Nothing in life lasts forever, and driving licences are no exception. As such, they need periodic renewal, and this guide will explain how long a driving licence is valid for, how often a driving licence needs to be renewed, and how to go about this process. Wondering how to buy or renew your UK driving license? Wonder no more,our online service is the easiest, quickest and most convenient way to do it .How To Buy Or Renew Uk Driving License Online
We’ll also explain the ins and outs of photocard and paper licence renewal, as well as driving-licence-renewal considerations that are impacted by a motorist’s age.
When do I need to renew my driving licence?
There are different things to consider depending on whether you are over or under 70 years old, and if you have a paper or photocard driving licence.
Most of us have a photocard licence, and while a huge number of drivers are over 70, the majority are younger than this.
Because of this, we’ll deal with renewing a photocard licence for under 70s first, before detailing the processes and requirements for those over 70, and paper licence holders.
A couple of quick caveats: for under 70s, you are not actually renewing your driving licence every 10 years: it is only the photocard itself you are renewing. But the process is important nonetheless, as you can be fined up to £1,000 if your photocard is invalid.
When do you renew a photocard driving licence
Photocard driving licences and the photo of you they display only have a 10-year validity, so every decade you will need to renew them. The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) will send you a letter letting you know your licence is about to expire, but it’s a good idea not to rely on this: have a check of your licence periodically so you don’t forget when it runs out; the expiration date will be shown on the front, under section ‘4b’.
When do you renew a paper driving licence
Prior to 1998, paper driving licences, rather than photocard licences, were the norm, and paper driving licences do not expire until you reach 70 years of age, so do not need renewing until this milestone. There are a couple of caveats to this:
First, if you change address, mislay the paper licence or change your name, you cannot renew the paper licence: it must be exchanged for a photocard licence.
Second, prior to 2015, photocard licences came with a paper ‘counterpart’, on which penalty points were recorded. This should not be mistaken for a licence and, either way, the system has been updated since then, with points going on an electronic central record, so the counterpart no longer has any legal validity – although the counterpart is still used in Northern Ireland.
How do I renew my driving licence?
There are three different methods for renewing a photocard driving licence if you are under 70, and two if you are over 70. We’ll cover younger drivers first:
Renewing a photocard licence for those under 70 years old
You can renew your driving licence online, at a Post Office, or through the post. You can renew your licence ahead of its expiry date, with the new licence being valid from the date of application.
If renewing online you must have a valid UK passport and be a resident of Great Britain: there’s a different process for Northern Irish drivers (although NI drivers can still renew online in most circumstances.)
Head to the DVLA’s online renewal service, filling in all the fields. The DVLA will electronically source and use your passport photograph for the new photocard. If you don’t want them to do this you can use a different photo, but you will need to use the postal service if this is the case. There is a fee of £14 for using the online service.
If renewing at a Post Office, you will need to take the expiration reminder you should have received from DVLA, as well as your old licence, and complete the form at the counter. The DVLA charges £17 for renewing in this manner and the Post Office charges £4.50 for taking the photo that is essential for renewal, for a total of £21.50. The Post Office will take your old licence from you, and send your application for a new photocard electronically. The new licence should arrive at your home address within three weeks.
To renew by post, you will need to collect the ‘D1’ form pack either from a Post Office, or you can download it from the DVLA’s website, print it out, and send it off. When sending the D1 you will need to include a cheque for £17, plus a recent passport-style photograph (which should not be signed), plus your old photocard licence. Send all this to: DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1DH.
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How to renew a 5-year bus or lorry licence
If you are under 45, DVLA should send you form D47PU automatically 56 days before your bus or lorry licence runs out. The D47PU form will tell you if you need to renew your photograph, and you should include a new passport-style photo if this is the case. If this form does not arrive in due time you can download form D2 from the Government’s website.
If your name has changed you will need to send the original versions of a specific identity documents (EG passport, birth certificate) with your application.
If you are over 45 and need to renew your bus or lorry licence you will need to fill out two forms: the D47P, and form D4; the latter is a medical examination report that requires a doctor to complete it.
Regardless of how old you are, bus or lorry licences can only be renewed via post, with applications being sent to DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1BR.
How long does a driving licence renewal take?
Your new licence should arrive within three weeks if you apply for it online, or via the Post Office. People renewing via post can expect potentially longer wait times due both to possible postal delays, and the processing the application will have to go through at DVLA’s office. If you have applied online or via the Post Office and your licence has not arrived within three weeks, DVLA advises you to not to contact them until four weeks have passed. How To Buy Or Renew Uk Driving License Online