Why can't I renew my over-70s driving licence online?

I'm trying every day to renew my licence online and, after entering all my details (a lengthy procedure), I'm told that I am not eligible for this service. I know that there has been an 11-month extension due to coronavirus but mine ran out on 7 April 2020. Where does this leave me? Am I driving illegally? Please help.

Asked on 16 April 2021 by Sylvia Chillery

Answered by Georgia Petrie
Drivers applying for an over-70s licence renewal, who did not have a British passport before 2017, will need to apply by post as they aren't eligible for the online renewal service. This is due to most British passports after 2017 not having a digital signature — which is required for the online service. I've also been told that the current wait time for an application by post is approx. 6 weeks.

DVLA is currently working on a way around this issue, however, it's likely to be a matter of months rather than weeks until it's resolved.

You'll need to send off a paper application if your licence has expired. Only drivers whose photocard driving licence or entitlement to drive ran out between 1 February 2020 and 31 December 2020 had their entitlement automatically extended from the expiry date, for a period of 11 months. Once you apply for a new licence, you can continue driving while the DVLA is processing yours — as long as you meet the criteria. Section 88 of The Road Traffic Act 1988 may allow you to continue driving even though you do not hold a current driving licence. But you'll have to check the criteria to see if you're eligible: assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/upload...f

If you drive on a licence that expired after the 11-month extension ended, then yes, you're driving on an expired licence — which is illegal. If your driving licence has expired, you could be liable for a fine of up to £1000. You need to get the application sent off ASAP to continue driving legally.
Similar questions
Isn't about time motoring organisations/press put pressure on the government regarding renewing over-70's licences? They are allowing cars six months grace for MoTs. A lot of over 70's need their cars...
Having read some of the answers in regards to the renewal of my driving licence, I'm still unsure if I have an automatic extension or not. I turned 70 three years ago and need to renew for the first week...
What is the position with over 70s driving Licence renewals in the current lockdown? My licence expires in early December but I have not received a reminder from the DVLA.

 

Value my car