Everything you need to know about driving licence expiry dates

At comparison site mustard.co.uk, you can find all sorts of advice, including great tips on how to get cheap car insurance. Here, they take a look at driving licence expiry dates and why it’s important to keep track of when it needs renewing. 

Why do driving licences have expiry dates?

Photocard driving licences are valid for ten years, after that, it’ll need to be renewed.

According to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) renewing is necessary so that your photo remains an accurate likeness of you. This is so you can be properly identified by law enforcement and it can help stop disqualified drivers from taking to the roads. 

How do I check my driving licence information?

Your driving licence already shows the date on which it will expire (line 4b). But you can also find this information and a lot more by checking your licence online at GOV.UK. It’s free to access this service but you’ll need to have:


  • Your driving licence number
  • Your National Insurance (NI) number
  • The postcode of the address shown on your licence


From here, you’ll be able to see:


  • Your personal details, including your name, date of birth and address
  • The date your licence was valid from and when it will expire
  • The types of vehicles you can drive (or ride) along with any restrictions, for example, if you need glasses
  • Penalty points or disqualifications


You’ll also be able to generate a ‘check code’ which will allow other people to access your driving licence information. This is something that most car hire companies will ask you for.

If you don’t have your driving licence or NI number

If you don’t have your licence, you can still check your details using just your National Insurance number by going to GOV.UK, view driving record.


If you don’t have your driving licence or NI number, you can apply for a new licence at: GOV.UK, replace a lost, stolen, damaged or destroyed driving licence.

What happens if I don’t renew my photocard driving licence?

If you don’t renew your driving licence, you can be fined up to £1,000. You can also be fined up to £1,000 if the address on your licence is wrong. 


The good news is that you should still be able to drive while you’re waiting for your renewed licence to come back from the DVLA, so long as you meet certain conditions, for example:


  • You must be medically fit enough to drive
  • You only drive vehicles your previous licence allowed you to drive
  • You meet any conditions specified on your previous licence 

How do I renew my driving licence?

The quickest and easiest way is to renew it online at GOV.UK, it currently costs £14, and your new licence should arrive within a week. You’ll need:


  • A valid UK passport
  • To be resident in Great Britain, if you’re in Northern Ireland, you should renew your licence at NIDirect 
  • A method of payment (for example, credit or debit card)
  • Address details from the last three years
  • Your National Insurance number (if you know it)

Other ways to renew your driving licence

You can also renew your licence at a Post Office (not all branches can do this so look for one that specifies it can). Renewing your licence in person is the most expensive way to do it (currently £21.50). You’ll also need to take your existing licence with you. You can’t apply for a new licence in person if your name has also changed (you’ll have to do this by post). 


Renewing your licence by post currently costs £17. You’ll need a ‘D1’ form from the Post Office, a passport sized photo of yourself and your existing licence. If you’ve also changed your name, you’ll need relevant documents too (for example, a marriage certificate).  


If you’re renewing your licence because you’re turning 70, there’s no charge.

How do I change my name, address or gender on my driving licence?

The good news is that it’s free to change your name, gender, and address on your driving licence. 


You can change your address details online at GOV.UK. To change your name or gender, you’ll need to fill in the D1 form available at some Post Offices. Head to GOV.UK, change the name or gender on your driving licence for more information. 

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