Logo RoSPA Logo

Renewing Your Driving Licence

Renew your license online

Driving licences expire at 70 years of age, so when you reach 70, you need to renew your driving licence if you wish to continue driving. You then need to renew it every three years afterwards.

The DVLA (or the DVA in Northern Ireland) will send you a reminder and an application form to renew your licence as your 70th birthday approaches and then every three years afterwards when your licence is due for renewal.

If you do not renew your licence, you will not legally be allowed to drive after your 70th birthday. If you carry on driving, your driving licence and motor insurance would not be valid, and you would be committing a serious offence which carries stringent penalties, which could include a heavy fine and having your car seized by the police.

When you receive your new licence, don’t forget to dispose of your expired licence and keep the new one in a safe place.

How to Renew Your Driving Licence

It’s free to renew your licence, which you can either do online or by post.

Online

You can renew your driving licence online (not in Northern Ireland) for free if you're 70 years or over, or if your 70th birthday is within 90 days. You'll be given a user ID code and instructions on how to renew your licence.

By post

The DVLA will send you a D46P application form 90 days before your 70th birthday, and then every three years afterwards. Complete the form and return it to the DVLA. If you haven't got the D46P form, you can use a 'D1 application for a driving licence form', which you can pick up from a Post Office.

If you have a photocard licence, you will need to send a new passport-type photo with your application form. If you have a paper licence, you will need to send an up-to-date passport-type photo with your application.

Postal applications take up to 3 weeks.

In Northern Ireland

In Northern Ireland, the DVA will send you a DL1R application for renewal of a driving licence form about two months before your 70th birthday (and every three years from then on). Complete the form and send it to Driver Licensing, County Hall, Castlerock Road, Coleraine, BT51 3TB with your photocard driving licence and the counterpart and a new passport type certified photograph.

For full details of renewing your driving licence in Northern Ireland, see Renewing Your Driving Licence at 70 plus in Northern Ireland

Medical Declaration

When completing the form to renew your licence you will be asked to declare any medical conditions you have on the form and confirm that you meet the eyesight standards for driving. You must answer these questions honestly. It is a serious offence not to declare a condition or disability that might affect your driving; you can be fined up to £1,000, and if you are involved in a crash, you may be prosecuted.

It is a very good idea to have a medical check before renewing your licence when you reach 70 years of age, and again each time your licence is renewed.

Your New Driving Licence

Driving license

When you receive your new driving licence, check the details carefully. For example, if the code 01 is shown on the back of your photocard licence, you will need to wear prescription glasses or contact lenses when you drive.

Read any letter or leaflet that comes with your licence carefully. For example, it may say that you can continue to drive as before, or it may say that you have been given a temporary driving licence only for use during a Mobility Centre driving assessment.

Don’t forget to dispose of your expired licence and keep the new one in a safe place.

Insurance

You must, of course, be insured to drive your vehicle. It's essential to be open and honest with your motor insurer and make sure that they know about any health condition that might affect your driving.

Failing to inform your insurer of a relevant fact (for example, that you have a health condition that may affect your driving) could invalidate your insurance.

If you do not renew your licence but carry on driving, you would not have a valid driving licence and so your motor insurance would not be valid. You would be committing a serious offence which carries stringent penalties, which could include a heavy fine and having your car seized by the police.

Further Information