Photocard licences or entitlement to drive that expire between 1 February and 31 December 2020 have been extended for 11 months from the date of expiry.
Under the changes, drivers whose photocard driving licence or entitlement to drive runs out between 1 February 2020 and 31 December 2020 will have their entitlement automatically extended from the expiry date, for a period of 11 months. Drivers do not need to apply to renew their licence until they receive a reminder before their extension expires.
The initial extension expired at the end of August. This has now been further extended to the end of the year under temporary changes announced by DVLA on 1st September. DVLA Chief Executive Julie Lennard said: “Being able to drive is a lifeline for millions of people and this further extension will ensure that in these continued uncertain times, drivers don’t need to worry about the admin or the associated costs with renewing their licences.
The temporary extension is automatic, and drivers do not need to do anything. Drivers who have already applied to renew their photocard driving licence or entitlement to drive can usually carry on driving while we process their application, providing they have not been told by their doctor or optician that they should not drive.”
Consumer groups are encouraging drivers to expect backlogs and to be proactive prior to the deadline.
Renewal fees are £14 online and £17 by post. It’s free to change address online and this can be done as many times as necessary. Drivers risk a fine of up to £1,000 if stopped by the police with the wrong address on their licence. Changing address doesn’t affect the renewal date of the licence.
The extension only applies to full driving licences, not provisional driving licences. If a driver applies to DVLA to renew their photocard or their entitlement, they can continue to drive while DVLA is considering their application, providing they have not been told by their doctor or optician that they should not drive.
By law, all drivers must ensure they always meet the medical standards for fitness to drive when driving. Information about driving with a medical condition is available on GOV.UK.
A UK driving licence will be accepted throughout the European Union until the end of 2020, as well as in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. From January 2021, there will be new requirements, and drivers may need extra documents.