Driving licence expiring soon? Here’s how to check

If you’ve got a photocard driving licence, don’t forget to renew it every ten years. If you don’t, you could end up with a hefty fine. To ensure you don’t get caught out, comparison site for cheap car insurance, mustard.co.uk, tells us how to check your driving licence expiry date.

How do I know when my driving licence expires?

The quickest and easiest way to check the expiry date is to look at line 4b of your photocard licence. If you can’t find your licence, you can also check it for free online at GOV.UK. To do this, you’ll need:

  • Your driving licence number (line 5 on your photocard licence)
  • Your National Insurance number
  • The postcode of the address on your licence

If you don’t have your driving licence, you can also check details using just your National Insurance number. To do this, visit GOV.UK, view driving record.

If you don’t have your licence or your National Insurance number, you can reapply for a new licence at GOV.UK, replace a driving licence.

What does checking my driving licence online tell me?

When you check your driving licence online, you’ll be able to see:

  • Your personal details – which includes your date of birth, address, driving licence number, and its status (for example, whether it’s a full driving licence). It will also show when your licence was valid from and when it will expire.
  • What vehicles you can drive – this will also list any restriction codes that apply to you (for example, code 01 for eyesight correction).
  • Penalties and disqualifications – if you have any points, they will be shown here.

What is a driving licence check code?

When you go online, you’ll also be able to generate something called a check code. This enables you to share your driving licence information with someone else – for example, a hire car company. In most cases, they’ll use this to make sure your licence is still valid and whether or not you have any penalty points.

Do I need to share my driving licence number with insurers?

When you search for car insurance quotes, you’ll often be asked for your driving licence number. You don’t have to give them this information but it’s the quickest way for them to get the most up to date information about you, and can also help calculate premiums based on your driving history.

Why do I need to renew my driving licence?

According to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), licences need to be renewed so that police and other agencies have an accurate photo that can be used to properly identify you. This can help find licences that are being used fraudulently, for instance, if someone has been disqualified but is using someone else’s identity.

Do I need to change my paper driving licence?

If your paper driving licence is still valid, you don’t need to swap it for a photocard version. However, you’ll need to apply for a new licence if any of the below happens:

  • You change your address
  • You change your name
  • You’ve lost your licence or it’s been stolen, destroyed or damaged
  • You’re getting a driver certificate of professional competence (CPC) or driver qualification card (DQC)

What happens if I forget to renew my photocard driving licence?

If you forget to renew your licence or forget to update your address when you move, you can be fined up to £1,000.

You’ll usually get an email about a month before your licence expires reminding you to update it as soon as possible.The quickest way to renew your licence is online at GOV.UK.

Can I still drive if my licence hasn’t come back yet?

If you’ve renewed your driving licence but are still waiting for it to arrive, you should still be able to drive, so long as you:

  • Are medically fit to drive
  • Only drive vehicles you were entitled to drive under your previous licence
  • Meet any conditions specified on your previous driving licence
  • Are not disqualified from driving

For a full list of conditions, take a look at the  DVLA’s guide to driving while they have your driving licence application.

Compare great value car insurance

If you’re after more great advice about cars and car insurance, head to mustard.co.uk where you’ll find a whole host of useful guides. Not only can you find out more about what all the codes on your driving licence mean, there’s also advice on how to cut the cost of car cover.

You can also search for quotes from dozens of leading car insurers in just a few clicks. Alternatively, you can speak to an expert by calling 0330 022 8812.