No driving licence extension during latest lockdown

Published 05 January 2021

Yesterday (4 January), the Prime Minister announced that England would be entering into another national lockdown in order to reduce the spread of the more transmissible Covid-19 strain and protect the NHS from becoming overwhelmed. However, it won't be exactly like the last lockdown.

While the rules have been tightened in many places, as well as being enforced by police, driving licences and entitlements won't be automatically extended as they were in 2020.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) confirmed to that there are no current plans to extend driving licence expiry dates over the latest lockdown period. This also applies to drivers who need to renew their driving entitlement when they reach the age of 70.

In September 2020, an automatic renewal was announced by the DVLA - which meant that drivers whose photocard licence or entitlement to drive expired between 1 February and 31 December 2020 wouldn't need renewing for 11 months from the date of expiry.

This was an continuation of the seven-month extension (announced in June 2020) as the DVLA struggled to process renewal applications amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. It was updated to include entitlements to drive in July.

>>> Prime Minister calls new lockdown "the last phase of the struggle"

All types of driving tests are suspended in England, Scotland and Wales, too. If your driving test is affected, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) will contact you if your test is affected and tell you what you need to do.

The lockdown means people will only be able to leave their homes for essential reasons, with the new rules expected to stay in place until mid-February. Despite saying the measures should be followed straight away, the new rules won't become law until Wednesday 6 January.

The Government has told people to stay at home, with the only exceptions being: to work if it's impossible to work from home, to shop for essentials, to exercise, to provide care and for a medical appointment. The police will have powers to issue fines or dispersal orders if people are caught flouting the rules.

Where travel is necessary, people have been told to stay local.


watney    on 5 January 2021

Re anything DVLA, jolly good if there will actually be people working there.

Will there?

Norwblue    on 5 January 2021

Re anything DVLA, jolly good if there will actually be people working there. Will there?

Don't bank on it. Someone I know has been told to stay home as he is in an at risk group and the number of staff testing positive is high.

Dvh    on 6 January 2021

So if your one of the key workers and your picture expires in the next few month. Does this now mean you cannot drive?
It means we could be short of some nurses and other key workers. I dont expect the police to use any common sense

DaveGGW    on 6 January 2021

Shouldn't be any problems with DVLA. I turn 70 next month and took advantage of the rules to get the new licence issued back in November - it took under a week.

LW2011S    on 6 January 2021

Tried to renew my daughters licence on-line only to be given message - 'no match found' !. But on checking for code to hire a car her licence details are there !. Rang DVLA, oh ! you will have to complete a manual D1 application. But, this will cost her an extra £3. I also queried the non-receipt of her renewal form but had no explanation. Something has gone wrong in the system !!!

AJ277    on 7 January 2021

I have to renew my licence in February.
I do not have a passport.
So does this mean that in the middle of Lockdown 3, I have to go into a main post office in my local city centre (5 miles away), take off my mask and have my photo taken?
I think that I would prefer a fine to coronavirus!

   on 9 January 2021

There are many who have suffered such protracted delays from DVLA even before they had the Covid 19 excuse to fall back on, that many are electing to drive and take the risk- this will increase if more people are incorrectly denied their licences due to bureaucratic incompetance

Philip todd    on 10 January 2021

My drivers license is due for renewal I don’t have a passport so I need to drive into town to get to the post office is this allowed during lockdown the post office is within five miles less than two miles to be honest I need to get it renewed or I will be fined I cannot delay it on the off chance that lockdown will end in February

   on 11 January 2021

My driving licence expires at beginning of March 2021 when I will be 73. I was sent a renewal form in mid December 2020. I have reapplied & returned my driving licence by post as required. I have early stage glaucoma, which I have declared to the DVLA on the renewal form I have submitted. My consultant has declared there is no problem with my field of vision test. However I understand I will be required, by the DVLA , to attend an independent optician to undergo a field of vision test before my licence can be renewed. As I am nearly 73 years old I would very much prefer not to go to an opticians before I have had the vaccine. In fact as I write this the government have just announced everyone should stay at home unless absolutely essential. Will I incur a fine or lose my driving licence if I do not agree to go to an opticians before I have received at least my first the vaccine jab ?

Angela (Hampshire)

The Ed    on 27 January 2021

Hi Angela, interesting this article, I’m 73 this year so need to renew my licence in May, tried to do it online early January 21 thrown out of the system 4 times. Do you know if you get an automatic reminder from them these days. Keep well and thanks

pistachiogreen    on 4 February 2021

Hello Ed. They do! My licence expires 22 March 2021 - I'll be 82 the following day - and DVLA did send me a reminder by post with D42 and V1 forms to complete and return; after doing that online on 14 Jan. DVLA emailed acknowledgement of receipt same day and later a letter dated 22 January which first said I needed a sight test but also admitted it couldn't be done at present - Clearly DVLA have priorities, one of which may be a reluctance to have 80 year old pensioners with a sight defect out on the roads, however local. However DVLA do mention Section 88 may allow me to drive beyond 22 March, but I imagine all Insurer's cover notes include the phrase "provided the person driving holds a licence to drive the vehicle" so I'm left hoping DVLA will arrange the sight test in time

Steven Almey    on 6 February 2021

Hi Angela.

I am the same age (06/03/48) with the same medical condition. Applied for my Licence renewal on 11/12/2020 and am still waiting for my Opticians appointment (Specsavers) which only the DVLA can arrange. Frustrating to say the least.

I had an eye test with Specsavers at end of October 2020 but the DVLA will not accept the results even though I have good vision for driving.

One bit of good news is that I have had my first Covid-19 vaccination.

Best of luck with your application.

Claire Ford-Hutchinson    on 11 January 2021

I need to renew my driving licence by February 21st 2021 and cant do it online as I haven't got a valid passport. My nearest post office for a licence renewal is 20 miles away. Am I allowed to drive that distance and take my mask off in the PO to have my photo taken,during the current lockdown?

David Hebden    on 12 January 2021

I recieved the reminder to renew my photo driving licence in December, 2 months before expiry.
I was able to renew without difficulty online last week and my new licence arrived in the post 2 days later.

This was a straight forward renewal and by giving my passport number ( which was renewed last year) they were able to use that up to date photo.

Nanna    on 18 January 2021

I will be 70 in 2 days time.I applied to renew my driving license in November as soon as I had a reminder.I cut my license up and sent it to the DVLA as requested and informed them that I was being treated for onset early glaucoma and was told by the clinic that there would be no problem renewing my license.But.was told I had to have a test at a Specsavers which I duly did on 28th December 2020and have heard nothing since.As I live in a village and need to drive to get food what do I do after I no longer have a valid license?

The Ed    on 27 January 2021

My driving licence is up for renewal on 21/05/21 I will be 73 do I get a reminder to renew please? I have tried to do this on line but I am apparently no eligible. Help please

Edited by The Ed on 27/01/2021 at 15:33

   on 28 January 2021

I'm a key worker and only got the forms though in December I'm a hgv driver, i called them to see what is going on and it's like talking to the walls, so as from tomorrow night i will be out of a job..nice one dvla

David Panter    on 7 February 2021

I have returned my renewal form to DVLA received a reply saying I need a test at Specsaver but not available at this time due to covid my licence expires on the 5/3/21 have tried to speak with Doctor with no success at the moment so doesn't look very good at the moment.

   on 16 February 2021

Stay at home unless you're a keyworker and protect the NHS and save lives......Unless we can get £21.50 out of you to fill the government coffers and then we couldn't care less about saving lives and protecting the NHS as you take your mask off to have your picture taken.

   on 17 February 2021

Provisional has expired this week, and I should be due to take my theory exam in a matter of weeks, if all goes well. I don't feel like I should have to renew my photocard provisional licence as my theory exam has been rescheduled twice already (from Nov 2020) due to government incompetence, yes Boris it is very sorry now we hit 100,000 deaths but would he listen to science before? Too little too late in my opinion. I hope DVSA push and honour those whose examinations have been postponed to have the same privilege as those whose licences expired between 1st Feb 2020 and 31st Dec 2020.

Kamaljit Choda    on 13 April 2021

I submitted my application for the renewal of my license on medical grounds in January and my it expired on the 17th March, I have been trying to contact them by phone, but no response. Can I carry on driving or not?

Yours Sincerely

   on 26 May 2021

My licence expired Dec 2020 have tried to ring dvla....joke I have tried the chat online option....joke I am now waiting on a reply of an email but u don't hold out much hope!
My message was ' not eligible to use this service' I have full up to date passport. It told me to get form D2 which is for bus lorry renewal? My licence has simply run out of date
I have been trying to sort over the last 6 weeks

majosh1948    on 23 June 2021

I am 73 and applied to renew my license for a second time in Dec 2020 following a reminder. My birthday is 23Feb2021.I returned a medical permission to contsct my GP if needed. There has been no change to my health since my first over 70s re-issue and I am fit and well. I have not received my license as at 22June2021. I have tried all methods to contact DVLA, phone is always busy, automatic reply to emails not followed up, complaunts system not accessable etc. Can I still drive while waiting? Please advise.

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