Photocard Driving Licences Explained
This page presents information on photocard driving licences; you may also wish to obtain a copy of DVLA leaflets INF45 (Your photocard driving licence explained) available
Photocard licences were introduced as a result of a EU Directive requiring all member states to issue driving licences in a card format and to contain the licence holder's image and signature. There are numerous benefits that photocard driving licences offer:
A more secure format which reduces the opportunity for mis-representation;
Ensuring that the person obtaining a provisional licence, taking the test and obtaining a full driving licence are one and the same;
A reduction in impersonations at driving tests;
Ensuring that the person obtaining the licence is old enough to do so;
To minimise the chances of a person holding more than one licence, either by accident or design; and
increased accuracy of the DVLA database, which will in turn provide better information to the police and courts.
DVLA started issuing photocard licences in July 1998. Not everyone was able to apply for a photocard driving licence as DVLA adopted the following timetable for a gradual introduction.
Driving test examiners gave photocard application form D750 to drivers who successfully passed both parts of their driving test, thus enabling them to apply for a photocard driving licence.
Some driving instructors gave out photocard application form D750 to their customers applying for their first provisional licence.
Photocard application form D750 was sent out automatically with driving licence renewal application forms D42, D46, D47, or D48.
Customers applying for their first 'provisional licence' were able to apply for a photocard licence by obtaining a D750 form from a post office
Customers renewing their licences without using a reminder from DVLA were able to apply for a photocard licence by obtaining a D750 form from a post office.
Customers whose licence had been lost, stolen, destroyed/defaced were able to apply for a photocard licence by obtaining a D750 form from a post office.
Customers wishing to remove entitlements (the types of vehicles you are entitled to drive) or to remove out-of-date endorsements from their licence.
DVLA ended the issue of paper licences. The Agency now only issues photocard licences.
There are no plans to recall paper licences. You can still use your paper licence until it expires or until you have to send it to us to change any details on it. We will then issue you with a photocard licence.
We realise that you might want a new photocard licence even if your old paper driving licence does not need to be renewed or replaced.
If you want to change your paper driving licence for a photocard licence you will need to complete application form D1 (previously D750) and enclose your paper licence, original documents confirming your identity, a passport-type and size colour photograph and the appropriate fee.
To get a photocard licence you will need to complete, a D1 form (previously D750) send us your current driving licence, original documentation confirming your identity, a passport type and size colour photograph and the correct fee (where appropriate).
The DVLA checks on driving licence applications has been tightened up since the introduction of photocard licences. Customers applying for photocard driving licences are now asked to submit original documentation confirming their identity.
The following documentation is accepted by DVLA as confirmation of your identity:
Full Valid Current Passport
UK Birth Certificate
Certificate of Registry of Birth (Provided your name is present on the certificate)
ID Card issued by a member state of the EC/EEA
Travel Documents issued by the Home Office
Certificate of Naturalisation
If your name is now different from that shown on the document you submit to confirm your identity, you must also supply original documentary evidence to confirm your change of name e.g Marriage Certificate, Decree Absolute or Decree Nisi papers, Deed Poll or Statutory Declaration.
If you do not have a birth or adoption certificate, or the one that you have does not show your full name or country of birth, contact your local registry office.
Note - Birth certificates are not absolute proof of identity and so we may ask you to provide other evidence to allow us to check your identity.
If you have reached State Retirement Pension age, you can provide originals of one of the following in your name.
- Recent (within three months) bank or building society statement showing your pension payment.
- BR2102, BR2103 or BR2199 letter confirming your eligibility for the State Retirement Pension.
Do not send your pension book to DVLA
If your name is now different from that shown on the document you provide, you must also give us proof of your name change, for example, a marriage certificate, decree nisi or absolute, or deed-poll declaration.
The evidence you provide must show a clear link between the name on your identity document and your current name.
Your photograph must be:
Colour passport style and size (size of image 45mm x 35mm)
A recent and true likeness, showing the full face, with no hat, helmet or sunglasses, although you can wear everyday glasses.
Taken against a plain, evenly lit and light background.
Signed on the reverse by the person who has completed section 7 of your D1 form (previously D750) if you enclose any document other than a full valid current United Kingdom passport.
Warning: Black and White photographs and those not in the above format will be rejected.
If you send a full valid current United Kingdom passport with your application there is no requirement to have the reverse of your photograph certified.
If you send any other documentation to confirm your identity with your application you will need to have the reverse of your photograph certified. The person who signs the reverse of your photograph must also complete section 7 of your D1 form (previously D750).
Who can certify my photograph?
a local business person or shopkeeper;
a professionally qualified person, for example, a lawyer, teacher or engineer;
a police officer
a bank or building society officer;
a civil servant
a minister of religion
a magistrate; and
A local councillor or an MP (AM, MEP and MSP).
We will make random checks on people who sign photocard driving licence applications
Warning : This person must have known you personally for at least two years and must not be a relative.
Note: Some professionals may charge you for this.
DVLA will carry out checks on those who sign your photograph/D1.
Premium Service at Post Office® Branches
If you are applying for your first photocard driving licence, or already have a paper driving licence in your present name, and you do not wish to send your identity documents through the post, you may be able to use the premium service available at selected Post Office® branches. Your application will then be checked and your evidence of identity will be returned to you immediately.
Applications must be made in person and be supported by any one of the following forms of identity in your present name:
- Current UK passport
- DSS State Retirement Pension order book
- Proof of receipt of State Retirement Pension (a bank or building society statement received within the last 3 months)
- Proof of eligibility to State Retirement Pension letter (BR2102, BR2103 or BR2199)
The premium service fee is £4 and is in addition to the license fee. For information on participating Post Office® branches, call 08457 223344 or click on the appropriate link below.
DVLA reserves the right to see the original documents.
If your name is different to that on your UK passport/State Retirement Pension or you are not able or do not wish to use the premium service, you must send your application direct to DVLA (enclosing original identity documents and any necessary fee). Do not send your pension order book to DVLA.
If you have changed your address or are applying to renew your licence for medical reasons, no licence fee is required but you may take advantage of the premium service mentioned above for a fee of £4.
If you use the Premium Service at selected Post Office® branches and are paying by cheque, please make it payable to 'Post Office Ltd'. Please note it should include the £4 Premium Service Fee and will need to be accompanied by a cheque guarantee card.
Click here to link to the Post Office web page providing locations of participating Post Office® branches.
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When two transactions are involved:
If the application involves two separate fees, only the higher fee is payable.
For example: when a driver still holds a paper licence but has lost it the total fee payable would be £19.00, not £38.00 (duplicate £19 + paper to plastic £19).
The only exception is when a driver applies for a first full licence but has lost his/her current provisional licence - the total fee in this case is £9.00. (or nil if the provisional licence was issued from 1.3.2004 at the higher rate (£38.00)).
Please do not send cash, bank notes or blank postal orders. We cannot be held responsible if they go missing.
Make out your cheque or postal order(s) payable to: DVLA Swansea .
Please do not post-date your cheque - we cannot accept it.
Remember to sign and date your cheque and make it payable for the correct amount ensuring that the amount written in words matches the amount written in figures.
On the back of your payment, please write your full name, address, date of birth and/or driver number if known.
If you underpay, your application will be returned to you for the correct payment.
You will be required to renew your photocard driving licence every 10 years. DVLA will issue you with a reminder when your photocard driving licence is due for renewal. Once you are 70 you will be required to renew your licence every 3 years (A new photograph is only required once at age 70).
If your licence has to be renewed more frequently for medical reasons or because you are allowed to drive a bus or lorry, your photograph will not need to be renewed on each licence renewal.
The information in these pages is not a statement of law; it gives general information and is subject to change. You are advised to check this web site again before you apply for a photocard licence.