From 1 September 2021, changes to UK driving licence laws apply.

These changes affect the current situation concerning driving licence applications and renewals.

What are the Problems with Driving Licences?

The pressures on the entire issuing and renewal system for driving licences have caused severe delays to driving licence applications.

With people finding they are unable to drive or, in some cases, waiting for the DVLA to return their passports, the system is under a lot of strain.

Industrial action by staff at the DVLA’s Swansea HQ have further exacerbated difficulties and waiting times for processing of paper applications have been up to 10 weeks.

This is causing problems for anyone waiting for a driving licence, including:

  • People who have had licences suspended for medical or other reasons but have then been cleared for driving by doctors are having to wait before they can go back on the road
  • Older people with routine licence renewals
  • People aged over 17 applying for provisional licences.

In response to these ongoing problems, the DVLA has extended all driving licences due to expire between 1 February and 31 December 2020.

These licences are now valid for a further 11 months.

For example, a licence expiring in October 2020 would now remain valid until September 2021.

Driving Licence Update, September 2021

From 1 September 2021, the 11-month extension to driving licence renewals will no longer apply.

Anyone who has a licence expiring after this date must apply as normal to the DVLA for a driving licence renewal.

If your licence expired before 1 September 2021, the 11-month extension still applies from the date of expiry.

Can You Drive Without a Valid Licence?

  • If your licence has expired but you’ve sent your renewal application off to the DVLA, then you CAN continue to drive
  • If your licence has been revoked by the court, or you’ve been told not to drive for medical reasons, you must NOT start driving again UNTIL you’ve received your reissued licence.

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