UK drivers face £1,000 fine after almost a MILLION Brits forget important detail

Drivers could face a penalty for failing to renew their photo card licence
Drivers could face a penalty for failing to renew their photo card licence
John Stillwell
Georgina Cutler

By Georgina Cutler


Published: 04/01/2023

- 10:16

Updated: 14/02/2023

- 10:24

Around 2.5 million drivers renewed their photocard after it expired

Motorists in the UK could face a penalty fee for failing to renew their photocard licences which may have expired in the past year.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) found that 926,000 people who are entitled to drive in Britain held cards on September 3, 2022 which became out of date in the 12 months to the end of August.


According to the PA Media show, around 2.5 million drivers renewed their photocard after it had expired or within 56 days of the expiry date over the last year.

A small percent of the 926,000 people are likely to have stopped driving but have not notified the DVLA.

Photocards must be renewed every 10 years to ensure the image is a true likeness to the driver.

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Photocards must be renewed every 10 years
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When a driver reaches 70-years-old, they must renew their licence every three years in order to continue driving.

Expiry dates can be found in section 4b on the front of the card.

Failing to return an expired licence to the DVLA is an offence under the Road Traffic Act 1988 and is punishable with a fine of up to £1000.

Those with licences due to expire will receive a letter from the DVLA to remind them to renew 56 days before their licence ends, but many drivers miss these letters if they have changed address.

If a driver renews late, they will not be issued a fine and if a licence expires while the DVLA is processing a renewal application, the person can continue to drive – as long as they follow the rules of their previous licence.

Philip Gomm of the RAC Foundation said: "There are good reasons to keep licences up to date, beyond the basic legal requirement.

"They are also a widely accepted form of ID and will certainly be required if you are ever stopped by police.

"Renewal also provides an opportunity for people to assess whether they are still fit to drive, and we think there is an argument for linking a compulsory eye test to the process to make sure we all remain safe on the road, though Government should help keep costs as low as possible for motorists.

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Drivers could be fined up to £1000 for not returning their expired licences
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"When you do renew, beware of private web sites which offer to help with the application but charge an extra fee for doing so."

Renewal applications cost £13 with the DVLA and are typically processed within five days.

Postal renewals cost £17 and doing the application at a Post Office has a £21.50 fee.

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