The DVLA’s role in administering driving licences

The DVLA is responsible for issuing, and maintaining records of, driving licences in Britain. You can contact the DVLA to deal with issues such as applying for a provisional licence, changing the name or address on your licence, renewing the photograph on your licence and many more.

Driving licences are vital for anyone who wishes to operate a motor vehicle, and it is imperative that they keep the personal details contained thereon up to date. This can be done by notifying the DVLA of any change in circumstances that should be reflected on the licence.

Licences for different types of car

The driving licence also explains if someone is entitled to operate all forms of car, or if they are limited to those with automatic transmission. If someone passed their driving test in an automatic, they will not be able to drive a manual unless they also take a test demonstrating their ability to do so. Passing in a manual allows them to drive either type of car.

Furthermore, driver’s licences will detail any eyesight issues a driver possesses, in order to ensure that these are appropriately dealt with for the purpose of operating a motor vehicle without causing mishap.

Penalty points

Driving licences are used to track any endorsements and penalties accumulated by a driver over the course of their motoring life. These will, of course, expire after a certain period of time, so a driver is not forced to drag the burden of a rash act behind them for the remainder of their life.

However, this does not mean that lenience is necessarily granted to those who behave poorly on the roads, as the endorsement codes will stick around on the licence for either 4 or 11 years, depending on the severity of the offence committed.

If a driver accumulates 12 penalty points on their licence before any of those points expire, whether it be through a few extreme offences or by committing multiple smaller infractions, it is likely that their licence will be revoked, due to a process known as ‘totting up’. Furthermore, if 6 points are garnered upon a licence within 2 years of a driver having passed their test, the licence will be cancelled and they will be required to pass the test again to regain their driving privileges.

Renewing your photocard licence

In order to ensure that everyone’s details are reasonably accurate, the DVLA will require you to renew the photocard portion of your driving licence every ten years. You will need to send off a new photograph along with the appropriate form in order to ensure that your licence is kept up to date.

Your entitlement to drive does not expire when the photocard does (as it is the paper portion of the licence which allows you to do so and this remains valid), but it is still a criminal offence to operate a motor vehicle without an up-to-date photocard licence, and this could lead to prosecution and a fine.

The Queen is the only person in Britain who does not require a driving licence to operate a motor vehicle.