DVLA warns drivers to check expiry date of driving licence

UK provisional and full driving licences.

Still remember the moment you got your driving licence? It may have been your first step towards independence, but how many times have you looked at your licence since then?

If you want to avoid a big fine, the DVLA is warning drivers to get their driving licence out and check the all-important expiry date.

Over 900,000 people at risk

A DVLA investigation has revealed that almost a million driving licences have expired and have not been renewed.

Similarly, an investigation by PA Media found that 926,000 people had licences that went out of date on 3 September this year.

Photocard drivers’ licences need to be renewed every 10 years in order to make sure that the photo is a true likeness of the driver. If yours has expired, you could be putting yourself at risk of receiving a £1000 fine.

DVLA writes to drivers 56 days before their licence expires to alert them and remind them to renew. The PA found that in the last 12 months, 2.5 million drivers renewed their photocard after it had expired or within 56 days of the expiry date.

Time to act

Philip Gomm of the RAC Foundation said: “There are good reasons to keep licences up to date, beyond the basic legal requirement.

“They are also a widely accepted form of ID and will certainly be required if you are ever stopped by police.

“Renewal also provides an opportunity for people to assess whether they are still fit to drive, and we think there is an argument for linking a compulsory eye test to the process to make sure we all remain safe on the road, though Government should help keep costs as low as possible for motorists.”

If you’re not sure when your licence expires, you can find the date in section 4b on the front of the card.

You can then renew your driving licence by visiting gov.uk. You will be charged £14, and your licence is usually processed within five days.

If you don’t want to do it online, postal licence renewals will set you back £17, while the Post Office charges a £21.50 fee.

As well as checking your licence expiry date, you should also check when your MOT expires. If you need to book an MOT test, the AA has warned you should do it as soon as possible. Read more here.

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