You have to get a new licence if you:
- Change your home address
- Find your licence has been defaced
- Change your name (for this, you will need to apply by post with a D1 or D2 form)
- Are getting a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) driver qualification card (DQC)
If this is not the case for you and your paper licence is still valid and in date, there is no need for you to exchange it for a photocard. You should not throw your paper driving licence away. Find more information about the changes to the paper part of the photocard licence here.
Before You Apply
You should remember that the DVLA will try to send you your driving licence back within 3 weeks, but this may not be the case if your personal or medical details need to be checked.
To apply, you will need to use your Government Gateway ID. If you need to, you can register for one of these as part of your application.
You will need to make sure you are/have these things:
- Your driving licence
- Be classed as a resident of Great Britain
- Be able to meet the minimum eyesight requirement
- Not have been prevented from driving for any reason
- Be able to pay £20 by MasterCard, Visa, Electron, Maestro or Delta debit or credit card
- A valid UK passport or other form of identity
- Your National Insurance number
- Be able to provide addresses of where you have resided for the last 3 years
It is not possible for you to apply online if you have changed your name. You will need to do this by a postal application, using form D1 for car and motorcycle licence or D2 forms for lorries and buses. You can get these form from the online DVLA form ordering services or the majority of Post Offices have D1 forms.
If you decide to go ahead an apply online, you are agreeing that the DVLA can check your personal data. This includes your National Insurance number. If the DVLA cannot verify your identity, you will be told what to do.
What Photo Will Be Used For My Licence?
The DVLA will use your UK digital passport photo. If, for any reason, this is not possible or you don’t want them to use this one, you will have to send a new photo to the DVLA by post. After you have completed your application, you will be sent a form in the post that you will need to return with your photo.
Can I Drive Before I Get My New Licence?
You are okay to drive while your licence is in the process of being renewed if you can meet all of these conditions:
- Your doctor is in support of you continuing to drive
- You held a valid licence
- You only drive under the same condition as your previous licence
- Your application if less than 12 months old
- You didn’t have your last licence revoked or refused on medical grounds
- You are not currently disqualified from driving for any reason
- You weren’t disqualified as a high risk offender on or after 1st June 2013
Once you have applied, the DVLA will send you a confirmation email. You could be asked to take part in research via email, but you are free to opt out if you want to.
Are There Other Ways To Apply?
Yes. You can apply by post, by obtaining and completing a D1 form, which you can get either through the DVLA’s online form ordering service or by visiting your local Post Office (it might be worth ringing them first to check they have D1 forms).
As wella s the D1 form, you will need to make sure you send:
- Original identity documents
- A colour passport-style photo
- The £20 fee in the form of a cheque or postal order made payable to the DVLA- you cannot send cash.
All these document should then be sent to: