From time to time, everyone needs to renew their driving licence because it’s expired or the photograph needs updating. You legally need to update your photograph every ten years. This is to ensure the driver can be correctly identified and help to prevent it from being used fraudulently. Appearances change over time and even though yours may not have changed very much, the DVLA (Drivers and vehicles licensing authority) make changing your photograph a mandatory requirement.
Whether you need to update your photograph or your driving licence has expired, you will need to get it renewed as quickly as possible. Fortunately the process is relatively easy as you can renew it online, at your local post office or by post.
Here’s how to get in touch with the DVLA regarding your renewal:
- By Phone: 0300 790 6109
- By post: DVLA, Swansea SA99 1BZ
- Online: www.gov.uk/browse/driving/driving-licences
Before Your Licence Expires
Ideally you should inform the DVLA no later than 15 working days before your licence expires, if you can inform them earlier than this then you should. The sooner you ask for your licence to be renewed, the sooner you will get your new one sent back to you. It should take no longer than 15 days for your new licence to reach you, if it takes any longer than this, you should contact the DVLA once more.
Paying to Renew Your Licence
At the time of writing it costs £20 for anyone to renew their licence. If you fail to renew your licence you could face a fine of up to £1,000, so it’s worth paying the £20 as soon as you can. Driving without a valid licence is illegal and you could face fines and even imprisonment if you fail to produce a licence when asked to do so. Be sensible and contact the DVLA so you can get that licence as soon as possible.
While you can pay to renew your licence online, many people still prefer to do it by post. When you pay by post, remember never to send cash. Always send a cheque or postal order that’s been made out to ‘DVLA Swansea’. Always make sure you write your licence number, date of birth and your name and address on the back of the cheque or postal order.
If you’re fortunate enough to be living close to a DVLA office then you will be able to pay for your licence using cash, cheque, postal order and credit or debit cards.
Making Sure Your Licence Is In Date
If you’re simply looking to change the photograph on your licence, it’s still worth your while making sure it’s in date. Have a look at section 4B on your licence; this is where it will tell you when it expires.
Getting The Right Driving Licence Renewal Form
It’s important you make sure you get the right form to fill in. Renewing your driving licence online will ensure you get the correct form, but if you wish to do it by post you may be able to pick up a D1 form from your post office (please refer to the official government website for more information – smaller post offices generally don’t keep these forms). If you’re not sure you have the correct form or you want it sent out to you, contact the DVLA as soon as you can and they will answer any questions you may have.
You can also find and print off the correct form if you go to: www.gov.uk/browse/driving/driving-licences
Your Old Driving Licence
You have to send your old driving licence and paper counterpart to the DVLA. The address you need to send it to will be provided with your new driving licence. If you don’t have a UK driving licence or you haven’t been in the UK for more than 185 days out of the last 12 months, you will need to have proof of your UK address. You may be asked to send in:
- Your work permit or a letter from your employer or employment agency
- A phone, electricity gas or water bill that has been issued in the last 3 months
- Your tenancy agreement if you have one
- A bank statement that has been issued in the last 3 months
- A letter about your tax code (Tax code notice) from HM Revenue and Customs
It is your responsibility to make sure you renew your driving licence and/or photograph before they run out. The DVLA will send you a reminder letter just before you need to get your licence renewed, so if an when you get the letter, make sure you act as quickly as possible. This will ensure your licence is valid and you’re legally allowed to drive on UK public roads.