How Long is a UK Driving Licence Valid For?

A UK driving licence is valid for 10 years.

Check the photo side of your driving licence and you’ll see that various parts of it are numbered. For example, your surname and first name are points 1 and 2, respectively.

Point 4a shows the date you last renewed your driving licence, and point 4b shows your driving licence expiry date.

Once your driving licence reaches its expiry date, you have to renew it. You also have to renew your driving licence if you change your name or address – even if you still have years until it expires.

Why do you have to renew your driving licence every 10 years? It’s mainly due to the photo. It’s unlikely that you’ll look exactly the same 10 years from now.

How to Renew Your UK Driving Licence

It’s your legal responsibility to ensure your driving licence is up to date. It doesn’t renew automatically, and don’t rely on the DVLA to remind you.

Luckily, it’s never been easier to renew your driving licence. You can renew your driving licence online on the DVLA’s website.

If you have a passport, you don’t even need to supply and supplementary documents, as the DVLA will simply take your photo and signature from your passport. If you apply online you should get your new licence within a week but check the website in case timescales change.

If you can’t apply online then you can renew your licence by post. You need to complete a form – D1: Application for a Driving Licence. You can pick this up from your nearest post office, or you can order a form directly from the DVLA.

You’ll need to provide a passport style photo, and a cheque or postal order. And some post offices also offer full DVLA photocard licence renewal services for a fee.

If you renew your licence by post, or in person at a post office, it can take up to three weeks to receive your new licence.

In any case, you will need to return your old licence to the DVLA. Renew online and the DVLA will let you know how to return your old licence once they send you your new one. Renew in person or by post, and you can return your old licence as part of your application.

Can I Still Drive While I Wait For My New Licence?

Yes. So long as you’ve no driving convictions, and so long as you’ve put in your application, then you can still legally drive while you wait for your new licence to arrive.

What Happens If I Drive With an Out of Date Licence?

If the police catch you driving with an expired licence, you could get a fine of up to £1,000 and up to six points on your licence. The police could also seize your car.

Do I Need to Take a New Driving Test to Renew My Licence?

Most drivers won’t have to take a new test when they renew your licence and shouldn’t experience any problems.

However, if some time has passed since you last renewed your licence, then you may be asked to sit a test before you can get your new licence but this is normally in cases where a licence has been revoked due to medical reasons.

Also, all drivers must renew their licences once they reach 70.

Check Your Driving Licence Expiry Date

It’s illegal to drive with an out-of-date driving licence, yet many drivers don’t seem to realise that their licences have expiry dates. Don’t get caught out – renew your licence when it’s time to avoid a hefty fine.

It’s also illegal to drive without car insurance, and you have to renew your policy every year. Luckily, most insurers will remind you when it’s time to renew, and many will automatically renew your policy for you if you haven’t opted out of automatic renewals.

At Insure 2 Drive, we specialise in helping safe drivers get the insurance they need at a great price. If it’s time to renew your insurance and you’re looking for a great deal, get in touch for a free quote online.


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