Historically in the UK when you passed your driving test you were issued with a driving licence that was valid until you were 70.  You then had to re-apply for a licence every 5 years.  With the introduction of the new style photo card driving licence in July 1998 this has changed.


The UK Driving Licence now comes in two parts:


1. Plastic Driving Licence containing your photo which is valid from the date of issue for 10 years.  The expiry date appears is section 4b (outlined in red).


2. A green and pink Counterpart Driving Licence which is valid from the date of issue until the day before your 70th birthday. This lists the categories of vehicles the holder is entitled to drive and any Endorsements.


Renewing a photo licence


With a renewal application  


The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) will send the driver a renewal application pack two months before the photo is due to expire. The driver will need to:

  • complete the enclosed form
  • include a new passport type photo that’s been taken within the last month (the driver doesn't need the back of the photo signed)
  • return both parts of the driving licence (photocard and counterpart document)
  • enclose a cheque or postal order for £20.00 (no fee is needed if the driver has a medical short period licence or is aged 70 or over)
  • send the completed application and fee to DVLA, Swansea SA99 1DH
If the driver has changed his/her name, he’ll also need to provide identity documents as proof.  


Without a renewal application  


If, for any reason, the driver doesn’t receive the renewal application forms then he can use the D1 ‘application for a driving licence’. This is available from the DVLA form ordering service, and Post Office ® branches. 


When to expect your licence  


The DVLA aims to deliver a new driving licence within three weeks of receiving the application.  It'll take longer if they have to check health or personal details.  Allow at least three weeks for a new driving licence to arrive before contacting DVLA.


Advice For Car Hire Customers


Make sure that you check the expiry date on the Photocard Licence and apply for it at least three weeks before you go on holiday or plan to hire a car.  Most car hire companies will not hire out a car if the driver is unable to produce a valid driving licence.


Advice For Car Hire Companies  


Make sure that you check the expiry date on the Photocard Licence as well as on the Counterpart. Through experience of running a classic car hire company, we have found that many people do not think of changing their driving licence when they change their address.  In this case they will not receive the renewal notice from the DVLA and are unlikely to notice that the licence has expired.  In this case, as well as the address being incorrect, the licence could well have expired.

Classic Car Hire World


Classic Car Hire World is a Trading name of The Open Road (Classic Hire) Ltd,
Avon Lodge, Watery Lane, Sherbourne, Warwick, Warwickshire CV35 8AL
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