UK Driving Licences and expiry date

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by strongbow, Jan 29, 2009.

  1. strongbow

    strongbow Member

    This was sent to me at work today and I have to admit, I thought my licence didn't need renewing every 10 years.


    Unwitting motorists face £1,000 fines as thousands of photo card driving licences expire.

    Thousands of motorists are at risk of being fined up to £1,000 because they are unwittingly driving without a valid licence.

    They risk prosecution after failing to spot the extremely small print on their photo card licence which says it automatically expires after 10 years and has to be renewed - even though drivers are licensed to drive until the age of 70.

    The fiasco has come to light a decade after the first batch of photo licences was issued in July 1998, just as they start to expire.

    Motoring organisations blamed the Government for the fiasco and said 'most' drivers believed their licences were for life.

    A mock-up driving licence from 1998 when the photo cards were launched shows the imminent expiry date as item '4b'

    They said officials had failed to publicise sufficiently the fact that new-style licences - unlike the old paper ones - expire after a set period and have to be renewed.

    To rub salt into wounds, drivers will have to a pay £17.50 to renew their card - a charge which critics have condemned as a 'stealth tax' and which will earn the Treasury an estimated £437million over 25 years.

    Official DVLA figures reveal that while 16,136 expired this summer, so far only 11,566 drivers have renewed, leaving 4,570 outstanding.

    With another 300,000 photo card licences due to expire over the coming year, experts fear the number of invalid licences will soar, putting thousands more drivers in breach of the law and at risk of a fine.

    At the heart of the confusion is the small print on the tiny
    credit-card-size photo licence, which is used in conjunction with the paper version.

    Just below the driver name on the front of the photo card licence is a series of dates and details - each one numbered.

    Number 4b features a date in tiny writing, but no explicit
    explanation as to what it means.

    The date's significance is only explained if the driver turns over the card and reads the key on the back, which states that ‘4b’, means 'licence valid to'.

    Even more confusingly, an adjacent table on the rear of the card sets out how long the driver is registered to hold a licence - that is until his or her 70th birthday.

    A total of 25million new-style licences have been issued but - motoring experts say - drivers were never sufficiently warned they would expire after 10 years.

    Motorists who fail to renew their licences in time are allowed to continue driving. But the DVLA says they could be charged with 'failing to surrender their licence', an offence carrying a £1,000 fine.

    AA president, Edmund King said: 'It is not generally known that photo card licences expire: there appears to be a lack of information that people will have to renew these licences.

    'People think they have already paid them for once over and that is it.

    'It will come as a surprise to motorists and a shock that they have to pay an extra £17.50.'

    The AA called on the Government to use the annual £450million from traffic enforcement fines to offset the renewal charge.
  2. David Mann

    David Mann Member

    I'm OK until 2012 then. DVLA are quick enough to remind you that your car tax is due, surely they'd manage to notify you that your license was going to expire?
  3. michellegarbutt

    michellegarbutt Supporting Member

    Thank you I didn't realise either. I've just checked mine and it's due to expire this year. If I hadn't seen this I wouldn't even have thought about it
  4. StellaJohnson

    StellaJohnson Active Member

    Coz they want your wonga:)
  5. Claire

    Claire Member

    I renewed mine at the end of last year. You get a reminder a month before it is due.
  6. flugelgal

    flugelgal Active Member

    I don't feel quite so bad now at having to hand mine over for a pink Irish one that expires ever 10 years also. I felt I was being hard done by, having to pay for a renewal every 10 years, when my UK one didn't expire until I hit 70, but as I'd have to do that anyway, I'm happy now :p.
  7. BbBill

    BbBill Supporting Member

    Just another fecking tax....
  8. ekimmort

    ekimmort Member

    I do not have a photo on mine. It is the old type but still valid.
  9. Hells Bones

    Hells Bones Active Member

    I like the idea of renewing them every 10 years like your passports as people's faces change with time.

    I look nothing like my driving license photo, college ID, YP Railcard.

    I have grown my hair and it completely changes my visagé.

    But charging for it is absurd and just another excuse to fill the coffers with the good, working person's money.
  10. ronnie_the_lizard

    ronnie_the_lizard Active Member

    That's the bit which seems totally absurd - if you happen to have stayed in the same house and not had a speeding ticket you don't need to get a photocard license, so don't need to pay anything or renew anything.

    But once you have a photocard license you have to pay for a new one every 10 years.

    Not exactly a fair system (and because of that maybe debatable as to whether it would stand up in court if you were to challenge any fine - especially since even the government website says it's the photo that expires after 10 years but the entitlement to drive remains in force until age 70).
  11. Lewis Chris

    Lewis Chris Member

    I had an old style one too, got 3 points and sent it to the DVLA and they put them on and sent it back with no demands to change it to a photocard license. When I sent it back for the points to be crossed out they then wouldn't return it saying I had to get a photocard. Fair enough I thought. I changed the address a couple of years later and this cost nothing. Now I've moved again and can't find my counterpart I have to purchase a new one. Again fair point, my fault for losing the counterpart. Yet no-one at DVLA can tell me if that would be a new 10 year one, or just the remaining years on this one? Anyone on here know the answer?
  12. BIG Paul

    BIG Paul Member

    Please not that the counter part is the actual licence NOT the Photocard, as this contains all details of offences etc. So please keep them in a safe place.
  13. Rambo Chick

    Rambo Chick Member

    :mad: It's disgusting that it carries such a fine. Such an imbalance in the law when you think of all the thugs that get away with crime every day...but that's another topic...

    Back to DVLA, it DEFINITELY shouldn't cost to renew it....

    I have a question too - when you get to 70, do you have to retake a test? It's not clear. I only ask because it says our licence is valid up to age 70. My Grandma is nearly 80 and she still drives (she's safe!) and she didn't have to retake a test.

    But do we?:confused:

    I tried looking on DVLA website but it's like pulling teeth trying to find the right info...
  14. bbg

    bbg Member

    To echo Big Paul, it's the photocard that is valid for 10 years, not your actual entitlement to drive.
    The 10 year rule is probably sensible on balance - pass a test at 17 or 18 and you'll almost certainly look a lot different 10 years later, in my case my April 2000 photo displays a wee bit more (and a bit less grey) hair than I sport now so as a means of ID I've no problem with renewal.
  15. Will the Sec

    Will the Sec Active Member

    Mine expires this year too - thanks for the heads up.
  16. MRSH

    MRSH Supporting Member

    At 70 you don't have to take a re-test but you do have to get a doctor's certificate,to confirm you are still 'OK' to drive, to send to the DVLA. They will then renew your licence for 3 years. After those 3 years you have to do it all again.

    Whether this process is sound or not is open to debate as there will, no doubt, be GP's who will just sign off the over 70's as being 'OK' - thus allowing them three more years on the road.
  17. DMBabe

    DMBabe Supporting Member

    Him in doors started rattling on about this a few months back and I told him he was talking mince. Then I found my driving license when I was tidying the drawer on the coffee table and lo and behold, he's right! Mind u it took me loads of close examination with a magnifying glass (no joke), Worrying cos I have perfect eyesight so god only knows how anyone with lesser eyesight can see it. Seems it is cunningly disguised so the DVLA can make big fines rather than their £17.50!:roll:

    Either way its a travesty. I didn't pay originally to change mine (change of address) but am sure I had to pay to change my name when I got married..... should 've done a "phoebe off friends" and changed it to something more interesting for the money.... Princess Consuela Banana-hammock anyone???;)

    I think they need to get some ads on like the ones for car tax evaders. They don't have to be flashy or expensive, just informative. Or the like the ones for the Natural Sweet Company.... Bring on the TRUMPETS!!!!!!!:clap:

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