Tips and advice

How to renew your driving licence or change the address

Do you need to renew or change details on your driving licence? We show you how it’s done.

Driving licence

Just like other forms of photo ID such as a passport, your driving licence photocard doesn’t last forever. Every 10 years, your driving licence will expire, so you’ll need to renew it again if you want to keep on driving on the public road.

Depending on your personal circumstances, you may need to replace your driving licence earlier than that. For example, since your home address is detailed on your driving licence, you’ll need to replace your current photocard with a new one if you move house before your current licence expires.

We’ve summarised all of the steps you need to know when you’re about to replace or renew your current driving licence photocard.

When will I know my driving licence will expire?

For both provisional licences and full licences, your photocard will expire automatically after 10 years. Do note that your licence will expire exactly 10 years after it was issued, rather than the date you received it – you’ll be able to see your licence’s issue and expiry dates listed on the front of your photocard.

The DVLA will also send a reminder for your driving licence renewal in the post to your registered home address. As a result, make sure your registered address details are kept up to date, so the reminder letter isn’t sent to an address you don’t live at.

How to renew my driving licence

To renew your driving licence, you will need to have your current driving licence photocard, a valid UK passport and addresses of where you have lived over the last three years. You’ll also need to be a GB resident who hasn’t been banned from driving. While it’s not mandatory, the DVLA suggests you also have your National Insurance number on hand when renewing your driving licence.

Applying for a driving licence renewal online via the gov.uk website costs £14, which you will need to pay using a debit or credit card. At the end of the online renewal, you’ll be given the address which you should return your old photocard once your new one arrives in the post.

You’re also able to apply for a renewed driving licence by post, by using a D1 form you’ll be able to pick up at most Post Office branches. In addition to this form, you will also need to send to the DVLA your current photocard licence, a recent passport-style photograph of yourself and a cheque or postal order of £17 that’s payable to the DVLA – though you’ll be exempt from this fee if you’re 70 years old or over.

How to change the address on my driving licence

Like renewing your photocard licence, you can apply to have the address on your driving licence changed either online or through the post. Unlike a licence renewal, however, you won’t have to pay to have your address changed online, though the £17 cheque or postal order is still required on posted applications.

To apply online, you will need to be a GB resident and have at hand your photocard licence, your addresses from the last three years and your National Insurance and passport numbers. It goes without saying that you also must not be banned from driving when you apply for your address details to be changed.

For posted applications, you’ll need to send to the DVLA the same documents you’d need for a passport renewal. This means you’ll need to send your current photocard licence, a recent passport-style photograph of yourself, a £17 cheque or postal order that’s payable to the DVLA (unless you’re aged 70 or over) and a D1 application form that you’ll be able to pick up at most Post Office branches.

How long should it take for my new driving licence to arrive?

Once your application has been submitted, it should take up to three weeks for your new photocard licence to arrive in the post. Depending on how quickly it’s processed, your new licence could arrive within a week of your application being sent over.

If three weeks have passed and there’s still no sight of your renewed or updated driving licence, you may want to chase things up with the DVLA.

What are the penalties for not renewing or updating my driving licence?

If you drive after your licence has expired and you haven’t renewed it, you run the risk of facing very severe penalties. Driving without a valid licence means you could be fined up to £1,000, and you could also end up with penalty points on your licence once it’s been renewed.

There are very specific situations where you can drive without having a valid driving licence. For instance, you may be allowed to continue driving if your licence expires while your renewal application is being processed by the DVLA, as long as you’re still deemed medically fit to drive and haven’t been banned from driving on the public road.

You also run the risk of a fine of up to £1,000 if you don’t keep your address details up to date on your driving licence. However, you won’t need to change your address details if you’re moving into temporary accommodation and you can still be contacted at your personal address – meaning, for example, you won’t need to notify the DVLA of an address change if you’re a university student who’s studying away from home.

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