Following news drivers could be handed hefty fines for failing to update their photo licence, experts are urging Brits to check their own.
This comes after research from motoring experts at Quotezone.co.uk revealed 29.4% of Brits admit they were unaware they would be charged for holding an out-of-date licence.
Currently, guidelines state drivers must renew their licence every ten years, with drivers who are nearing the end of the period receiving a renewal reminder in the post from the DVLA.
Almost a tenth, 9.4%, admit to not knowing when their licence is due to expire. To check if a licence is due for renewal soon, the expiry date is shown in section 4b on ID cards.
Those who have missed renewal reminders and are currently carrying an expired licence should refrain from driving until the DVLA have received the completed renewal application.
Drivers with licences which expire while the DVLA is processing their renewal application are fine to continue driving under certain conditions, including not being disqualified from driving.
Fines for failure to update driving licences doesn’t only apply to expiration. With 8.6% of drivers not aware of all the reasons to renew, experts are calling for a nation-wide check of all basic information on licences.
Other reasons to renew a licence card include turning 70, getting married or changing address.
Founder and CEO of Quotezone.co.uk, Greg Wilson, said: “Anyone who received a new licence in 2014 should prepare to receive their reminder renewal in the post this year. It is important not to ignore this reminder and apply for a renewal as soon as possible to avoid potential fines.
“When it comes to renewing photo licences, there are many other factors which could also cause drivers to face fines, including failure to update a new name, address or not updating their image on a new licence.
“With 7.5% of those drivers surveyed admitting to driving on the road not knowing they had an invalid licence, now is the time to double check wallets and make sure everything is up to speed, no one wants to risk an expensive fine.”
Here are Quotezone.co.uk’s tips on when to renew your licence:
You must renew your licence every ten years to ensure all information and your image are up to date. There are a few dates on licence cards, but the expiry date can be found under section 4b. Drivers should ensure they are aware of their expiry date and should expect to receive notice of renewal if they are coming up to their tenth year of having the same licence card, to avoid being fined. There will be a fee to renew the licence.
If you have had your licence for nearly ten years and are due a renewal, one of the things you will have to update is your image. Even if all of the other information on your licence remains the same, the image on your card might not be reflective of how you currently look. This is why you must submit a brand new image of yourself taken in the last 30 days. Anyone found with an out-of-date image on their new photocard may be fined up to £1,000.
Exchange a paper licence
The renewal push affects all Brits with photocard licences, including those with paper licences. These were issued just before 1998 and remain valid until the holder turns 70 – but these were axed in June 2015. The same rules are applied to these licences and fines can also be handed out for anyone with out-of-date information.
Recently married Brits who are taking on their spouse’s surname will have to apply to change their licence to avoid facing fines. This is the same for anyone else choosing to change their name. Renewing your licence to update this information is free, even if the same information has been updated a few times. The expiry date on your licence card will remain the same unless the image has been changed.
Change of address
If you have moved house and not informed the DVLA to update your driving licence, your renewal reminder letter will be sent to the wrong house. This could lead to thousands of unaware drivers using an outdated licence card and could lead to hefty fines. Therefore it is essential for all drivers to update their information as soon as they change address. Updating the address on your licence is also free.
Brits over the age of 70 need to update their licence every three years and will receive renewal reminders more often. Along with the normal documents to prove their key details, over 70s need to provide support from their doctor that they are still able to drive and proof they are currently not banned from driving.
For all types of competitive car insurance including over 70s and provisional drivers visit Quotezone.co.uk.