Drivers granted fresh extension to licence renewal deadline

Drivers with licences due to expire soon have been granted a further extension by the DVLA.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency granted a seven-month extension to motorists earlier this year in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak and has now extended this further.

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Under temporary changes announced on September 1, any driver whose photocard licence or entitlement to drive expires between 1 February and 31 December 2020 will be given an automatic 11-month extension.

The initial extension ran out at the end of August but the latest announcement means drivers whose licence was due to expire any time between February and December this year will not need to renew it yet.

It was part of an EU directive aimed at reducing pressure on services during the peak of the coronavirus outbreak. Although the UK has left the EU, the DVLA agreed the latest extension in discussion with the EU.

Drivers who qualify for the extension do not need to take any action and may continue to drive as normal unless they have been told to stop on medical grounds. The extension will be applied automatically and motorists will be notified in advance of their new renewal date.

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DVLA chief executive Julie Lennard said: "Being able to drive is a lifeline for millions of people and this further extension will ensure that in these continued uncertain times, drivers don’t need to worry about the admin or the associated costs with renewing their licences.

“The temporary extension is automatic, and drivers do not need to do anything. Drivers who have already applied to renew their photocard driving licence or entitlement to drive can usually carry on driving while we process their application providing they have not been told by their doctor or optician that they should not drive.”

Normally drivers are required to renew their photocard licence every 10 years, and bus and lorry drivers every five years. Driving entitlement on a car (Group 1) licence generally remains in force until the driver reaches 70, unless revoked or surrendered. At aged 70 the driver must renew their entitlement to drive every three years if they wish to continue to hold a valid licence.

If a driver applies to renew their photocard or their entitlement, they can continue to drive while DVLA is considering their application, providing they have not been told by their doctor or optician that they should not drive. However, regardless of when their licence is due for renewal, all drivers must ensure they meet the medical standards for fitness to drive.

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