The driving law that means a million drivers could owe a £1000 fine

An investigation has found that more than 900,000 drivers risk a £1,000 fine after failing to renew their photocard licence.

Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) figures obtained by PA news agency freedom of Information Request, show 926,000 people eligible to drive Britain Cards held on 3 September that expire in 12 months by the end of August.

This represents 2% of all drivers.

A small proportion of the 926,000 have stopped driving without notifying the DVLA.

Some 2.5 million drivers renewed their photocards after they expired or within 56 days of the previous year’s expiration date.

Driving eligibility typically lasts until one is 70 years old, after which they must renew their license every three years to stay on the road.

But the photocard must be renewed every 10 years to ensure that the image is a true likeness of the driver.

Expiry dates are displayed in section 4B on the front of the card.

There are good reasons to keep licenses up to date, beyond basic legal requirement.

Philip Gomm, RAC Foundation

Failing to return an expired license to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) is an offense under the Road Traffic Act 1988 and can be punished with a fine of up to £1,000.

The DVLA says it writes to people to remind them to renew their licenses 56 days before they expire, but many drivers miss the letters because they don’t update the agency when their address changes.

Late renewal penalties are not issued.

If the license expires while the DVLA is processing the renewal application, the person can continue to drive as long as they meet criteria such as complying with the rules of their previous licence.

After surrendering a photocard, a person who drives without renewing his license may be prosecuted for driving otherwise than in accordance with the licence.

Philip Gomm’s RAC Foundation Said: “There are good reasons to keep licenses up to date, beyond basic legal requirement.

“They are also a widely accepted form of ID and will definitely be required if you are ever stopped by the police.

“The upgrade also provides people with the opportunity to assess whether they are still fit to drive, and we think there is an argument for linking compulsory eye tests to the process, to ensure that we Stay safe on the road everyone though government This should help keep costs for motorists as low as possible.

“When you renew, beware of private Web sites that offer to help with the application but charge extra to do so.”

The DVLA advises people to renew on its official website as it is the fastest and cheapest way.

Applications cost £14 and are usually processed within five days.

Third party websites charge additional fees.

Postal renewal costs £17, while it is a Post Office There is a £21.50 fee.

A DVLA spokeswoman said: “We encourage customers to use GOV.UK as applying online is the fastest and cheapest way to renew their photocard driving licence.

“If you stop driving completely, you should inform the DVLA and return your licence, not keep it as old photo ID.”