Has your driving licence expired?

Are you breaking the law without even realising it? Driving licences have an expiry date by which they must be renewed, but it’s very easy to forget. Driving without a valid licence could see you hit with a fine of up to £1,000.
Insurance can be hard to find when you have a driving conviction. That’s why you need to call a convicted driver insurance specialist like Insurance Factory.


How can you tell if your licence has expired?

It’s easy to check whether your licence is approaching or is past its expiry date. Just look at the photocard licence – the date in section 4b is the expiry date.

The date in section 4a is the date of issue. The DVLA estimates that 2.3 million photocards are out of date – that’s a lot of £1,000 fines waiting to hit drivers.
Licences must be renewed every 10 years. After all, they carry a photograph of the driver and for most of us, a decade brings a change in appearance. We can’t keep using those dewy-faced snaps from our youth forever!
The DVLA will send you a letter two months before your licence is due for renewal. However, it’s a good idea to check your licence and know when renewal is due.

Remember, if you have changed address and forgot to update your licence, the renewal reminder won’t reach you.

Multiple driving licences stacked behind a receipt

How do you renew a licence?

Renewal is a straightforward procedure. You can do it online for £14, by post for £17 or in person at certain Post Offices for £17 – there will be an additional £4.50 fee if you need the Post Office to take your picture.
If you apply for a new licence online, your new card usually arrives within a week. Applying by post takes slightly longer – you can expect your licence within around three weeks if you are using this method.
Renewal online requires a payment card, valid UK passport, residency status in Great Britain, a current driving licence and a record of your address (or addresses) over the last three years. Also, you must not be disqualified from driving.
If you are applying to change your name or title on your licence, the online service cannot be used. This must be done through a paper application.


Other occasions when you need to renew your licence

If your licence is lost or stolen, you will need to apply for a new one to replace it. You also need to renew your licence every three years once you are aged over 70 or have certain medical conditions.
After changing your name, address or gender, you also need to obtain a new licence, even if you are within the expiry date.

Failure to correct your name, address or gender on the licence can also result in a fine of up to £1,000. There is no fee for renewal for over 70s or for changing these details.
If your licence has been expired for more than two years, you might be required to retake your driving test in order to get a new one.

At the very least, the DVLA may ask a few questions about why the licence has been expired for such a long time.

An elderly man and his wife smiling as they drive

Paper licences issued before 1998

In 2015, the DVLA scrapped the paper counterpart of the driving licence for anyone with a driving licence issued after 1998.

Before this, the paper licence was used to record penalty points, but these are now logged electronically.
If you have a licence issued before 1998 and only have a paper licence, this is valid until you turn 70. The only circumstances in which you will need to change your licence is if you change name or address before turning 70.
For a £20 fee, you can apply to convert a paper licence into a photocard one. You will need to show evidence of your identity in order to do this. It is often easier to use a photocard licence when travelling abroad, rather than a paper licence.

European Union rules say all new driving licences should be issued as photocards. It remains to be seen what the situation will be under the new trading arrangements with the EU following Brexit.
Of course, you should also have valid insurance when driving abroad – if you have had a driving conviction, contact Insurance Factory for a quote for convicted driver insurance.

It goes without saying that if you plan to hire a car or obtain car insurance, you will need a valid, unexpired driving licence.

Applying for a driving licence after disqualification from driving

If you are disqualified from driving or your licence has been revoked, you will need to apply for a new licence before getting back behind the wheel.

Equally, if you failed to hand your licence over to a court for endorsement after conviction, the licence will be invalid and you will need a new one.
You can apply for a driving licence shortly before a disqualification period for drink or drug driving ends.

You can reapply 56 days before the end of the disqualification period using a D27 form from the DVLA, or 90 days before the end of the period if you’re classified as a high-risk offender.

The form should be sent off with a passport photo and the relevant fee.
Fees for applying for a licence after disqualification vary.

It costs £90 if you were disqualified for drink driving and need a medical exam; £65 if you either do not require a medical exam or were convicted for a non-drink driving offence; and £50 if your licence was revoked under the New Drivers Act.
You will also find that your insurance premiums may increase after a driving conviction.

Some insurance firms will refuse to offer insurance to convicted drivers at all, while others charge so much that you might think twice about returning to the road.

Thankfully, Insurance Factory provides specialist convicted driver insurance for drivers in this situation.
Why not get a quote for convicted driver insurance today?