Millions of motorists across the UK could face surprise charges if they have the wrong address on their driving licence. With a rule that seemingly millions of drivers around the UK are unaware of, anyone with a driving licence has to let the DVLA know if they will be changing address, or risk facing a £1,000 fine if they’re stopped by the police and have an incorrect address on the licence.
The rule applies to all kinds of moves, including temporary relocations for situations like term-time for university students. It is free to change your address with the DVLA, so there shouldn’t any reason not to change your address, yet it seems that many people weren’t aware that the need to change your address immediately was as vital as it is. If you need to update your address you can easily do it online via Gov.uk website, where you can fill out a simple form and your new licence will be sent to you within three weeks.
Other reasons for updating your licence would be for name-changes and making sure that your photo is kept up-to-date. If you’re not sure whether your picture is out of date, you can simply check the 4b photo on your licence, where you will find the date that your photo expires. Your photo lasts around 10 years, so keep an eye over the years to ensure that your licence is always up-to-date, unless you want to face the £1,000 fine.
Comparethemarket.com released research that says around 1.5 million registered drivers have the wrong address on their driving licence, meaning that if all of the drivers were stopped and fined the DVLA could claim around £1.5 billion from motorists with incorrect details. 35% of the motorists who were interviewed by the website didn’t know that having incorrect details on your driving licence was illegal, showing that it is a more common problem than many would realise. Over 2.6 million motorists haven’t updated their licences in time, including 3% of married women who have the wrong name on their licences after changing it legally. If you find that you need to renew your licence, then it only costs £20, or £24.50 if you do it at your local post office, and can be useful if you find your licence is out of date, as an out of date licence can cause you more problems than it’s worth.
If you find yourself as a person who needs to change their address on their licence and need to know more about how to change your licence, then this simple guide can help you:
- Visit Gov.uk and find the ‘Driving and transport’ section.
- Here you can select the ‘Driving licences’ section and choose to tell the DVLA you’ve changed your address.
- Clicking on this will lead you to a Gov.uk page that gives you the chance to update your address on your driving licence, as well as in your vehicle’s log book (V5C) and you can have the chance to update your details with the DVLA if you pay by Direct Debit for your vehicle tax.
- By choosing to apply online for your licence update, you will be directed to a DVLA website that will require your Government Gateway User ID – if you don’t have a Government Gateway account you will need to create one before changing any of your details online
- From here you will need to have your current driving licence, any addresses you’ve lived in in the past three years and, if you need to change your photo as well, your passport number so that they can use your passport photo for your licence.
Always make sure that you’re up to date with all of the details for your driving licence, as it could cost you a surprising amount if you’re not completely accurate with all of your details, and isn’t worth the hassle that it can cause for a free and quick update online.