Urgent driving licence warning issued to all UK motorists
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A new study has shown that over one in 10 UK motorists are unaware their driving licence has an expiration date, and requires it to be renewed. The results should serve as a warning to drivers, as millions could be breaking the law and at risk of a fine of up to £1,000.
A staggering 11.6 percent of drivers admit they were unaware that their licence had an expiry date, representing almost four million drivers.
This knowledge gap is even greater among younger drivers, with one in six 17-to-34-year-olds admitting they were unaware of this.
Drivers must renew a photocard licence every 10 years and will receive a reminder before their current licence ends.
These rules do vary depending on which licence is required. For example, those over 70 years of age need to renew every three years, while bus and lorry licences last just five years.
People can also apply for a short-term medical driving licence, with term requirements of one, two, three or five years.
This applies to people with diabetes, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, a visual impairment, a sleep condition, or a heart condition.
Nearly a third of drivers also admitted to driving with an expired licence within the last two to five years, data from Comparethemarket revealed.
Shockingly, 29.5 percent of survey respondents said they had done so in the last year, while more than one in five admit to currently doing so.
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Drivers over the age of 55 had the largest amount of people saying they were aware their licence expired at 94.2 percent.
Despite this, over two-fifths of the age group admitted to driving with an expired licence in the last 12 months.
Julie Daniels, car insurance expert at Comparethemarket, said drivers need to refresh their knowledge of the rules or they could be fined.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, she said: “It’s concerning that our research shows over one in 10 British motorists are unaware that their driving licence has an expiry date.
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“Continuing to drive with an expired driving licence – knowingly or unknowingly – could land you with a fine of up to £1,000.
“To avoid serious consequences by having a fraudulent driving licence, it’s vital to renew your licence as soon as it expires.”
If applying for a new licence online, it should take around a week to arrive. Motorists have to send their old photocard licence to the DVLA when they get their new licence.
When applying, drivers will need a valid UK passport, be a resident of Great Britain, pay £14, the addresses where they have lived over the last three years, their current licence, National Insurance number and to not be disqualified from driving.
Julie Daniels added: “Driving licences expire every 10 years, so you should familiarise yourself with the expiry date on your licence and create a reminder to renew it.
“The DVLA will also send you a reminder when your licence is due to expire, so make sure to keep your contact details up to date.”
Drivers in Nottingham were found to be the most unaware that their licence expires, with over one in six not knowing.
This was closely followed by London (13.8 percent), Southampton (12.1 percent), Sheffield (11.9 percent) and Birmingham (11.8 percent).
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