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4 Jun 2020

DVLA gives seven-month extension on photocard driving licences

1.4 million drivers, who might have had problems getting a suitable photo taken during the COVID-19 outbreak, are set to benefit from the automatic extension

Taking effect from today, if your photocard driving licence expired or is due to expire between 1 February and 31 August 2020, you will be granted an automatic seven month extension.

In a similar vein to MOTs being extended by six months, this extension will mean drivers can make journeys without having to get a new photo taken, and their driving licences will remain valid.

Photocards normally need to be renewed every 10 years (or five years for bus and lorry drivers). But new regulation says that photocards that were due to expire between 1 February and 31 August 2020 will be automatically extended for a further seven months from the date of expiry.

For example, if your photocard was due to expire on 1 September 2020, the new expiration date will be 1 April 2021.

If you are one of the 1.4 million drivers affected by this, once the seven month extension comes to an end you should receive a reminder to renew your photocard before the new expiry date.

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Are you over 70?

This extension only covers the photo requirements. If you have a driving licence that requires renewing on a regular basis for medical or other reasons, and your entitlement to drive is due to expire, the DVLA say you will need to renew this entitlement in the normal way.

For instance, if you are over 70, you must renew your entitlement to drive every three years in order to hold a valid licence.

Lost your licence or changed address?

If your licence has been lost or stolen, you will need to use the DVLA's online serviceto replace your driving licence.

Similarly, if your personal details have changed, such as your address or name, you must still notify the DVLA. Failure to do so could see you fined up to £1,000.

Still got the old paper counterpart?

The paper counterpart to the photocard driving licence was abolished on 8 June 2015; it no longer has any legal status.

If you live in England, Scotland or Wales and have a photocard driving licence, the DVLA say you should destroy the paper counterpart if you still have it. Different rules apply in Northern Ireland.

This is not to be confused with paper-only driving licences issued before 31 March 2000, which are still valid. Do not destroy these. When you update your name or address, or renew your licence, you'll only get a photocard licence. Contact the DVLA for more information.