Photocard driving licence expiry – check your date

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Photocard driving licences were brought into existence in 1998, to be used alongside the counterpart paper driving licence, as part of a government push for tighter security surrounding identification documents.

The cards have proved a success and DVLA report 25 million British drivers are now in possession of these, however, what most cardholders are not aware of is that they have an expiry date, owing to the need to update the photograph every ten years.

The DVLA were proactive in some cases by sending notices in May 2008, for those expiring in June 2008, however many more cardholders slipped through the net and had no idea that effectively, their licences had expired, leaving them exposed to a possible £1000.00 fine.

The expiry date of your photocard licence can be found at “4b” on the card itself. A charge of £17.50 is made to renew your licence and a new up to date photograph must be submitted. Useful information on updating and renewing your driving licence can be found here http://www.dvla.gov.uk/drivers.aspx.

A spokesperson from the DVLA commented that motorists’ entitlement to drive is not affected by expiry of the photo on the licence, but it will invalidate their insurance and drivers must be aware of this risk.

The DVLA have been criticised by motor institutions such as the AA for failing to notify drivers sufficiently of the requirements to update their licence, and the DVLA admitted that the only way they were able to rectify this was to send out notices to drivers to the addresses they currently hold. However the margin for error is apparent and the DVLA confirmed that no driver has yet been charged with the £1000.00 fine for “failing to surrender their licence”.

This article was written by Jo Milne of the RTA Department


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