Photo Driving Licences (UK)

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Photo Driving Licences (UK)

Postby Sy V » Mon 02.03.2009, 09:34

I've just had something drawn to my attention. Something about which I was blissfully unaware.
Like most of you, I had assumed that I was licenced to drive until the age of 70. This is true but, these credit card size Photo Licences have a limited life of ten years!
After this period it is down to the Driver to renew the licence - at a cost of £17.50.
Look at the front of the licence, para 4b will have a date in it (DD-MM-YY).
Now turn the licence over and in the minuscule print on the rear it says "4b. Licence valid to".
I'd like to think I'm talking bollocks, but for once, I don't think I am. Pinky, can you confirm this please?


The fiasco has come to light a decade after the first batch of photo licences was issued in July 1998, just as they start to expire.
Motoring organisations blamed the Government for the fiasco and said 'most' drivers believed their licences were for life.

They said officials had failed to publicise sufficiently the fact that new-style licences - unlike the old paper ones - expire after a set period and have to be renewed.

Stealth Tax
To rub salt into wounds, drivers will have to a pay £17.50 to renew their card - a charge which critics have condemned as a 'stealth tax' and which will earn the Treasury an estimated £437million over 25 years.

Official DVLA figures reveal that while 16,136 expired this summer, so far only 11,566 drivers have renewed, leaving 4,570 outstanding.

With another 300,000 photo card licences due to expire over the coming year, experts fear the number of invalid licences will soar, putting thousands more drivers in breach of the law and at risk of a fine.

At the heart of the confusion is the small print on the tiny credit-card-size photo licence, which is used in conjunction with the paper version.

Just below the driver name on the front of the photo card licence is a series of dates and details - each one numbered.

Tiny writing
Number 4b features a date in tiny writing, but no explicit explanation as to what it means.

The date's significance is only explained if the driver turns over the card and reads the key on the back which states that '4b' means 'licence valid to'.

Even more confusingly, an adjacent table on the rear of the card sets out how long the driver is registered to hold a licence - that is until his or her 70th birthday.

A total of 25 million new-style licences have been issued but - motoring experts say - drivers were never sufficiently warned they would expire after 10 years.

£1,000 Fine
Motorists who fail to renew their licences in time are allowed to continue driving. But the DVLA says they could be charged with 'failing to surrender their licence', an offence carrying a £1,000 fine.

AA president, Edmund King said: 'It is not generally known that photo card licences expire: there appears to be a lack of information that people will have to renew these licences.

'People think they have already paid them for once over and that is it.

'It will come as a surprise to motorists and a shock that they have to pay an extra £17.50.'

The AA called on the Government to use the annual £450million from traffic enforcement fines to offset the renewal charge.
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Re: Photo Driving Licences (UK)

Postby Sy V » Mon 02.03.2009, 10:02

I've just phoned West Mercia Constabulary and they've confirmed the 'need to renew'.
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Re: Photo Driving Licences (UK)

Postby al » Mon 02.03.2009, 10:08

Makes sense I guess - you'll have to fork out^H^H^H^H^H renew them for the same reason as your passport; that you're unlikely to look the same as you did ten years ago.
Of course any artifact of this whereby the DVLA suddenly gets a bucket-load of extra cash through the door was entirely unexpected. :roll:
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Re: Photo Driving Licences (UK)

Postby muley » Mon 02.03.2009, 10:47

That's OK, I waited until I was 60 to get the photo version :smt043
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Re: Photo Driving Licences (UK)

Postby woody » Mon 02.03.2009, 11:38

Muley wrote(That's OK, I waited until I was 60 to get the photo version)
That's why I've kept my paper version, and will get a photo version when I'm 60 (not long now).
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Re: Photo Driving Licences (UK)

Postby dapinky » Mon 02.03.2009, 16:54

I'm awake again!

Yep, can confirm - it is only the Photograph which needs to be changed, all other details remain 'as is' - like Al says, it's an identity issue as people change.

I know nothing about the cost of such an enterprise, but 17 1/2 quid seems steep to me :shock: (Bloody government).

Now, far be it for me to encourage anyone to break the law (in this, or any other circumstance), but perhaps it would be reasonable for the Police to tell the DVLA to 'sod off' and that they would not be prosecuting anyone for failing to re-new the photo on a licence......

....now, i'm not suggesting that that may be the response of ALL UK police forces to DVLA, but until i had something official to tell me to get it changed, i may 'live in ignorance' and hope there were such a common sence policing policy ;-)



PS - I don't care 'cos mine is made of green paper, not plastic :banana:
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Re: Photo Driving Licences (UK)

Postby GeoffSmith » Mon 02.03.2009, 21:11

Well mine ain't got no expiry date Officer. :-D

DrivingLicense.jpg


Oh, if you mean the new fangled green (and pink one that I got to replace the green one that I thought I'd lost but subsequently found) they're valid until I'm 70! What's this "getting a picture one when I'm 60" bollecks then Jim - sure it's not your bus pass! :lol:
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Re: Photo Driving Licences (UK)

Postby markv » Mon 02.03.2009, 21:52

Can dapinky confirm that we're OK with the green and pink licence until we either move house or reach 70? Cheers.
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Re: Photo Driving Licences (UK)

Postby Specky » Mon 02.03.2009, 21:59

It just depends on what you can drive....

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Re: Photo Driving Licences (UK)

Postby muley » Mon 02.03.2009, 22:53

THIS is the bus pass

bus_passy.JPG


I'm not that senile (yet).

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Re: Photo Driving Licences (UK)

Postby M100 TWO » Tue 03.03.2009, 13:10

my paper one is good for 70 or I'm in the box which ever comes first just hold that thought!!!!!
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Re: Photo Driving Licences (UK)

Postby dapinky » Tue 03.03.2009, 21:08

Yep,

paper one is good until the expiry date (day before 70th birthday, for class 'B'), or until you change any details on it......

....i.e. - if you wish to add or renew any other 'group entitlements' - eg LGV (lorry), PCV (bus) etc etc,

....or change addresss,

....or want to remove any accrued 'penalty points'.

Assuming a base line of someone who holds a paper licence issued before 1998, who has passed a test for a car (and/or motorcycle) before that date, then that paper licence is good until you're 70, as long as you don't move house.
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Re: Photo Driving Licences (UK)

Postby paulwatkins » Sat 07.03.2009, 19:46

Its interesting to hear your personal view on this Dave, but I wonder what the stance of the insurance companies is over this issue. :shock:

Just thinking out loud --- if your licence has passed the 'valid to' date, this makes it 'invalid'......so I guess that then means that you are then 'unlicenced' to drive a vehicle. Insurance policies stipulate that the driver must hold a valid licence. So, does this mean then, that the insurance policy is also invalid?

Imagine being involved in an accident, only to find that your insurance policy is void because your licence had 'expired' in this fashion! :evil: I dont think pleading ignorance with an insurance company with a payout on their hands will wash. They usually look for any excuse to avoid paying out, and this sounds like it may be a good 'money saver' for them in future :?

Is there anyone who works in insurance who can shed some light on this?
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Re: Photo Driving Licences (UK)

Postby dapinky » Sat 07.03.2009, 20:21

Paul, there is no insurance policy available in the UK which would be invalidated by an expired licence (under Part VI of the Road Traffic Act, they just cant do it!).

The actual wording on the policy will be something like:-

"providing the driver holds or has held a licence for, and is not disqualified from driving, a motor vehicle of that class"

So, even if you have only ever held a Provisional licence, many years ago, it cannot invalidate the insurance (unless you're banned!). This also applies if you have been banned, but have not actually re-applied for your licence back - you are still covered..........

.....now, the interesting bit could be the level of cover you have......

....ie, a "fully comp" policy, may restrict any payout to just third parties if you aren't legal in all respects (or at least, threaten to!)........

....I can't answer for the insurance companies, but only quote their responsibilities under the legislation :?
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Re: Photo Driving Licences (UK)

Postby paulwatkins » Sat 07.03.2009, 20:32

Thanks Dave, thats reassuring to know.

I think I'll be coughing up my £17.50 (or however much it is next year!)
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Re: Photo Driving Licences (UK)

Postby ShaunM » Mon 16.03.2009, 10:29

That works out at £1.75 a year - spare change/sofa?

£17.50 at the moment, but when I come to renew mine in 9 years time, I'm sure it'll be £25.50 by then....

How much is a passport renewal? £40 quid every 10 years?

Another tax - yeah, but at least you are getting something for it - high security ID and a license to drive

I wonder how much they will be charging for the ID Cards.......
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Re: Photo Driving Licences (UK)

Postby Monty » Mon 16.03.2009, 11:25

ShaunM wrote:That works out at £1.75 a year - spare change/sofa?

£17.50 at the moment, but when I come to renew mine in 9 years time, I'm sure it'll be £25.50 by then....

How much is a passport renewal? £40 quid every 10 years?

Another tax - yeah, but at least you are getting something for it - high security ID and a license to drive

I wonder how much they will be charging for the ID Cards.......



eeeerrrrrrrrrr i`ve already paid for my licence when i past my test :roll:

There are good things about this country but when it comes down to things like this the country absolutely is :censored: Sh*te, underhanded tatics my the goverment yet again :twisted:
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Re: Photo Driving Licences (UK)

Postby Stef » Mon 16.03.2009, 14:02

Although I see the value in updating driving licences, especially the photo, this country always seems to turn it into another rip-off Britain example.

For too long we have accepted what is thrown at us and all the 'jobs for the boys' and handouts to low lifes and the like. Our new economic times may start more forceful expressions of opinions and hopefully get our Goverment more on our side. Although, we are in too deep now in most situations.

A typical example of 'token gestures' and squandered public funds ican be seen in the disjointed patches of cycleway dotted through Kettering that have cost several million quid. Now Kettering can boast 'x number of miles of cycleway' and claim to be doing their bit for congestion and the environment... yadda yadda blady blah... Pah.

For an English only speaking individual with no 'skills' as such, where is a good place to move to for a better life?! :roll:

Goes to check passport and driving licence...

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Re: Photo Driving Licences (UK)

Postby ShaunM » Mon 16.03.2009, 20:13

Monty wrote:eeeerrrrrrrrrr i`ve already paid for my licence when i past my test :roll:


Just feel lucky then that you don't have to take your test every 10 years! :-D

Stef wrote:For too long we have accepted what is thrown at us


I totally agree - all the brits do is moan and winge but never do anything about the problem. I worked in France for a while and it was amazing how the government is run by the people of the country. I guess that's because they strike, march in the streets and make themselves heard when they aren't happy.

I don't know Kettering, but I'd rather the government "waste" money on cycle paths that people can enjoy, rather than funding the failing banks or paying out social security benefits to lazy arsed people who can't be bothered to do anything with their lives except put their hands out :evil:
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Re: Photo Driving Licences (UK)

Postby TheBard » Sun 22.03.2009, 15:43

Just to stick the ex-pat oar in, I contacted the DVLA two months before I moved Stateside and told them of my intended departure. I asked what I needed to do to update my address, because although I still own the property I've rented it and I didn't want my tenants being pestered with my mail. More importantly, as I explained on the phone, I wanted to keep my UK licence and keep it legal! DVLA pondered, wondered, and then told me they couldn't handle overseas addresses, and so my existing UK address would be okay just as long as I keep the licence up to date and contact them if I change my address in the UK anytime.

Sounded crazy to me, but I rang again and got the same answer!!!

So now I'm betting if I go to renew my licence, pay the stealthy-stealthy tax and get all the paperwork right, they'll mail my brand spanking new licence to the wrong bloody address!!!

Oh, and how I laughed when the DMV in Virginia offered to "exchange" my UK licence for a US one if I surrendered the British licence! The test was so damn easy I took it without even realising they had their own driver's handbook (a la Highway Code) and so now hold both.

Any thoughts on how to make the renewal process easier for the Brit one? Also has anyone else experienced this strange logic from DVLA? How can updating the photo be of that much help if they can't get my address right???
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