A new driving licence format is now available throughout the European Union namely in the form of a photocard. The DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) is replacing all ancient paper licences with the new photocard that bears the signature and photograph of the driver. The advantages of the photocard are:
- the card is more secure thus reducing misinterpretation chances
- qualifies the holder of a provisional driving licence, taking the test and obtaining the licence as one
- confirms the age of the driver to get a licence
- reduces the chances of a person getting more than one licence as well as refines the database of the DVLA
To get the new licence, you can apply online through the DVLA system or by post. Documents you need are the D1 application form for a driving licence, original documentation of your identity, a passport size photograph and a fee of £20. The licence will be obtained three weeks following application.
Based on the DVLA system, you have to renew your photograph every ten years (since you change over time and so does your face) according to section 4b on the driving licence quote. If you are above 70 years old, replacement has to be made once the period of driving expires. You can do so either via the DVLA online system or by post. You will need the D798 form (usually sent to you by post or obtained from post offices), the photocard and paper part of the licence and £20 (free if you are 70 or above or have medical short period licence; additional fee of £4.50 for post office charge). Your signature, photo and personal details will thus appear on the driving licence which you will obtain in three weeks. In case you have not received the reminder form, you still have to renew your licence; forms can be obtained at post offices or online. Reminders are usually sent to people following disqualification, reaching 70, for renewing bus/lorry licences and medical renewal.
70 years+ driving licence renewal
90 days before your 70th birthday, a reminder will be sent to you by DVLA to renew your driving licence (should you not receive it, you still have to apply for renewal). You will need the D46P application form, the photocard and counterpart; it is free of charge and if your photograph needs renewal, you will be notified. If you are a paper licence holder, you will have to send the completed D46P form, original documentation pertaining to your identity and a passport size photograph. You can use the D1 form if you have not received the D46P form; documents can be sent to the DVLA, Swansea SA99 1AA or selected post offices. You will obtain your driving licence within three weeks. To renew a C1/D1 entitlement, you will have to apply for a D2 licence plus provide a medical examination report.
Change in name and address
If there is a change in name or address or both, you will have to inform DVLA immediately. While you can change your address online, change in name or name and address has to be made at the DVLA. If you are a photocard holder, you can make the necessary changes on the paper counterpart, date and sign it and send both parts of the licence to DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1BN. If you have to change your name only or name and address, you have to fill in the D1 application form, provide original documentation regarding the change in name, include both parts of the driving licence and provide a recent passport size photograph also if you are holder of a paper driving licence.
Lost, damaged, destroyed licence
If you want to get a new licence because it has been lost, damaged, destroyed or defaced, you can do so by post, phone or online. If you are holder of a photocard, you can do so by phone (fee of £20) if one or both parts of the licence has been lost or damaged. For post services, you must fill in the D1 application form, send the part of the driving licence that you have plus £20. If you are holder of a paper driving licence, you must fill in the D1 application form, provide original documentation regarding identity, a passport size photograph, return the paper licence if defaced and send all the documents to Swansea, SA99 1AB. You will get your licence within three weeks of application and if you find your old licence back, you must notify DVLA with an explanatory letter plus the old licence.
Renewal regarding medical reasons is free and so is lorry and bus entitlement renewal; renewal after disqualification is £65, £90 for drinking offences and £50 for renewal revocation. Photocard to photocard renewal is £20 while paper licence to photocard is £20.