How to renew your driving licence or change the address

Renewing your driving licence or changing the address is really simple: here’s how it’s done

Driving licence

Whether you hold a full, automatic-only or provisional UK driving licence issued by the DVLA, it will need to be renewed every ten years, unless you are over 70, in which case a renewal is required every three years.

Also, if you change address when you permanently move house, failing to update the details on your licence could land you with a fine of £1,000. A temporary move such as moving for university is fine as long as you can still be contacted at your original address.

Renewing the information on your driving licence or the licence itself is now a straightforward process, thanks largely to the ease of the internet. If you don’t have online access, though, this isn’t a problem as you can still access the appropriate forms and conduct the renewal at a Post Office branch or by post.

Be wary of companies that offer ‘online support’ for renewing your driving licence: they usually charge a service fee and it will end up costing you more money. If you’re going through the process online, only use the official gov.uk website.

The DVLA will send a reminder in the post to drivers whose licences are about to expire. If you want to double check for yourself, the expiry date is item ‘4b’ on the front of your licence photocard.

How to change the address on your driving licence

To do this, you’ll need your driving licence photocard, your passport and your National Insurance number. You also need to be a resident of Great Britain (there’s a different process in Northern Ireland) and be able to provide all the addresses you’ve lived at over the previous three years. You mustn’t be banned from driving.

You can change the address on your driving licence for free using the government’s online form. Simply fill out the details as required, making sure that all the information you’ve given is accurate.

Once your application has been submitted, your new licence photocard should be with you within a week. It can sometimes take a little longer, but if three weeks go by and you’ve not received anything in the post, you should chase it up with the DVLA.

UK driving licence

Applying by post is also free: if you still have the D741 form when you first received your old licence, you just need to fill in the ‘changes’ segment and send it off to the DVLA along with your photocard. Failing that, all you need to do is order a licence application form, which can be obtained online or via certain branches of the Post Office: car drivers and motorcyclists need the D1 form, while lorry and bus drivers need the D2 form.

How to change your driving licence photo

If you wish, you can simultaneously update the photo on your licence if it’s valid for less than two years: if it has longer than this still to run, you’ll need to renew it fully in order to change your picture.

Doing this online costs £14, and you can either use the same photo that appears in your passport, or you can wait for a letter from the DVLA telling you where to send a fresh, passport-style photo. If you want to change your picture as part of a postal application, this costs £17, which can be paid via a postal order or with a cheque made out to the DVLA. 

You can still drive while you’re waiting for your new licence photocard to arrive. If you’re over 70 or you have a medical short period licence, you won’t have to pay to update your picture.

How to renew your driving licence

As is the case with updating your address, you’ll need your driving licence, passport, addresses from the past three years and your National Insurance number in order to renew your driving licence. You’ll also need to be a GB resident who isn’t disqualified from driving. Again, this process differs for residents of NI.

Applying online costs £14. All you need to do is fill out the form, and be ready to pay the fee with a debit or credit card. Once you’ve received your new photocard through the post, you’ll need to return your old card to the DVLA via the address given to you at the end of your application.

Renewing your licence via post costs £17. As well as a cheque or postal order for this amount, you’ll need to send the DVLA a recent passport photo, your current photocard licence, and a completed pack of D1 pack of forms. You can pick these forms up at most Post Office branches.

As with changing the photo on your licence, if you’re over 70 or have a medical short period licence, the fees are waived.

If you have a paper driving licence issued before 1998, you don’t have to update your licence every 10 years. However, you will have to apply for a new photocard licence if you need to update your address or your name, or if your original paper licence has been damaged, lost or stolen.

What if my licence expired during the Covid-19 pandemic?

If your driving licence was due to expire between 1 February and 31 December 2020, then its validity was automatically extended by 11 months in order to help the DVLA cope with the upheaval caused by Covid-19. The extension applies from the expiry date on your licence, however you’re still obliged to apply for renewal yourself. You can do this at any point before the extension is set to end.

Most Popular

New BMW Concept XM previews sporty XM production car due in 2022
BMW Concept XM - front studio
BMW

New BMW Concept XM previews sporty XM production car due in 2022

The new BMW Concept XM hints at a sporty V8 plug-in hybrid production SUV
30 Nov 2021
UK petrol and diesel prices: petrol stations urged to make price cuts
Kia Niro long-term - petrol station
News

UK petrol and diesel prices: petrol stations urged to make price cuts

Retailers are pocketing bigger margins on petrol and diesel, instead of passing on the 12p per litre oil price cut
30 Nov 2021
Next-gen Volkswagens to get smarter and more comfortable
Volkswagen tech
Volkswagen

Next-gen Volkswagens to get smarter and more comfortable

Volkswagen is working on a host of new technology, including fly-by-wire steering, a driver-facing interior camera and an intelligent chassis
30 Nov 2021