He is the nation’s favourite champion of consumer rights, and this month, Martin Lewis warned drivers that they could be facing a £1000 fine by failing to check their driving licence.
The money-saving expert urged motorists to check if they are one of 2.3 million people who currently have an expired photo on their licence.
In a recent episode of The Martin Lewis Money Show, streamed live from his home during lockdown, Martin explained: “Driving licenses last a long time, but the photo is only valid for 10 years and 2.3 million of them are out of date. You can check the expiry date by looking at the ‘4b’ number on your driver’s licence.”
In response to the coronavirus crisis, the DVLA automatically added seven months to photo cards which lapsed between February 1 and August 31. However, Martin believes many motorists are using licences with photo cards which expired pre-coronavirus: “If it lapsed before then, I’d get on and renew it, because if you get stopped by the police while driving, it can be a problem.”
In the UK, driving without a valid licence carries a £1,000 penalty.
If you hold a valid UK passport, you can renew online for a £14 fee and the DVLA will use the same photo as your passport. The online service isn’t available to disqualified drivers or people who have changed their name or title.
Your photo should be a true likeness. As advised by the DVLA, appearances can change, and a valid photo card helps police and other enforcement agencies to correctly identify whether a driving licence is being used fraudulently. It also prevents driving licence impersonation – stopping disqualified and perhaps dangerous drivers taking to the roads.