Photocard Driving Licence Renewal FAQs

What is a photocard driving licence?

A photocard driving licence is the standard UK driving licence – it’s a pink card with the photo of the driver on the front. First issued in 1998 this is the only type of driving licence the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) issues.

Why would I need to renew my photocard driving licence?

From 8 June 2015 the counterpart to the photocard driving licence will not be valid and will no longer be issued. Please visit for more information.

It is important that licences are updated every 10 years; having an up to date licence will ensure you have the latest security features to protect you against fraud  This will also help prevent driving licence impersonation – stopping disqualified and dangerous drivers taking to our roads.

It’s a legal requirement to renew the card and you need to do it for a number of reasons:

  • It’s illegal to drive without a valid licence
  • Up to £1,000 fines are possible if you are stopped by police
  • You may face difficulties with  car insurance if you are driving with an expired licence
  • You may be in breach of local laws when driving abroad.
  • You may have issues when hiring a car abroad. Hire firms may deem your licence to be invalid and refuse your custom.

When do I need to renew my photocard driving licence?

At least every 10 years up to the age of 70. So if you received the new photocard licence in 2003, you need to renew it this year.

How do I know if my photocard driving licence has expired?

On your card there is an expiry date. Each section of your card is numbered, with 1-3 being your name and date of birth. You need to look at 4b – this is the valid to date of your card. 

What if I have an old paper driving licence?

Unless you have reached the age of 70, or your details have changed since your licence was issued, you do not need to renew your paper driving licence. But you can upgrade your paper licence at any time by applying to exchange it for a photocard.

How can I renew my photocard driving licence?

You should receive a D798 renewal notification in the post 2 months before your licence expires. You can take this form to one of over 750 Post Office branches and renew your licence there or go online at DVLA.

For just £4.50, selected Post Office branches can take your photo to DVLA standards, plus they can check all of your paperwork in case your address has changed. Then your application will be sent securely to the DVLA.

If your name or title has changed then you will need to apply direct to DVLA by completing a D1 ‘Application for a driving licence’ and posting it to DVLA.

What if I have mislaid my D798 Renewal Reminder?

If your personal details have not changed, you can still use the Post Office service by taking your photocard AND your counterpart driving licence to the selected branch. If your details have changed or you are unable to provide both parts of the licence you will need to apply directly to DVLA.

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