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Is Your Driving License Still Valid?

Getting your first driving licence is great. Keeping it in the face of the many traffic laws is also great but, other than that, many drivers understandably don’t really give it a lot of thought. The plastic card part is in the purse or wallet should the need arise but rarely sees the light of day. Maybe it is time to look at it now.

This is because that frightening mug shot of your good self (why do we all look like axe-murderers in these pictures?) that looks sternly up at you from the card needs to be changed every ten years. Forgotten that, hadn’t you.

Right now something like two million drivers could – and probably will – face fines of up to £1000 for failing to attend to this irksome task. Not all of us retain our youthful visages over a ten year period (not you personally, obviously) and the DVLA need to know about it. Failure to comply, incidentally, means that your licence ceases to be valid and this in turn will no doubt negate your car insurance when a claim arises. There’s no excuse because the Swansea mafia insist they send out a reminder two months before the due date.

It goes without saying that they cite as a valid reason the otherwise possible fraudulent use of licences by unsavoury characters. True enough, but it will also cost you twenty quid plus any ancillary charges for a suitable snap and so on. Clearly you are not surprised.

Don’t fall foul of this regulation. The changes can be arranged online but you’ll need a Government Gateway ID. This is a way to speed up access to some Government Services, but you’ll need to register. If you prefer not to do these things online (or indeed can’t) you can go old school via the Post Office using a form D798. Only the larger PO’s will do this but they can supply a list. You’ll need to take both parts of your licence, the twenty pounds and an additional £4.50 for the processing.

If you can’t be bothered with all that then post the form to the usual address with a passport-style photograph (taken within a month of application), your existing licence and, of course, the twenty smackers. Remember also that if you move or change your name these details also have to be registered. It’s all a bit of a pain but the alternatives are worse. Get over it.

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