Driving licence delays will not invalidate your car insurance

Published 13 July 2020

Two of the UK's largest car insurers have pledged to help drivers who are affected by DVLA delays. 

HonestJohn.co.uk readers continue to report long waiting times for driving licence renewals. NFU Mutual and Admiral have both pledged to help their respective customers, by guaranteeing their car insurance cover during the delays. 

The DVLA has told HonestJohn.co.uk that it's working through a backlog of applications that built up during the coronavirus lockdown when it stopped accepting paper applications and furloughed many of its staff.

The DVLA website states: "It is taking longer than usual to process driving licence applications because of coronavirus (COVID-19)." However, some HonestJohn.co.uk readers have been waiting for more than two months for driving licence renewals. 

>>> My application has been with the DVLA for months. What's going on?

NFU Mutual, the UK's favourite insurer, has said its customers do not need to tell them if the DVLA is late processing their licence renewals because it won’t affect their cover under any circumstances.

Admiral told HonestJohn.co.uk that if drivers had "applied for a new licence and can meet the criteria of Section 88 of the Road Traffic Act, they will still be covered."

In June, the DVLA granted a seven-month photocard extension, but this does not apply to drivers who are renewing their entitlement to drive - which means the over-70s are excluded from the extension. Also excluded are those who only hold a paper licence rather than a photocard.

>>> I have glaucoma but can't get an eye test currently. Can I still drive when my licence expires?


   on 13 July 2020

My Driving Licence expires 16/09/2020. Applied on-line 7/07/2020 - took me three goes to get it right mind. (72 year old “Technical Idiot”)New licence arrived 10/07/2020! So I reckon the secret is dispense with filling in the paper application and apply on-line. Best Regards Steve Warner (Derbyshire

conman    on 13 July 2020

Some people have to apply by paper format but Road Traffic act 1988 makes no sense.
it states in one paragraph
While the DVLA is completing medical investigations to decide whether a licence can be issued we cannot tell you if section 88 applies . You and your doctor are in the best position whether you should drive whilst you are waiting for for licence to be issued.
then on the other paragraph it says you have to meet all the following criteria one of which says Your last licence was not revoked or refused for medical reasons.
My position is, I voluntarily handed my licence back after 12 months I have been told by my doctor I can drive.

Robert Lassen    on 13 July 2020

I am 70 in early September.

I currently have a Class C LGV ( Large Goods Vehicle OVER 7.5 tonnes that I currently have to renew annually and this license expires in late August.

DVLA sent me the 'D47 P' LGV license renewal form today for my LGV entitlement and a note stating that a Covid19 'D4' medical form Covid19 waiver will be given for 12 months from my current renewal date in late August.

DVLA has NOT sent me a 'D46P' license renewal for the 'over 70's that are said to be sent 90 days before my 70th birthday in September, that on its own would require a medical assessment to maintain my ' D1 ' Minibus and 'C1' Lorry up to 7.5-tonne gross entitlement's. My motor car license expires in 2022.

The question I am asking is ' Will I have to send a 'D46P' application as well as my existing 'D47' application with the medical waiver? If that is the case, I will have to wait until my new LGV license arrives with a new photo card license to replace the existing photo card license that they require with LGV my application?'.

I would also ask ' What can I do IF my new LGV photo card license does not arrive before my 70th birthday as my license would need to be returned again for the Car and light truck entitlement ?' OR, will my existing LGV application suffice for my 'Over 70 , Car, Minibus and Light truck as well

The online process does not cater for an over 70 who wishes to drive vehicles other than cars or motorbikes. This due to the medical forms.

Covid19 has certainly exposed the fragility of government departments!

Linda Moore    on 13 July 2020

I had an operation March 2nd and had to surrender my licence my consultant said I could drive after 4 weeks it's now 4 months and I have heard nothing from DVLA except an email saying it could be weeks before they sort it out it's so frustrating.

duffcarboy    on 14 July 2020

hi did on line renewal for my wife on 01/07/20 new licence back on 04/07/20.

Philip Clements    on 14 July 2020

Not a driving licence issue, but I have been waiting 5 months for the form V5C after purchasing my car from a main dealer on 18th February 2020 - it was taxed on line with no problems, so where is my V5C?

hissingsid    on 15 July 2020

I am 73 this month, and it was only by chance when on this site in June that I realised my licence was about to expire. I should have received a reminder at least 90 days beforehand but I did not.

Having no passport I had no alternative but to apply by post, so I paid £6.80 for guaranteed next day signed for Special Delivery. My new licence arrived on 2nd July.

Even if it had been delayed, the notes on the application form state that you can continue to drive provided that the DVLA has received your application. That is why I used a tracked signed for service, well worth the cost for peace of mind.

Kent Driver    on 15 July 2020

I knew my over 70 licence was about to expire and renewed on line. 5 days later my new licence arrived. Well done DVLA

Gerald Corr    on 16 July 2020

A question if I may Age 73

I was awaiting for the driving licence renewal form along with the normal questions about my health conditions but they have not arrived. I expected it as my father in law had one every 3 years. Have I lost my licence as it was renewable on 13/2/20 or will it arrive in the future in the meantime is the licence valid.


Dragonetti    on 18 July 2020

Spot on. Obviously some need to submit a paper application but for those who don’t I can only say- get used to the internet; it’s here to stay. Just did the online application to change to over 70 licence after my September birthday. I just received my new licence this morning. Took all of 4 days. If you don’t have internet access then try to get some help from someone who does. It really was simple and painless.

Beefyox    on 18 July 2020

All very well if your licence is 'standard'. For those with Group A, C1 & D1 categories, & need to keep them, there is no online renewal process. In our case we need a D47P? form but that is not available online. The frustration is compounded because DVLA are not contactable - cut off phone, email, chat & correspondence. I have 3 weeks beforer my licence expires at age 70 - what do I do after that?

Contax139    on 25 July 2020

I just renewed my driving licence photo card on-line midnight 19th July and received my new licence on 23rd July, it was my second over 70 licence and I had let groups C1 & D1 drop as I don't need them now. I applied 90 days before due and was shocked when it arrived so fast.

John Killeen    on 16 August 2021

Dvla give this section 88 out to people like myself knowing many insurance companies will not insure you l, if your GOV account says no license their while you wait for your license to be dealt with you have no leg to stand on the back log of covid why they haven't got better resources then Swansea is unreal
The back log is all they can say waited since March. My insurance is ending cause more stress to be able to get back into a job. It's not what you need, I appreciate the issue of covid but they should atleast have better well planned resources (back up plan) has they are struggling and being very stressed towards you when they have nothing else they can update you with. Which doesn't help me oh others in this situation.
I don't get why they give section 88 of insurance companies will not help people like us out the needs to some clarification between dvla and insurance companies to help people in our situation. Otherwise scrap the section 88.

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