Almost a million drivers at risk of receiving £1,000 fine – could you be one of them?

Almost a million drivers at risk of receiving £1,000 fine – could you be one of them?
According to new data released by the Driver and Licencing Agency (DVLA), almost one million UK drivers could receive a £1,000 fine because they have not renewed their expired photocard licences.

Following an FOI investigation from the Press Association, figures from the DVLA revealed that the driving licences of more than 926,000 people in Britain on September 3 2022 were out of date in the 12 months to the end of August.

Although a small number of these cases cover people who have stopped driving altogether and not telling the DVLA; this still accounts for over 2% of all drivers in Britain.

The same Freedom of Information request found that plenty of drivers who do renew are cutting it fine; in the last 12 months, 2.5 million drivers in Britain renewed their licence after it had already expired or within 56 days of the expiry date.

Driving licence photocards must be renewed every ten years up until the age of 70, where they must be renewed every three years to legally be allowed to drive on our roads.

And according to DVLA rules, failing to return an expired licence is an offence under the Road Traffic Act 1988 – and this can lead to a fine of up to £1,000. If you renew it past the expiry date, you will not receive a fine.

The DVLA will contact drivers 56 days before their licence is due to expire.

The RAC urges its members to check if your driving licence photocard is up to date. In order to remain road legal, check section 4b on the front of card – this is the expiry date.

If you have noticed that your licence has now expired, don’t panic. Visit the DVLA website to get a new photocard.

A new application costs £14, and it takes five working days to process. Be aware that if you use a third party renewal service, you could also have to pay other fees.

A DVLA spokeswoman told the PA: “We encourage customers to use GOV.UK as applying online is the quickest and cheapest way to renew their photocard driving licence.

“If you stop driving altogether, you should inform DVLA and return your licence rather keeping it as a form of out of date photo ID.”

If you continue to drive without renewing, you could even be prosecuted by the police, leading to a further £5,000 fine for driving without a valid licence.

Unsure what all the codes and categories on your driving licence are? It can be easy to overlook the small print and not have an understanding of what they all mean – but they are important for all drivers to be aware of.

Last year, the UK Government announced plans to introduce digital driving licences, which could arrive before 2024. Will this be good for drivers? Leave your comments below.

Can I still drive if my photocard has expired?

You can't drive if your UK driving licence has expired. Any driver with an expiring licence will receive a letter in the post, informing them that they need to renew - and how to do it.

Can I renew my UK driving licence before it expires?

According to the DVLA, you can apply to renew your UK driving licence two months before its expiry date. You can find that out on the back of your photocard.

However, your new licence will be valid from the date the application is approved instead of the expiry date of the previous licence.

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