Motorists are being encouraged to check when their driving licence expires to avoid running the risk of a hefty fine - up to £1,000.
An 11-month extension was given to drivers whose licence expired between 1 February 2020 and 31 December 2020 due to the Covid pandemic.
Yet this extension period from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) does not include anyone whose licence expired from 1 January 2021.
MoneySavingExpert founder Martin Lewis raised the alarm in his blog, stating: “Urgent - check if your photo licence is valid NOW, as the renewal amnesty has ended and you could be fined.
“Many whose licences were due to renew last year got an 11mth extension. But if that's ended for you, or your licence expired after Dec 2020, you MUST renew it or you could face a fine.”
Anyone caught driving with an expired licence could be fined up to £1,000.
How do I check my driving licence expiry date?
Photocard licences must be renewed every 10 years as appearances can change often, and a more recent picture can help the relevant authorities make an accurate identification.
Check your photocard now to make sure your licence hasn’t expired by finding the date printed under Section 4b on the card, adjacent to your photograph.
While you’ve got your card out it is worth checking to make sure the address, name and gender is also up-to-date and correct. These can be changed for free.
How can I renew my driving licence?
There are three ways you can apply to renew your driving licence.
The most common way is to renew your licence online via the government website - make sure you have a valid UK passport to hand to reference.
Alternatively, you can get a form from the DVLA and return through the post or fill out a form in person at selected Post Office centres.
How much does a driving licence renewal cost?
The cost of renewing your driving licence is nominal in comparison to the extent of the fine you could be handed if caught driving with an expired licence.
The cost of each renewal is £14 online, £17 by post and £21.50 in selected post offices, though this includes the cost of posting your application to the DVLA.
The DVLA sends out a renewal reminder and form prior to your licence’s expiration. This is every 10 years for under-70s and every three years for people aged 70 and over.
How long does it take to get my driving licence?
It can take up to three weeks for the DVLA to send out your new photocard so it’s best to renew when the reminder comes through the post to avoid being late.
You can still drive while the DVLA is processing your renewal application provided certain criteria is met, such as only driving vehicles your previous licence permitted.