IF you’ve just moved house or got married and changed your name, you could be unwittingly breaking the law by not updating your driving licence.
Millions of motorists run the risk of a fine up to £1,000 for having outdated details on their licences. Here’s how to avoid the penalty.
How do I update my driving licence?
In order to keep your driving licence, vehicle log book and tax up-to-date, you must register any changes of address to the DVLA.
This not only includes permanent addresses, but also if you’re moving temporarily to university.
Likewise, if you get married or you take another name, it’s important you let the DVLA know, in order to avoid a hefty fine.
You can do so by filling out a short online application form. It doesn’t cost anything to amend your address.
When do I need to inform the DVLA?
- Any change of address – temporary or otherwise – must be reported to the DVLA to update your driving licence.
- Similarly a change of name after marriage must be detailed.
- Any medical conditions that may affect your driving must be flagged up, too. These include eye conditions, diabetes, epilepsy, a stroke, Parkinson’s and heart disease.
- Failure to do any of these could result in a maximum £1,000 fine.
- Visit the DVLA website for more guidance on how to update your details.
Can the DVLA fine me if I don’t update my address?
A fine of up to £1,000 may be enforced if it’s flagged up when you’re stopped by traffic cops, hire a car or commit a driving offence abroad.
Previous estimates by Direct Line suggest as many as seven per cent of licences have incorrect information including wrong addresses on them, while three per cent of women are still using maiden names.
If all these cases were enforced, it’d rake in a near £3billion windfall for the courts.
You can still drive while you’re waiting for your new licence.
Can I update my driving licence at the post office?
Yes, you can – but check the Branch Finder just to make sure.
If you need a new licence, you should bring your renewal reminder and your photocard (if you have it), along with anything else the reminder letter requested.
The post office will take your picture, make sure the application is correct and send your details to the DVLA.
It costs £4.50 for the picture and £17 to the DVLA to renew the licence – and you should get it in three weeks.
When do I need to update my driving licence?
Photocard licences must be renewed every ten years with a new photograph and failing to do so can also land you in hot water with police, should you be stopped.
You’ll get a reminder when this needs to be done but obviously not if you’ve got the wrong address listed.
The cost of a new photograph on a licence is £20 – a small price to pay when you consider the fine is £1,000 under Section 99 of the Road Traffic Act 1988.
Failing to change your address on the V5C document of your car can also leave you open to a £1,000 fine, plus you’ll miss out on car tax reminders as they’ll be sent to your old house.
Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “Running a car is already eye-wateringly expensive, so we can all do without unwelcome bills resulting from overlooked form filling.
“Anyone in the thick of moving house might expect to be forgiven for forgetting to tell the authorities about their change of address.
“Unfortunately, that forgetfulness could be costly.”