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Your guide to renewing your driving licence

  • Your guide to renewing your driving licence

Find out when to renew and what the driving licence update process is

It’s a common misconception that your driving licence will last forever, but that’s not the case with your photocard licence. Did you know that your driving licence has an expiry date? In this article, we will cover what you need to know about renewing your driving licence… 

When should you renew your driving licence?

Your photocard driving licence must be renewed every ten years, and the date of expiry will be printed on the reverse of your photocard. Prior to the renewal date, you should receive a reminder to get the ball rolling before it expires. 

Is it illegal to drive with an expired driving licence? 

It is illegal to drive with an expired driving licence, and ignorance to either the renewal date or the need to renew the licence itself is no excuse. Driving with an expired licence means that you run the risk of having to pay a £1000 fine.  

Why do I need to renew my driving licence? 

Appearances can change in 10 years, so the primary reason is that it continues to reflect what you look like, and prevents licences from being used fraudulently, for example by disqualified drivers. By renewing your licence, you also get the latest security features within the card that make fraud harder. 

How can I renew my driving licence? 

As with most car and driving legalities, you can renew your driving licence online. Your new licence will then be posted to you, and you’ll need to return your old licence by cutting it in half and posting it to the DVLA.  

If renewing online isn’t an option, you can renew your driving licence at the Post Office - simply head to your local branch (make sure they deal with DVLA photocard licence renewals) with your reminder letter and your existing licence. 

You can also renew by post, and the forms you need can be obtained from the Post Office, and you’ll need to include a recent passport type photo, your current photocard licence, and a cheque or postal order for £17, payable to DVLA.

Do I need to get a new photo to renew my driving licence? 

If you have a valid UK passport, your passport photo can be used for your new driving licence. If you want to change your photo and your driving licence isn’t due for renewal, you’ll have to renew it early. 

What do I need before I can renew my driving licence?

You will need your photocard licence and a payment method (usually a debit or credit card), and depending on the way you’re applying for the renewal, you may also need your passport number, your reminder letter, and/or a recent passport photo.

How much does it cost to renew my driving licence? 

If you’re applying online, your driving licence renewal will cost £14. Via the Post Office, it will cost £21.50, and by post will be a fee of £17. 

How far in advance can I renew my driving licence?

There’s no limit on how far in advance you can renew your licence, but it’s best to start the renewal process no less than 4 weeks before your expiry date, particularly if you’re not applying online.