posted 5 years ago

New Driving Licence Introduced In UK

DVLA Introduces New Photocard Driving Licence (February 2014)

The DVLA has introduced a new photocard driving licence in the United Kingdom. As with its predecessor, it is the size of a credit card and contains a wealth of information. This includes the holder's full name, date of birth, the types of vehicle he/she is entitled to drive and the licence's period of validity, e.g. February 2014 to February 2024. However, the new format has various security enhancements which make it harder for fraudsters to copy. As such the picture of the motorist is now engraved by laser into several layers of the surface. This black and white image – which replaces the colour photo on the older style licence - cannot be altered without seriously damaging the licence. Damage makes it worthless as a trusted means of identification. Furthermore, part of the surface is raised and this elevation can be detected via touch. The licence also incorporates optical variable ink that appears to change its colour according to the angle it is viewed, e.g. gold to green. How clever. The new style licence is issued to newly entitled/qualified motorists and those that request an update. The latter include people with expired licences and changes of circumstance, e.g. new address, etc. Motorists with the old look photocard licence are not obliged to upgrade except in these circumstances.

History Of The Driving Licence In The United Kingdom

The licence was introduced by the Motor Car Act 1903. Holders of this yellow(ish) document – that were not required to pass a test - were entitled to "drive a motor car or motor cycle". The wording changed in 1930 to "drive or steer a motor car or to drive a motor cycle". Shortly afterwards, the document's cover became red and holders could drive a vehicle of "any class or description". The Road Traffic Act 1934 required new motorists to pass a practical test before receiving a licence. There was a short grace period to prevent a rush of candidates, but from June 1st 1935 every motorist - that started driving on/after April 1st 1934 – had to pass. Some of the test elements are still assessed today such as turning in the road. Interestingly, testing was suspended during World War 2 and the Suez Crisis. After various paper-based evolutions, the credit card size photo licence was introduced in 1998. This more secure and convenient format - albeit with various evolutions – is likely to be the standard format for the foreseeable future.


This new type of driving licence is horibble. I'm not taking it. Is better not to drive. What will happens if I"ll refuse it? :-) Nothing to me, but a lots to them. They are going to lose my money.

It is not illegal to drive with an out of date photograph; nor is it illegal to drive on a damaged licence. Neither of these remove driving privileges. However both a liable for up to £1000 by the DVLA, but not enforced to date. Diving with a licence with the wrong address or name is an offence.

Why is illegal to drive when the photo of the licence expired while the licence itself is still... valid ?

Geoff, There's been the EU/EEC logo or ref to them, on the last five incarnations of the licences from the paper licences through to the photocard licences. The fact that it's now a little more obvious is nothing to worry about. I'm pleased that the improvements are being made. There's been too many occasions where fake licences or one licence used for multiple family members. Well, it's time to put a stop to people misusing the licence system.

Will crash helmets,balaclvas ,veils etc be allowed in the photos or will they have to be removed

I see the insidious EU emblem on the license. Another nail in the British coffin!

The driving licence is the paper document accompanying the plastic I.D. card. Introduction of I.D. cards by the back door

Its about time the UK caught up with other countries. This system has been in the UAE for many years.

I still have an old paper-style licence. I was distraught when the old red licences were dropped as that little booklet seemed so important. When a person studies and practices to meet the criteria to be awarded a driving licence the red booklet seemed to be a mark of approval or a validation of being English and part of something greater than oneself; almost like being a passport holder. At that time innocent until proved guilty extended into every corner of life and almost no person was forced to prove who they were. Anyone with doubts had to prove a person was someone else. If a policeman didn't know who a person was it was his fault and not yours. In those days the Bobbies lived in the communities they policed and it would have meant they had failed in their work if they had to ask for details or to see identification. Even when travelling outside one's own community there was no requirement to provide identification. Mostly the atmosphere of trust and having that trust repaid outweighed the minority of dishonesty. Automatic processes and increasingly excluding people from the equation might provide less opportunities for dishonesty but the general air of distrust and over-regulation will inevitably breed a population that is less decent and less honest. I know who I am and that is what matters most. My friends know who I am and the traders I deal with know who I am so why would I need a photo licence?

Stop crying about being English, British, European, flags this, flags that, eu badges bla bla bla. You do as the government tells you, and there is nothing you can do about it! The "Toys R Us" and we don't even know!

it is just another back door tax on the already overtaxed brits .payable every ten years.

I agree that the Union Flag should take priority. I have no issue with data on the license and would see this as an option to holding an identity card.

The driving licemce is already an identity card, it contains all what a police man needs to know, so the day will come when we can throw away our expensive passports and use our driving licence ID Cards. We do need to get the dreaded EU symbol taken off first though as its an affront to proud English people.


Why is a fee payable for a new driving licence card? Is this not bureaucracy gone mad? Under the Data Protection Act, by law personal information must be kept secure and intact. This will not be the case if this new card is issued in the form described. I do not wish to have a 'wealth of information' disclosed about me in the public domain. If you agree, then write and complain to your own constituency MP and explain your objection.

Get that poxy eu flag of our licenses

I was due to renew my Diving Licence in August 2014 so decided to go on line. My UK Application was made through In response I received my new Driving Licence with the same expirory date as the old one.For this I was also charged £40. I was subsequently informed that this charge should not have been made as I am over 70 years old. I still have my original Driving Licence that I will return as requested when I receive your reply.

Do you still need a paper license as well as the new licence when hiring a card abroad ie USA

Great ! But why doe it have a ;(!@&x? , EU flag on it ? What happened to the good old non politically correct Union Jack ?

Pleased to here for certain that paper is still valid, both my husband and I still have ours, no fees from us then :)

to John Prodger.Make sure you go too the site as there are others out there that charge you money for filling in the form You will get the form in and it looks genuine but don't be fooled and do it through main Government site as its free when you turn 70.

NO you don't need to renew until the expiry date "from.. to" on the licence

I too have a paper licence issued in 1975 Do I HAVE to renew it ?and how much will I have to pay ?

the old green paper licence AND the current "credit card" licences are fully legal until the expiry date on them... OR until a change requires renewal (banned, moved home, new category etc, age 70) when the new licence will be issued.... if its an update from the green (or pink) paper ONLY licence, the payment of a fee is required... it is expected that ALL renewals will EVENTUALLY require a fee.. no matter what the reason e.g. age renewal. Licence details ONLINE for police and "interested" parties (insurers etc) will be FULLY active from January 2015 (but will be slowly introduced from feb 2014) KEEP OLD LICENCES (copies) in order to keep the category... e.g "B1 quad" licences will no longer show nor will "electric" vehicles.... but existing category holders will still have the rights... but ONLY within the UK. I still have "heavy locomotive" rights although the category was lost when we moved from pink to green paper licences... (its a big Traction engine)

To John Prodger, anyone renewing licence at 70 or over incures NO CHARGE. J Appleby, until you need to replace your licence and 'Old Style Paper' licence is still a valid document

I see on the licence there is an address which I hope means you can hire a car using this licence, instead of the sorry state of having to carry 2 x licence documents to rent a car.

This is of course not a driving licence. It is the identity card that parliament refused to make mandatory but in another guise.

Is it illegal to have a paper copy and not a photo one? I have had no reason to replace mine.

I will have to apply for a new Driving License later this year when I reach 70 years of age, so I'm assuming I'll get a new style license. Any idea if the cost will be the same? Regards, John

will the old green licence still have to be kept which records motoring convictions. Why not include all convictions on the licence so that employers hire drive vehicles etc can see at a glance if any convictions are recorded. So easy and simple but beyond the DVLA to think of this.

NO a seperate "convictions sheet" will NOT be needed (it is for the time being as the new system slowly comes into force)..... ALL driving records, INCLUDING "SPENT" ones, are to available online.... this means that the police ANPR equipment will not only show vehicle logbook, mot and insurance... but will show the COMPLETE licence PLUS CONVICTIONS. This will also be AVAILABLE to INSURERS. it is expected that insurance will reduce in cost because of this (official dept view)

Police can see convictions on the PNC. Don't need a paper copy to see if you are naughty or not

Still I tiny mono photo, hopeless.

. . . or, indeed, a sheaf of foolscap, John!

Does the new licence record motoring convictions or will we still have to have carry a sheet of A4 paper with this info on.

The point of a second, separate document on which convictions are recorded is because police officers are entitled to check that a driver has a valid licence but are not entitled to know whether or not he/she has any convictions.

why not put medical details on as well give the villians everything

The fact that the photo card licence has to be renewed every 10 years is just another stealth tax by governments.

I've got a paper driving licence and have had since 1975, do I have replace this sentimental antique???

Placing the information they do is just stupid, there is no need for DOB or address - all that's needs is a licence number and photo. When stopped it proves your identity by the photo - other details can be looked up via the DVLA database by those authorized to. Its not supposed to be a ational identity card - or is it?

I remember when the 'new' photocard licence was first introduced the blurb that went along with it said all licenses will eventually be automatically converted. It seemed to start alphabetically and as my name starts with a 'w' I'm assuming they haven't got to me yet? I don't mind having one but at this rate my licence will expire in 3 years anyway (age 70).

An ID card by the back door?

Never, ever carry one of these in your wallet - lose it and an identity thief has an immense amount of information about you. How many banks ask for your date of birth and your postcode? This card should always be locked away somewhere very secure.

can somebody tell me how a person that wears a full face burka etc drives a car & has a photo card licence for ID or am i missing something.

I have held a paper licence issued by the DVLC in 1977. This still has several years left to run before I must renew it. Is this new card yet another silly idea dreamt up by the EU legislators? Despite the apparent wealth of personal information this new type of driving licence card holds, it does not list driving convictions. Surely record this is a vital piece of data?

The paper part is to be discontinued this year, I believe.

put on bank cards

Rather than spend millions making it harder to commit fraud and costing it to the innocent people: why not make it easier to live in the UK by reducing costs that matter. Then those who commit the offences might start to think it's not worth doing.

I suppose we still have to carry the stupid paper part with us wherever we go. You'd think they'd make a SMART card wouldn't you.