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It is a tricky business knowing when to renew your license. If you miss it and end up driving without a valid license, you are shoe in for a £1,000 fine. To avoid missing it, here are three important checks you can do to stay clear of this heavy fine.

The Three Big Checks

Check 1: Photo card Driving License Expiry Date:

In 1998, paper-driving licenses were replaced with photo card licenses. These photo card licenses have to be renewed every 10 years. The 10-year photo card renewal is to capture your appearance as the decades pass you by. Now, typically you should receive a reminder from the DVLA that your photo card is about to expire, but in the event you missed it, or have not picked up your mail, dig out your photo card now and look at it. The date printed in section 4b on the front of your photo card driving license is the expiry date.

If your photo card driving license is about to expire, log in at gov.uk and apply for your renewed driver’s license now. You should receive your new photo card driving license within 2 weeks. On the other hand, you can also renew your photo card driving license via post.

Check 2: Current  Address

Absurd is an understatement, but, the £1,000 fine can also be levied if you are stopped by the police and your current address according to insurer Direct Line does not match the one on your photocard driving license. So if your address is incorrect or if you shifted residence since you registered make sure your information is updated. It is a very simple process and you can update your address free of cost as many times as you need. Just go online to gov.uk and submit your correct current address or you can complete the process via post. The process via post differs depending on whether you have a photocard driving license or a paper-driving license.

If you have a photo card license, you need to complete the section of your paper counterpart titled “changes”. Then this paper counterpart must be signed and dated. Your photocard driving license along with its paper counterpart that you have signed, dated, and filled out must be mailed to the DVLA.

If instead you have a paper driving license, you need to fill out either form D1 ‘Application for a driving license’ or form D2 ‘Application for a lorry/bus license depending of the vehicle you use. You can request for the appropriate form at dvla.gov.uk/order_forms or you could get it at most post offices. Once you have completed the appropriate form, mail it along with your driving license; an acceptable original document confirming your identity and a passport-sized photograph to the DVLA.

The address for the DVLA is

DVLA
Swansea
SA99 1BN

Check 3: Correct Name

Yes, unbelievably if your driver’s license has your name incorrectly printed, or you have changed your name, or are a recently married woman but have not yet update your name on your license you had better get it fixed now.

The process to update your name on your photocard driving license is to complete either form D1 ‘Application for a driving license’ or form D2 ‘Application for a lorry/bus license depending of the vehicle you use. Then post the appropriately filled out form into the DVLA along with original documents that confirm your changed name, your photocard driving license, and your paper counterpart.

The process to update your name on your paper-driving license is similar to the process of updating the detail on a photocard. You need to fill out the D1 / D2 form according to the vehicle you use. Post the completed form with original documents proving your changed name and driving license. However, unlike the process with the photocard driving license, you also need to include a passport-type photograph.

DVLA endeavors to present you with your new driving license within three weeks of receiving your application. However, in the event DVLA needs to check your health or other personal details, the process may take a little longer. Accordingly, it is recommended that you wait at least 3 weeks for your new license, before contacting the DVLA.

So check your license now, and if your license needs to be updated/renewed, start right away.

The author, Mary Hanks, is a licensed driving instructor. She is also a serial blogger who shares driving and car maintenance tips and tricks through her articles. You can visit licencecheck.co.uk to find out more about the licence check services available to companies.