Martin Lewis issues warning to drivers who could face £1,000 fine if they don’t act now

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Martin Lewis has issued an urgent warning to all drivers.

Driving licence renewals have restarted, and according to MoneySavingExpert.com, founded by Martin Lewis, around two million people have an out-of-date driving licence.

The consumer champion is urging motorists to check the date on their photo card driving licence immediately, as there is a fine of up to £1,000 if it is not renewed.

Although driving licenses last for a long time, the photo is only valid for 10 years.

Drivers whose licences expired between February and the end of December were given an extra 11 months to renew.



John Stillwell/PA Wire

So if yours expired last February or March (or it’s expiring anyway), renew now or risk being hit with a heavy fine.

You can check the expiry date by looking at the ‘4b’ number on your driver’s licence.

MoneySavingExpert.com says: “As part of its coronavirus help measures, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) gave drivers whose licences expired between 1 February 2020 and 31 December 2020 an automatic 11-month extension from the date of expiry to renew them.

“So for example, if your licence expired on 5 December 2020, you actually have until 5 November 2021 to renew it.

“However, if your licence was originally due to expire in February or March 2020 (or this month), then you’ll need to renew now, or soon depending on the exact expiry date on your licence.

“If your licence expired later in the extension period, you don’t need to do anything for now, but it’s worth checking and setting a reminder so you don’t get caught out later in the year.”

While car owners are advised to renew their photo card licence every decade, bus and lorry drivers must do so every five years.

In the UK, driving without a valid licence carries a £1,000 penalty.

Official advice from the DVLA via the Gov.uk website states that: “Motorists must renew their photo card licence when it expires. If they fail to renew their licence and supply a photo that is a recent and true likeness, they will be breaking the law and may have to pay a fine of up to £1,000.”


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Appearances can change and it is important that photo card licences are updated every 10 years to ensure the police and other enforcement agencies have the best possible photograph.

This helps them correctly identify whether a driving licence is being used fraudulently and also prevents driving licence impersonation – stopping disqualified and perhaps dangerous drivers taking to the roads.

Getting a new photo card will mean that a motorist’s driving licence will contain the latest security features to protect them against fraud – it may also make things easier when they hire a car at home or abroad.

Drivers can apply online with the DVLA if they have a valid UK passport and want to use their passport photo.

You can renew your photo card driving licence via the Gov.uk website here.

There’s a £14 fee for each renewal if you do it online, or £17 if you renew by post. You should be sent a reminder and form about two months before expiry.



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