Motorists have recently been warned that a DVLA licence amendment could result in as many as 2.5 million drivers being forced off the road unless action is taken soon. Figures released from the DVLA have shown that a huge number of current licences are set to expire before the end of August 2022, which is approximately six per cent of UK driving licences overall.
Several groups and experts within the industry are urging drivers to renew their licences as soon as possible. All motorists are also being encouraged to check the expiration date of their current licence and to start the renewal process as soon as possible if the licence is due to expire.
How to renew your driving licence.
The process of renewing a driving licence, although straightforward, can be time-consuming from an administrative perspective. The DVLA is currently facing a backlog of requests, as the organisation has been playing “catch-up” after the Covid-19 pandemic caused operations to grind to a near-halt.
Motorists who need to renew their licence can do so online at the DVLA website, or in person at most Post Offices throughout the UK. The process generally only takes a few minutes.
Were UK driving licences automatically extended during the pandemic?
During the first national lockdown of the previous year, drivers with licences that were due to expire between February-December 2020 were provided with an automated eleven-month extension to allow them to renew their licence once businesses began to reopen.
However, it is thought that there are in excess of 450,000 motorists with driving licences that expired between last September-August this year that need to thoroughly check that their licence has been renewed, as the consequences could be serious. Motorists who continue to drive without having renewed their licence could find themselves on the receiving end of a sizable penalty, as it is an offence to be in control of a vehicle without a valid licence. Violations can result in up to six penalty points and a fine in the region of £1,000.
How often does a UK driving licence need to be renewed?
The UK photocard driving licence needs to be renewed every ten years by default. When renewing a UK driving licence, a recent photo must be used. In recent months, a debate has been raised in Westminster regarding the introduction of a new digital driving licence stored on a smartphone, although for now, the standard photocard driving licence is the norm.
Will an expired driving licence affect an insurance claim?
As a driver, if you find yourself involved in an accident and you don’t hold a valid current driving licence, you could find any insurance claim being rejected. Companies that employ professional drivers could also find themselves in hot water if the credentials of their drivers aren’t validated and could leave themselves open to litigation proceedings in the event of an accident.
If you operate a fleet management business, now might be a good time to speak to Ignition RM to discuss a fleet risk management package designed to protect you, your drivers, and the reputation of your organisation. For further information, please contact us today.
0333 772 1772