MoneySavingExpert.com has warned motorists to check their driving licence or risk landing a £1,000 fine as the coronavirus exemption period has now ended.
In the early days of the pandemic, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) told motorists that if their photo card lapsed between February 1 and August 31, then they would automatically receive an 11-month extension and did not need to renew their licence.
However, that period has now ended and the website founded by money-saving expert, Martin Lewis, is urging drivers to check their licence to make sure they aren’t breaking the law - and leaving themselves open to a hefty fine.
The latest edition of the MoneySavingExpert.com newsletter said: “Urgent - check if your photo licence is valid NOW, as the renewal amnesty has ended and you could be fined."
It continued: "Many whose licences were due to renew last year got an 11mth extension. But if that's ended for you, or your licence expired after Dec 2020, you MUST renew it or you could face a fine."
According to the MoneySvingExpert.com website, there are over two million drivers in the UK whose licence has expired.
Official advice from the DVLA via the GOV.UK website states that: “Motorists must renew their photo card licence when it expires. If they fail to renew their licence and supply a photo that is a recent and true likeness, they will be breaking the law and may have to pay a fine of up to £1,000.”
Appearances can change and it is important that photo card licences are updated every 10 years to ensure the police and other enforcement agencies have the best possible photograph.
This helps them correctly identify whether a driving licence is being used fraudulently and also prevents driving licence impersonation – stopping disqualified and perhaps dangerous drivers taking to the roads.
Getting a new photo card also means that a motorist’s driving licence will contain the latest security features to protect them against fraud - it may also make things easier when they hire a car at home or abroad.
Renewing your driving licence costs £14 online at GOV.UK or £17 at the Post Office.
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