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What Happens if My Driving Licence Has Expired?

By: Sally Aquire - Updated: 24 Feb 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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"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
Hi my driving license expired in 2012 and I have been driving around ,I got my driving license in 2009 but according to the dvla website I was only giving a 3 year driving license card,I got car finance in 2014 which dvla was called bY the company and we have a 3 way call,which dvla agreed I had a clean license with no points ,what do I do as they never said it had expired ,please HELP ME surly they should have said if my license had expired,please HELP
Yo - 17-Nov-19 @ 4:39 AM
i went over a pothole tonight burst my tyre, anyway police happen to pass while i ws trying RAC etc, they noticed that my license had expired 25th of september this year. they charged me with driving without a valid license and no insurance(my expired license invalidates it) i told them that the DVLA states i can still drive while the medical assessment is ongoing, the still charged me. they said saves them doing it in 7days time if i cannot provide the letter stating i can continue to drive, are they allowed to do that. they know the car is insured but still want me to provide paperwork, also will my insurance company tell me i should have said about the expired license? im stressing out
iceblonde - 9-Nov-19 @ 11:33 PM
My licence has been expired over ten years. I just didn't have no need to drive anymore. But no I'm a widow and have to work so I need my licence back. What do I do to get them back?
Micki - 7-Nov-19 @ 5:52 PM
My license expired around a year and 4 months ago and I forgot to renew it, in that time I was pregnant and now have a 9 week old baby so for the most of that time my mind was else where. Still my own fault but I was wondering when I put in the application here will I get my license back easy enough? I'm really panicking
Pam - 3-Nov-19 @ 10:00 AM
Hi my driving licence expired 10 days ago and I totally forgot to renew it which is unlike me. I've done it now but this morning I have just opened the post and received a speeding fine. I have the option of points and a fine or a speed awareness course but either option requires my licence! Will I get an additional fine for driving with a licence that had just expired? Help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Lou - 2-Nov-19 @ 1:25 PM
Please help my photo license expiredyesterday I get renew it til tomorrow what do I do
Caz - 31-Oct-19 @ 12:02 PM
Hi I tried to renew my driving license which has been out of date for 4 years, I’ve never driven in the 10 years it was valid but now would like to start. I’ve only just realized it’s been out of date this long. The DVLA website said it couldn’t find my details is that because it’s out of date? What’s the best way for me to renew? And is there any charges?
Sara - 18-Oct-19 @ 8:58 AM
Hi, I didnt renew my driving licence which expired sometime ago as I was taking slow release morphine for a chronic pain condition and wouldn't drive. Since then my condition has improved and I am no longer on morphine. How can I apply for my licence again? I need it mainly for identity purposes and will probably not driveway anyway. Can anyone advise. Thankyou.
Sandie - 17-Oct-19 @ 6:17 PM
I completely forgot to renew my licence at 70 in July. Help! What do I do please?
Mary - 15-Oct-19 @ 11:20 AM
Ive just realised that my license expired in 2011, I havent driven fro 8 years for personal reasons, I have no passport, but need to renew as i need photo ID and driving in the future. Can I renew or likely get fined ?
Natalie - 14-Oct-19 @ 4:31 PM
My dad is transport driver he has light vehicle license & heavy vehicle license now light vehicle license expired before 2yr how to renew license or if it canceled& how to add heavy vehicle license number to new appliedlicense plz help
Nithya - 3-Oct-19 @ 12:02 PM
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