The global pandemic has been a disruptive factor in many aspects of our lives and has changed the way we perform most activities, from shopping for groceries and taking our kids to school to the way we manage our finances and other life admin tasks.
With social distancing measures in place and so many businesses and institutions moving their services in the online medium, some tasks became harder or even impossible to perform.
Luckily, institutions such as the DVLA were quick to understand that it would be a while before the world could go back to doing things “the normal way” and offered an extension for driving licences that expired between 1 February and 31 December 2020.
This means that drivers that would have normally had to renew their licences during that period would be able to keep driving legally in the UK for 11 more months, calculated from the date of expiry.
The licence extension is applied automatically and drivers whose licences would have expired between February and December 2020 do not need to get in touch with the DVLA until they receive a letter informing them they need to renew their licence.
Renewing Your Licence
To renew your licence (whether you had received an extension or not), you can either do this online via the DVLA website, at a Post Office that deals with DVLA photocard licence renewal if you have received a reminder letter, or by post.
Depending on the method you chose, you will need certain documents in order to apply for a new licence. For online renewal applications, you will need your UK passport, your current driving licence, to know your National Insurance Number, and to pay a £14 fee.
To apply at a Post office, make sure you take with you the following: the reminder letter you received in the post, your existing photocard licence (if you have it), and a £21.50 fee. If you did not receive the reminder letter, you must have your licence to apply this way.
If you do not have the letter or your existing licence and would prefer not to apply online, you can still apply by post. You will need a ‘D1 pack’ of forms which you can pick up from a Post Office, a recent passport-type photo, and a cheque or postal order for £17, payable to DVLA.
Can I Still Drive?
If you have applied to the DVLA to renew your licence using any of the three methods above but the licence expires while the application is being processed, you may be allowed to keep driving under Section 88 of The Road Traffic Act 1988.
You are allowed to drive if your doctor has deemed you fit for driving, if you haven’t been disqualified from driving by a court or as a high-risk offender, and if you have sent your correct and complete renewal application to the DVLA.
However, if you plan on driving abroad, you must wait for your application to be processed and your new driving licence to arrive in the post. The renewal extension offered by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency is not recognised by countries outside of the UK.
Save the Date!
While the DVLA will send you a reminder letter to inform you of the date when you should apply for licence renewal, you can also find this date on your licence. It’s always a good idea to set a reminder for this yourself and not just rely on the DVLA’s letter.
The letter might get lost in the post, get sent to your previous address if you’ve moved recently, or it can get misplaced in the house and forgotten about. But what is the one thing you always have at hand? Your phone, of course!
The best way to make sure you remember the date you need to renew your licence is to add a reminder for it on your phone. Use the free Lifefyle app and add the reminder to the calendar! Plus, you can create a space for your car so you have all the details in one place.
Let Lifefyle help you be an organised driver and remove the stress of car admin from your life!