Drivers are being urged to double check their photocard licences to avoid a hefty fine.
More than 900,000 drivers could be met with a £1,000 fine if they fail to renew their licenses, all of which expired in the past year.
An investigation following a Freedom of Information (FOI) request by the PA news agency found the number of drivers with recently expired licenses.
The figures from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) found that 926,000 drivers had photocards on 3 September which went out of date in the 12 months up to the end of August. This figure represents 2 percent of all drivers.
Only a small number of the 926,00 drivers are likely to have stopped driving without telling the DVLA.
The FOI request also found that 2.5 million drivers were likely to have renewed their licence once it expired or within 56 days of the date of expiry in the past year.
According to government statistics, there were 40.4 million licenced vehicles in the UK at the end of March 2022.
The total number of driving licences registered with DVLA in April 2022 was 50,501,813. Of this figure, 41,202,187 were full driving licences and 9,299,626 were provisional licences.
Driving licence photocards must be renewed every 10 years to update your image, ensuring it is a true likeness. Expiry dates are included in section 4b on the front of the cards.
You can renew the licence online using the government’s website, and the new licence will be valid from the date your application is approved, not from the expiry date on the photocard you currently have.
Drivers will receive a reminder when it’s time to renew the licence 56 days before the current licence expires.
You’ll need a valid UK passport and you must be a resident of Great Britain to renew. Drivers may be disappointed to hear there is a £14 fee which must be paid by debit or credit card – however, this is obviously a lot cheaper than paying a grand in fines.
Applications also require all the addresses you’ve lived in the last three years, as well as your current driving licence and your national insurance licence.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise but you also must not be disqualified from driving when you apply to renew your licence.
The whole process should grant you a new photocard within a week if you apply online.
You’ll also need to bid farewell to your old card by sending it to an address listed during the application process.
Alternately, you can renew your licence at the Post Office, which will set you back £21.50. Postal renewals are little cheaper, costing £17.
Failing to return an expired licence to the DVLA is an offence under the Road Traffic Act 1988 and can be punished with a fine of up to £1,000.
You can find out more information about renewing your driving license here.