'tholda Europeanlicence. .. Iam thinkingof moving toScotlandnextyearcani renewmy australianlicence thereordo I needto gothroughthewholeprocendure tooptain a new license?
Ks - 18-Nov-17 @ 10:42 AM
Budgie - Your Question:
Hi I was banned for 12 months in 2004. I never bothered to renew my licence. I now wish to get back on the road but don't know what I have to do to get my licence back

Our Response:
If you were disqualified for drink or drug driving, you need to complete a form D27 (ring the DVLA or pick one up from the post office). If your ban was for an alternative reason, the form D1 will probably be sufficient to use.
YourDrivingLicence - 14-Nov-17 @ 3:05 PM
Bug - Your Question:
My licence has a 3 year medical restriction but I didn't get a renewal letter and just didn't even think about it. My licence expired 3 years ago, can I renew it?

Our Response:
You may have to provide medical evidence before the DVLA will renew it. Here is more information
YourDrivingLicence - 13-Nov-17 @ 12:22 PM
Hi i was banned for 12 months in 2004. I never bothered to renew my licence. I now wish to get back on the road but don't know what i have to do to get my licence back
Budgie - 13-Nov-17 @ 9:08 AM
I need to check but I think my father who is 83 and driving has not been renewing his licence every 3 years since he was 70 this is is only because he wouldn't have been aware. will the DVLA renew it now?
sue - 11-Nov-17 @ 5:48 PM
My licence has a 3 year medical restriction but I didn't get a renewal letter and just didn't even think about it. My licence expired 3 years ago, can I renew it?
Bug - 10-Nov-17 @ 5:22 PM
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