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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Sara Odeen-Isbister

Almost a million UK drivers risk being hit with £1k fine for not doing one simple thing

Close to a million people in the UK could be fined £1,000 for failing to renew their photocard driving licence.

A whopping 926,00 people entitled to drive in Britain had photocards on September 3 last year that had become out of date in the 12 months leading up to the end of August, figures from the DVLA reveal.

Only a small percentage of these are likely to have stopped driving as a result, meaning the rest could be fined.

Around 2.5 million drivers renewed their photocard after it had expired or within 56 days of the expiry date in the past year, data supplied to PA Media show.

If you have passed your driving test, you are entitled to drive until you reach 70, after which time you must renew your licence every three years to stay on the road.

You could be fined £1,000 if you drive with an out-of-date photo card (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

However, photocards must be renewed every 10 years to make sure the photo looks like you.

To find the licence's expiry date, look at section 4b on the card.

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.

Those with licences due to expire will receive a letter from the DVLA to remind them to renew 56 days before their licence ends, but some drivers miss these letters if they have changed address.

Renewing late does not lead to a fine being issued.

If a licence expires while the DVLA is processing a renewal application, you can continue to drive as long as you meet criteria such as following the rules of your previous licence.

After a photocard is surrendered, someone who drives without renewing their licence could be prosecuted for driving otherwise in accordance with a licence.

Philip Gomm of the RAC Foundation said: "There are good reasons to keep licences up to date, beyond the basic legal requirement.

Photocard driving licences must be renewed every 10 years (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

"They are also a widely accepted form of ID and will certainly be required if you are ever stopped by police. Renewal also provides an opportunity for people to assess whether they are still fit to drive, and we think there is an argument for linking a compulsory eye test to the process to make sure we all remain safe on the road, though Government should help keep costs as low as possible for motorists.

"When you do renew, beware of private web sites which offer to help with the application but charge an extra fee for doing so."

A DVLA spokeswoman said: "We encourage customers to use GOV.UK as applying online is the quickest and cheapest way to renew their photocard driving licence.

"If you stop driving altogether, you should inform DVLA and return your licence rather keeping it as a form of out of date photo ID."

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