Up to two million drivers face £1,000 fine

John Fitzsimons
by Lovemoney Staff John Fitzsimons on 14 January 2013  |  Comments 19 comments

Failing to update your photo-card driving licence could land you a severe fine.

Up to two million drivers face £1,000 fine

As many as two million drivers face £1,000 fines for failing to update their photo-card driving licences.

More than 30 million drivers in the UK now have photo-card licences, which are usually valid for a decade. When you renew your licence you are legally required to renew the photograph too.

The £1,000 fine

Unfortunately, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), which issues the licences, believes that around two million drivers have failed to do this.

And that could land them a £1,000 fine, should they be pulled over by the police.

The DVLA claims that it contacts drivers with a reminder form when the expiry date is getting close.

How to update your driving licence

You can renew the photo on your driving licence online if you have a valid UK passport which has been issued in the last five years, by using your Government Gateway ID. You can register for one on the Gateway website.

To apply online you’ll need to pay £20 by debit or credit card, and provide details of your previous addresses over the past three years as well as your National Insurance number.

However, this will mean that the new photo on your driving licence will be the same as that on your passport.

You can also renew your photo at the Post Office. You can find a list of suitable Post Offices on the Post Office website. You will need to fill out a D798 form, while you’ll be charged an additional £4.50 processing fee on top of the normal £20 fee.

Finally, you can renew you photo by post. Again, you’ll need to fill in the D798 form and post this off alongside a new passport-style photo taken within the last month, the photocard and paper counterpart of your current licence and a cheque or postal order for the £20 fee.

This should then be sent off to:

DVLA
Swansea
SA99 1DH

When else should I update my licence?

Your driving licence needs to be updated when you change your name. You should include the original documents confirming your new name.

You should also update your licence when you move house. In both instances, there is no fee for updating your licence.

Fail to do so and you may again be subject to a fine of up £1,000.

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Comments (19)

  • Tanni
    Love rating 92
    Tanni said

    Well well well

    What a lovely little earner for the powers that be. Theft on a grand scale with a threat of jail....

    Report on 14 January 2013  |  Love thisLove  1 love
  • souldeep
    Love rating 9
    souldeep said

    LoveMoney - thanks for the heads up on this. I've checked my license and found I need to renew!

    I can attest there has been no invitation from the DVLA.

    Once again the system sticking their nose into the law abiding citizens lives. Forcing us to spend more time and money on next to useless exercises. Why can't they just leave us in peace - life is busy enough already without worrying about bureaucratic revenue raising exercises. I have already been forced once to go from paper to card and this never used to happen with the paper licenses.

    Tanni - in my calculations 40,000,000 of theft to be precise. I wonder how much will there is to collect that though - if they collect it via fines instead that 40m turns into 2 billion!

    In there interest not to contact citizens I'd say.

    Report on 15 January 2013  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • Mike10613
    Love rating 626
    Mike10613 said

    2 billion in fines, why not collect rather than cutting benefits for the most vulnerable in society? Maybe because they are robbing motorists already with high fuel costs and intend to screw them further with more tolls roads. You'll need that photo licence to get through the toll road barriers soon. Coming soon... The annual Tory toll road bill.

    Report on 15 January 2013  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • nosbort
    Love rating 160
    nosbort said

    Makes me glad that I have managed to carry on for so long with my nice paper licence with no photo which expires when I'm 75.

    Report on 15 January 2013  |  Love thisLove  1 love
  • Aitken B
    Love rating 146
    Aitken B said

    I too have managed to retain my old paper only licence.

    The photo driving licence is just a back-door ID card although not yet with the "big brother" control features.

    So who levies the fines? DVLA no doubt. Yet another "tax" extorted yet again from drivers by people setting themselves up as judge and jury with no reference to our legal system.

    Successive governments have fallen in love with the "on the spot fine" which is a nice cheap yet effective way of gathering revenue while giving the, usually false, impression that they are tackling "crime".

    Report on 15 January 2013  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • electricblue
    Love rating 769
    electricblue said

    Just stop whining and get your photo licences, people! So much easier to check who is actually driving in accident situations and why should government departments have to remind everyone of things they should know as drivers? Is only the same system as applies in almost every other civilised country so let's stop always being the victims here......

    Stop light violations in USA can be a fine of hundreds of dollars, every country has fines for some odd thing or another - but the rule that applies everywhere is that if you don't break the law you don't get fined.

    Report on 15 January 2013  |  Love thisLove  1 love
  • George Micawber
    Love rating 0
    George Micawber said

    No whining here – just anger – whatever you do watch DVLC like a hawk both for your driving licence and for car/vehicle licences.

    Every year for 50 years now I have received a form requiring me to send them dosh and get a current licence – that is, every year except 2012. You need this form, as it gives a particular reference number that is the first thing you have to give when renewing the licence. This year we did not get the form. Obviously we should have looked at the licence, but you don't read it very often as long as it is still stuck there in the windscreen. Then one day my wife had parked a few miles from home, and came back to the car just in time to see it being loaded on a truck. So the money starts rolling – not just for the licence, but for the towing away and a fine for not having it – some £300 or £400 in all (excluding the licence itself) by the time you add in cabs eg to get you down to the pound which is miles from any railway station.

    It was when I rang DVLA that the truth came out – the lady on the other end of the line said "yes we normally send out a reminder/new licence application form, but sometimes we don't".

    They clearly know that the car exists, and if they have not had a SORN (off-road) declaration then the licence fee is due. In any straightforward decent organisation you send a bill, and if that is not paid you send a reminder of the cash due, you do not just wait a few months and then send in the bailiffs unannounced, to collect not just the money due, but also a fine and costs.

    Can anyone suggest a reason for DVLA acting in this way, other than that it is a good way of getting more money out of people than is really due?

    Report on 15 January 2013  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • yocoxy
    Love rating 152
    yocoxy said

    Yawn. "it's the government, I'm a victim"

    Zzzz..

    Report on 16 January 2013  |  Love thisLove  1 love
  • Jodakist
    Love rating 5
    Jodakist said

    Quote `nosbort said

    Makes me glad that I have managed to carry on for so long with my nice paper licence with no photo which expires when I'm 75.'

    Nosbort, I think that you should check your paper licence because I believe that it expires when you are 70 and not 75! The modern plastic ones also expire when you are 70 and you have to renew them periodically after that!

    Report on 16 January 2013  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • MK22
    Love rating 169
    MK22 said

    Personally I think licences should be renewed every 5 years UNTIL you are 65 and then be valid for life. After all its the young who have all the money these days, not the pensioners.

    Report on 16 January 2013  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • mark66jarret
    Love rating 0
    mark66jarret said

    I am just glad I have the old paper one still, I don't plan on moving house so will avoid the renewal fee hopefully till I'm 70, by then I hope to have a bus pass & the way the pension is going wont have the money to spend on a new driving licence, tax disc, insurance, mot, etc

    Report on 16 January 2013  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • TJ
    Love rating 0
    TJ said

    I read that it will become compulsory to get a photo ID licence in 2015. I think it is the Government's cheap way of making us all have ID cards, and a way to get extra money!

    Report on 17 January 2013  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • TJ
    Love rating 0
    TJ said

    I read that is will beome compulsory to get a photo ID driving licence in 2015. I think it is the Government's cheap way of making us all carry ID cards, also a way to get extra money from us!

    Report on 17 January 2013  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • TJ
    Love rating 0
    TJ said

    I read that is will beome compulsory to get a photo ID driving licence in 2015. I think it is the Government's cheap way of making us all carry ID cards, also a way to get extra money from us!

    Report on 17 January 2013  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • Unclegrange
    Love rating 0
    Unclegrange said

    It is not strictly true that you are legally required to renew your photograph on a photo licence when you renew it. You are given the choice whether or not you want to keep your present one or pay for an updated one. You only need to update your photograph every ten years. If you renew your licence before the ten-year period your photograph is due, the renewal date printed on your licence is actually the date your photograph is due for renewal.

    Report on 19 January 2013  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • electricblue
    Love rating 769
    electricblue said

    Anyone too stupid to look at their windscreen and notice that the tax disc is expired should not be behind the wheel of a vehicle. You don't need the reminder to renew online, the reference on the registration document is fine. The systems do work pretty well and the UK is no better and no worse than other countries. Photo licences are the norm worldwide and have no relation to an ID card whatsoever . There are approximately 36 million driving licence holders in the UK so how does that equate to making us 'all' carry ID cards?

    I don't doubt some of the stupid comments are from people who think that it is legal to drive with their low level front fog lights on all the time.

    Report on 19 January 2013  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • sodit
    Love rating 135
    sodit said

    I was under the impression that one's surname had no legal bearing as one inherited it, and therefore you could change it at will, all it needed was to attach a piece of paper to your birth certificate declaring that henceforth you wished to be known as:...

    However, your christian names, having been given to you, were unchangable without deed poll or private act of Parliament etc..

    If this is still the case, and all you'd done is get married or something and changed your surname, one could simply change one's name back to whatever the driver's licence said it was whenever you were stopped by the police.

    Can anyone tell me if the law has changed since the late 1970s when I last investigated the issue of names? I wouldn't put it past governments to mess us all around and make life unnecessarily complex.

    Report on 20 January 2013  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • mark66jarret
    Love rating 0
    mark66jarret said

    @TJ I check when I noticed this. Looks like europe will make us all carry a photo id by 2015 so looks like I might have to trade in the old paper one in the next 2 years. Deep joy something else I have to remember to do.

    Still I think I'll wait for the invite as mine does not expire for quite a long time so if they don't tell me I still have a valid licence as far as I am concerned. At least it looks like I can just apply on line as just got a new passport last year

    Report on 22 January 2013  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • Mark Harmer
    Love rating 33
    Mark Harmer said

    I had an old paper licence and went online to apply for the new card (I'd also changed address so the paper one wasn't legal anyway). Near the end of the process you can put in your passport number and they can try and use that photo, so it's all done online. I didn't have to provide a photo, therefore - the only thing I needed to post was my old licence. The new card arrived 3 days after applying online! Amazing - didn't cost anything either. Well impressed!

    Report on 17 February 2013  |  Love thisLove  0 loves

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