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.
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.