Around 1 Million Road Users Could Face £1000 DVLA Fine

Failing to update a photo card driving licence could see around 1 million drivers in the UK receiving £1000 fine. Data released by the driving vehicle licensing agency (DVLA) suggests that around 900,000 UK licence holders could well end up paying £1000 fine because they do not update the photo card driving licence when it expires.

Based on this freedom of information request, which came from the UK press Association, it suggests that 2% of drivers are still happily using the roads despite the fact that their driving licence expired in August 2022. Of course, some users will have stopped driving and failed to notify the DVLA, but most will just be unaware of the expiry date on their photo card licence and will, therefore, still be driving. A lot of drivers finally figure out that the licence has expired, but it tends to be sometime after the official date; provided they have renewed or have an active application to renew, they will escape the next wave of fines.

How Do I Know?

There is a date on your driving licence, and although it doesn't expressly say ‘expiry date’, the fact it is within the next ten years gives you a clue. It is marked on the licence as ‘4b’. While you rush to find your driving licence, here's some more important information. The DVLA do remind people to change their photo card licence when it expires, and they do this 56 days before your due date. This could be a problem for some people because another issue is drivers forgetting to change their address when they move. Therefore, the post will go to the wrong address. If you move, you can also receive a fine if you don't update the DVLA. If you are under 70, a photo card licence is valid for ten years and then must be updated. If you are over 70, this drops to a three-year update. The rules are pretty clear, and under the Road Traffic Act of 1998, failure to keep in contact with the DVLA by renewing your licence or checking in every three years if you're over 70, you can receive a fine of up to £1000.

Take Action

If you are still digging through your wallet or our kitchen drawer to find your licence, then just be sure you take action when you do. It's a good idea to make a diary note of when your licence expires, but if you discover the date has already passed, take action immediately. At this stage the DVLA will not be fining you, provided you get an application to renew in quickly. While you have your licence in your hand, you should also take the time to check that your marital status, name and address are all displayed correctly and that you haven't made any changes since your licence was last issued. Again, if you see any discrepancies, you should immediately take action to rectify this by notifying DVLA of the changes so that you will be issued a new licence.

Are You a Backseat Driver? Here are the Signs

Some people make very bad passengers; they would certainly prefer it if they were the driver and get the nickname backseat drivers because they interfere or make comments about the driver's technique and safety. We have all been in a car with a backseat driver, and some common warning signs include trying to press an imaginary break or tutting and sighing when the driver makes certain actions.

Unwanted Help

It can be incredibly frustrating to have a passenger who considers themselves a backseat driver, and recently over 2000 motorists gave their opinion, with 7 out of 10 saying that it is seriously unhelpful and stressful to be in this situation. Some people feel that these gestures are a little bit easier to deal with than the backseat driver who just can't help but verbalise their desire to be in control. Another annoyance that backseat drivers seem to have in common is that they flinch if they think the driver has got too close to a car when braking. How about the backseat driver who feels the need to warn you that aturning is coming up even when you are fully aware of it?

Unconscious Response

Some backseat drivers will argue that their responses are completely subconscious and out of their control. If somebody drives on a daily basis but for some reason has to rely on someone else to take them, for example, because they are injured or their car has broken down, it can be difficult to remember that they are not in the driving seat. If you have a tendency to be a backseat driver, you do need to try and check your behaviour as you can be creating stress and distracting the person actually in control. This can lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy and cause an accident that would not have happened if you weren't trying to take over.

A Cause for Divorce?

The most reported backseat drivers came in the form of a spouse or partner. Parents came next, and around 50% of those who completed the survey said that it had caused an argument between them because the backseat driver was interfering. The stress of backseat driving had upset 5% of survey respondents so much, but they had inadvertently jumped a red light which, of course, made things much worse.Backseat driving has also caused the real driver to miss a turning, get into the wrong lane, and in the worst cases, lead to a collision with another vehicle, pedestrian a cyclist. Thinking you are being helpful can also be a distraction to the driver; this includes changing the satnav, fiddling with the air-conditioning, thanking other drivers or offering an all-clear when trying to pull out at a junction. It is really important to remember that the best way to be a passenger is to keep entirely quiet about the way the driver is performing unless they ask for help or input.