Drivers could face ‘significant penalties’ within weeks due to driving licence rule change

Martin Lewis says 2.3 million UK driving licences are out of date

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In September 2020, the Government passed a new rule which saw all photocard driving licences extended for an 11 month period. These covered all licences which ran out between 1 February 2020 and 31 December 2020.

According to experts at Peter Barden, drivers whose license was set to expire in July 2020 will need to renew their licence before June to avoid being caught out.

Section 4b of your driving licence would usually show when it was up for renewal.

However, drivers did not need to reapply for renewal and did not receive a new card as part of the extension.

This means existing driving licence cards will continue to show the old renewal date.

Therefore many drivers are unaware of the need to renew and could be caught out by heavy fines.

According to JMW Solicitors, driving without a licence is serious motoring offence which can carry “significant penalties”.

They warn drivers are likely to be issued a maximum fine of £1,000 if they are caught without a valid licence.

Alongside this, motorists could also be handed between three and six penalty points.

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A possible ban may also be considered under some extreme circumstances.

The DVLA’s initial driving licence extension period came to a close at the end of August.

However, this was further extended in September as coronavirus cases started to rise.

Speaking at the time of the announcement DVLA Chief Executive Julie Lennaerd praised the decision.

She said the extension would ensure “drivers don’t need to worry” about their licence while dealing with the pandemic.

They warned driving was a “lifeline for millions” and was necessary for many during “uncertain times”.

She 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.”

Drivers whose licences expired from 1 January 2021 will need to renew their licence as normal.

Drivers can renew their driving licence online in a matter of minutes using the DVLA digital service.

To renew a licence drivers will need a valid UK passport and details of any previous addresses.

It costs just £14 to renew a licence but there is no fee for drivers over 70 years old or those who have a medical short licence.

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