Over 2 million motorists carry out of date licence
Avoid the £1000 fine for expired licence
There are over two million motorists in the UK who are currently driving with an out of date driving licence. Most drivers believe that their new style licence is for life but the licence actually expires after a set period and has to be renewed, in fact photocard licences must be renewed every ten years.
It is a good idea to dig your licence out and do a quick check and avoid a £1000 fine. There are a few dates printed on the photocard, but the one you are looking for it the photo expiry date printed on section 4b on the front of the card. If you find it is out of date then you need to renew it, the process is the same as if you were replacing a lost or stolen licence, you can either apply online, providing you've a had a new digital passport issued in the last five years (it'll use the same photo as on your passport), by post or in person at selected post offices (this does incur an extra cost of £4.50 on top of the £20 fee).
Check name and address
When checking that date on your licence also check that you have the correct address on it. It is free to change your address and you still risk the £1000 fine if it has not been updated. It has been reported that over 2.6 million motorists have not updated their driving licence with their current address and 3% of married women had an out-of-date name on their licence, which can also incur a £1,000 fine.
The first batch of ten year photo licences was issued in July 1998 so if you received your licence that year your licence will most certainly be out of date.
The DVLA state that drivers are allowed to continue driving if they have failed to renew before the expiry date but they ‘could’ be charged with ‘failing to surrender their licence’ which is an offence carrying the £1000 fine. The Association of British Insurers and the Department of Transport said that insurance cover was not affected if drivers failed to update their photocard. It's also worth noting the DVLA advises any driver travelling abroad to carry a photocard licence, rather than the older all-paper version, whilst this isn't obligatory, it may make your journey easier where required.