Many drivers are unaware that by failing to change their driving licence address when their residence changes risks breaking the law without even realising it. Yes, you have read it correctly. If your address changes, you must notify the DVLA immediately in order to avoid paying a sizable charge.
This guide will explain why it’s essential that you change your driver’s licence address as well as how to go about doing so.
Should I inform the DVLA when I change my address?
You must notify the DVLA when your address changes, whether you are a qualified driver with a full licence or a learner driver with a provisional licence. Even while it might seem like a bother, there are several very significant reasons why this is necessary.
The DVLA can contact you whenever necessary if you update them on any address changes, ensuring that they have accurate contact information for you. If you don’t, there could be much worse repercussions in the future.
For instance, you might have to wait weeks for them to resolve the issue if you need to file an insurance claim but the address on your licence doesn’t match the one on file. There is an advantage for you as well because you’ll want to make sure that anyone who discovers your licence sends it back to the correct address in the terrible case that you misplace it.
What happens if I don’t update my licence?
“You could be fined up to £1,000 if you do not tell the DVLA when your address changes.”– DVSA
Simply forgetting to change your address is a big price to pay. As a result, you should consider it seriously. Let’s face it, wasting 30 minutes of your time filling out paperwork is still better than paying a £1,000 fine.
How to change the address on your driving licence
For qualified and learner drivers, the DVLA makes the process straightforward enough. If your address has changed, you can notify the DVLA online or by post. Unless you want to update your photo, both options are free.
You must submit your application via mail, not online, if you want to notify the DVLA of your name change at the same time and save time. You cannot update your UK driving licence with your new address if you are relocating abroad. The DVLA advises you to get in touch with the driving licence office in your new country of residence instead.
Changing your driving licence address online
Before you start, you’ll need:
- Your driving licence
- To be a resident of Great Britain (there’s a different process for residents of Northern Ireland)
- To give the addresses you’ve lived at in the last 3 years
- To not be banned from driving
- You will also be asked to provide the following: your driving licence number, your National Insurance number and your passport number.
Follow the directions on this online form to get started right away, being sure to include all necessary information. Before you click confirm, make sure everything is verified twice because the last thing you want to do is to have to start over because you were too tired to do it right.
The DVLA will send you a confirmation email once your application is complete. They might also ask you to participate in a survey for research purposes, but you are under no obligation to do so.
Changing your driving licence address by post
You only need to send in a few forms; the procedure is exactly as straightforward as the online application. Depending on whether you have a paper or photocard driving licence, the specific procedure may vary, as I’ll explain below.
Photocard driving licence holders
You should have received a D741 form from the DVLA along with your photocard licence, which you must complete to amend your address. You might still have it if you tend to hoard a little bit. All you need to do in this situation is complete the “changes” section. No sign of your form? Simply obtain a licence application form online or pick one up from your local post office. You need form D1 if you’re operating a car or motorcycle. If you’re operating a bus or a truck, the form will be D2.
Once you’ve completed the form and received it, you must send it to the DVLA together with your photocard driver’s licence to:
If you want to change your photo at the same time
If you’re changing your address by post, you can, if you’d like, also change your photo at the same time. All you need to do is request order form D1 and complete it. The following items should be included in your application pack as well:
- A recent passport-style photo
- A cheque or postal order for £17, made payable to the DVLA.
- You will not need to pay the fee if you’re over 70 or have a medical short-period licence.
If you want to change your name at the same time
If your name has changed recently, you can update both your name and address at once, thereby killing two birds with one stone. Simply request order form D1 and complete it to accomplish this. Additionally, you must give the DVLA original paperwork bearing your new name:
- A marriage or civil partnership certificate
- Your decree nisi or decree absolute, along with your birth or adoption certificate, or UK certificate of naturalisation
- A statutory declaration
- A deed poll
Additionally, the DVLA requires that you present a driving licence or identity card with your prior name on it.
Paper driving licence holders
If you weren’t aware, the DVLA stopped distributing paper driving licences in 2015 in favour of photocard licences. The DVLA only recognises paper driving licences that were issued prior to 1998 as being legitimate.
If you’re looking to update the address on yours, you will need to send the following to the DVLA:
- Form D1 for car and motorbike licences, or
- Form D2 for lorry and bus licences
- Your paper driving licence
- Original documents confirming your identity, e.g., your passport or UK birth, adoption or naturalisation certificate
- A passport photograph
Your updated licence should arrive three weeks after you’ve submitted your application to the DVLA. After this period, if you still haven’t had your licence, get in touch with the DVLA to find out what’s taking so long.