DVLA Driving licence renewal system saving drivers millions

Driving licence provided by DVLA

November 19, 2021

When it comes to DVLA driving licence renewal, it’s fair to say that most people don’t enjoy carrying out this somewhat tedious task. 

However, ensuring that your driving licence is up to date and valid is imperative to ensure that you don’t receive any fines for driving illegally without a valid driving licence. You are legally required to renew your photocard driving licence every ten years until you turn 70. Once you turn 70, you are expected to renew your driving licence every three years.

According to figures from the DVLA, between April 2020 and March 2021, out of the two million people who renewed their driving licence in that time, approximately 23% of those applications were sent via post or at the Post Office.

Both these methods of driving licence renewal are perfectly fine, but sending your driving licence renewal application by post or completing it at the Post Office costs £17 per application, as opposed to £14 if you use the GOV.uk DVLA driving licence renewal service.

This £3 difference in cost doesn’t seem all that much, but when you consider how many people opted for posting their application, rather than completing it via the online service, that figure soon racks up.

Not only is it cheaper to renew it using the DVLA driving licence system, but it’s also easier and quicker and you’ll receive your driving licence back much sooner than if you were to use the postal service. You’ll usually receive your photocard driving licence back within five days if you use the DVLA online service, whereas completing your application via post could take as long as a couple of weeks.

Note: If your driving licence has expired you could be fined and receive a criminal record. This offence can also be charged alongside driving with no insurance, as an expired driving licence invalidates any car insurance cover you have in place.

How do I renew my driving licence?

There are several ways in which you can renew your driving licence photocard, including at the Post Office, via post or online using the DVLA online renewal system. Unfortunately, many people have opted to use the Post Office driving licence renewal service and while this is a completely fine and acceptable way to renew your licence, it’s actually resulted in more than 23% of the 2 million renewal applications spending an unnecessary £2.3 million on driving licence renewals.

If you want to ensure that you’re not spending more money than necessary to simply renew your driving licence, you need to take a look at the DVLA driving licence renewal system online.

The system is quick and straightforward to use and it also allows you to track the status and progress of your driving licence renewal application, so you can see when you can expect it to be ready.

Of course, those who aren’t well-versed with technology or those who don’t have access to online systems to renew their driving licence will naturally prefer to complete their renewal application via post or at the Post Office. There is nothing wrong with this and it’s still a valid method of renewing your driving licence, but you are advised that it will take longer to be returned to you and it will also cost more to complete the application.

The DVLA is advising drivers to make their licence renewal applications online using the GOV.uk service where possible to make the whole process much easier, quicker and more streamlined.

It’s thought that the DVLA receives approximately 60,000 pieces of mail every day, so it’s safe to say that it’s a huge responsibility and task to wade through every piece of mail and respond to every letter or application. Therefore, by applying online using the automated system, the whole process is much quicker and easier for both the DVLA and for you applying for licence renewal and it’s also cheaper as well.

How to renew a provisional licence

When you first start learning to drive, you will need to apply for a provisional licence before you can get behind the wheel of a car.

You can apply for your provisional licence for a car, motorbike or moped if you’re at least 15 years and 9 months old, you can read a number plate from 20 metres away and you have legally lived in the UK for a total of at least 185 days within a 12 month period.

Once you have a provisional driving licence, you can start learning to drive, but you must be accompanied by someone aged 21 or above with a full UK driving licence who has been driving for at least three years.

Your provisional driving licence works in the same way as your full UK licence works. Once you have your provisional licence, it is valid until the day of your 70th birthday, however, if you don’t pass your driving test and switch to a full UK licence, you will need to renew your provisional licence every 10 years.

You can do this in the same way as renewing a full UK licence; by using the DVLA online renewal service, completing your application at the Post Office or sending your application for a new driving licence via post.

How much does a new driving licence cost?

The cost of a new driving licence depends on the method you choose to obtain it. It also depends on whether you’re applying for an entirely new licence if you’ve lost your old one, or whether you’re just renewing it. 

Take a look at the information below for details on the different costs associated with driving licences.

  • Online application for a provisional driving licence: £34
  • Postal application for a provisional driving licence: £43
  • Cost of replacing a damaged, lost or stolen provisional/full driving licence: £20
  • Cost of changing your photo on your driving licence online: £14
  • Cost of changing your photo on your driving licence via post: £17
  • Cost of renewing an expired driving licence online: £14
  • Cost of renewing an expired driving licence via post: £17
  • Cost of renewing your driving licence if you’re over 70: Free

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