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What Happens if My Driving Licence Has Expired?

By: Sally Aquire - Updated: 30 Nov 2018 | 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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[Add a Comment]
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
I passed my test 9.8.10 but my expiry date is 21/11/2018 Why?
Happyjo - 29-Sep-18 @ 10:14 PM
I sent my driving licence back in 2013 due to not being able to drive for 3 months. This was due to a T.I.A. Can I get it back and if so what do I need to do? I was only advised by the hospital consultant to not drive for 3 months so I don't know why I returned it to DVLA.
Tracysue7071 - 28-Sep-18 @ 12:59 PM
Renewed my driving license age 75 on line Sent old one to DVLA July 2018. Still not received new one can you help?
Digger - 24-Sep-18 @ 1:23 PM
My partner just realised tonight that her licence expired last year 19th June 2017. Apparently you receive a letter as a reminder, but we never received it. She’s so stressed out that she can’t MOT the car tomorrow. She won’t be able to get to work either!! Will she be able to sort it out with the DVLA if she phoned them and explains. She’s never been in any sort of trouble but we are both worried now.
Lors - 20-Sep-18 @ 10:41 PM
I had a provisional licence 20 years ago but never took a test and destroyed it after it expired...can i apply for a new one tho and how do i do this please?
Anttt - 19-Sep-18 @ 11:19 PM
1 was in thearmy from 1966 when i passed my driving test at Junior Tradesman Regt Kimmel Park Camp Rhyle Norh Wales,after many years i left the army and moved to Belize 1983 , while in Belize i lost my licence , last week i have returned to the UK i would like to know what i need to do to replacei it , the problem is when i put the addresswhere i passed my test there isproblem as it was and army camp, with no BFPO numbercan you please help me, many thanks for you help and time,
Jonah - 18-Sep-18 @ 5:47 PM
My Physical Australian license has expired, however I have the paper receipt saying I have paid for and renewed my license. It is being delivered to Australia. Will section 88 allow me to drive with my paper license until I get my physical license. Thanks
Jake - 17-Sep-18 @ 9:02 PM
Hi there,my current latvian driver licence is not valid,expired date, Can i exchange them to valid uk ones?
Bob - 11-Sep-18 @ 6:16 PM
I've just sent my driving licence for a fix penalty, can I still drive?
cip - 8-Sep-18 @ 3:41 PM
I am approaching my 75th birthday and thought I ought to renew my licence early. However while checking out the government site I noticed that the renewal period has changed from 5 years to 3 implying that the licence has already expired. The expiry date on my licence is 2019...so should I renew now or wait until close to the expiry date?
oldgimmer - 4-Sep-18 @ 6:20 PM
My UK driving licence expired on 13 Aug 18, I did the renewal process late July as I was aware and received my new licence valid from the 03 Aug 18 for 10yrs. I now have received a court letter stating my licence is invalid with a fine for driving without a valid driving licence, all the phone numbers check out as legit. I have collated all the information to show my licence never lapses and intact over leaped by 10 day’s Do you know why I would get such a letter? What is the process I will be ringing the court in the morning
Jack - 30-Aug-18 @ 6:36 PM
need advice please....I am living in South Africa and have a UK driving licence - I have just noticed that it expired in January 2017. What is the process I need to follow to renew my expired licence?? TIA
Tony - 30-Aug-18 @ 5:17 PM
my mother is 77 and has being renewing her licence since turning 70 however she last did it 4 years ago and has now informed me that it ran out over a year ago in August 2017 will she have to retake her full test?
budthewiser - 29-Aug-18 @ 9:13 PM
Fran - Your Question:
My licence expired 28 July 2018 sent renewal end of June rang up dvla and was told blue form they sent entitles me to drive whilst waiting. Dvla site says no entitlement to drive on their site. I am 73 and worried sick

Our Response:
As long as you meet all the Section 88 criteria you may drive while you're waiting for the new licence. If you are unsure about whether you meetthe section 88 criteria or think you may not be medically fit to drive, talk to your GP or the DVLA
YourDrivingLicence - 28-Aug-18 @ 3:08 PM
Chrissy - Your Question:
My daughters provisional license expired some time ago. She doesn’t want to renew it as she has never taken any lessons and has lost interest in doing so. Now she is receiving threatening letters from DVLA stating she has to renew it or face a fine. How can they do this with a provisional ?

Our Response:
She can surrender the licence if she doesn't use it. Or she could pay £14 and just renew it (it's the photocard part of the licence that needs renewing every ten years) in case she needs to drive again?
YourDrivingLicence - 28-Aug-18 @ 2:47 PM
My licence expired 28 July 2018 sent renewal end of June rang up dvla and was told blue form they sent entitles me to drive whilst waiting. Dvla site says no entitlement to drive on their site. I am 73 and worried sick
Fran - 25-Aug-18 @ 3:39 PM
My daughters provisional license expired some time ago. She doesn’t want to renew it as she has never taken any lessons and has lost interest in doing so. Now she is receiving threatening letters from DVLA stating she has to renew it or face a fine. How can they do this with a provisional ?
Chrissy - 25-Aug-18 @ 9:30 AM
Just received a fixed penalty notice for speeding a and also 1 for not wearing seatbelt, when I've got my licence out I've realised it expired 03/2017 and I've also changed address, will I also be done for my licence being expired and address wrong or just the fixed penalties??
K.A - 24-Aug-18 @ 6:55 PM
My license is due to expire on the in October, But I am working away and will not be back till December. But I need a medical for my Lorry licence with expires on 9-Dec-18 (due to being 55 years old), I have a UK residence and UK passport. Can I wait till I get back has the forms I applied didn't arrive till the day before I flew back?
Pete - 24-Aug-18 @ 10:37 AM
My UK licence expired 08/08 /18.i am sending the renewal form in on Saturday. I was born in SA and has permanent residence in the UK. Do I have to send my residence card and licence card with the application.
Anna - 23-Aug-18 @ 7:04 PM
My provisional license has expired and I don't want to renew.whst do I need to do?
Gem - 18-Aug-18 @ 11:22 PM
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