We all know that moving house can be a stressful experience. What many drivers don’t realise, though, is that you could end up unknowingly breaking the law by not updating your driving licence when you change your address. Yep, that’s right—you need to inform the DVLA when you’ve changed address, or risk being slapped with a hefty fine. If you want to avoid that possibility, you need to make sure you know exactly how to change your driving licence address.
In this guide, we’re going to look at why it’s important that you update your details on your driving licence and how you can go about doing it.
Do I really need to inform the DVLA when I change my address?
It doesn’t matter if you’re a learner driver with a provisional licence or a qualified driver with a full licence, you need to inform the DVLA when you change your address. It may seem like a hassle, but there are some really important reasons why this is required.
Firstly, notifying the DVLA of any address changes ensures that they hold accurate contact details for you, enabling them to get in touch whenever necessary. Failure to do so can lead to even more serious consequences further down the line. For example, if you need to make an insurance claim and the address on your licence doesn’t match up with the one on record, you could end up having to wait weeks for them to sort things out. There’s a benefit to you, too—in the unfortunate event that you lose your licence, you’ll want to be sure anyone who finds it sends it back to the right address!
You’ll still be able to drive while you’re waiting for your new documents to be sent over, so don’t panic! It’s also worth noting that you won’t need to inform the DVLA of temporary address changes—e.g., if you’re living at a different residence for university—as long as they can still get in touch with you at your permanent home address.
What happens if I don’t update my licence?
GOV.UK, warns drivers, “You could be fined up to £1,000 if you do not tell the DVLA when your address changes.” Yeesh! That’s a pretty hefty price to pay just for forgetting to update your address. As such, it’s something that you need to take seriously. Let’s face it, spending half an hour of your time filling out forms is still a better alternative to forking out for a £1,000 fine.
If you’ve changed your address, it’s not just your driving licence that needs updating—you’ll need to update your vehicle log book (V5C) and your Direct Debit for your vehicle tax.
How to change the address on your driving licence
The DVLA makes the process simple enough for learner and qualified drivers. You can tell the DVLA your address has changed online or by post. Either method is free, unless you’re looking to update your photograph.
If you’re looking to save time by notifying the DVLA that your name has changed at the same time, then you’ll have to apply by post, not online. If you’re moving abroad, then you won’t be able to register your new address on your British driving licence. Instead, the DVLA urges you to contact the driving licence authority in your new country of residence.
What you need:
Before you start your online application, you will need:
– Your driving licence
– To be a resident of Great Britain (there’s a different process for residents of Northern Ireland)
– To give the addresses you’ve lived at in the last 3 years
– To not be banned from driving
When filling out the application, you will also be asked to provide the following: your driving licence number, your National Insurance number and your passport number.
If you want to change your photograph
Desperate to change that serial killer photo you’ve been lumped with since you first applied for your provisional driving licence? Then you’ll be ecstatic to hear that you might be able to change it at the same time as updating your address! It all depends, however, on how long your licence is still valid for. If it’s still valid for two more years, then you won’t be able to update your photo until you renew your licence. If, on the other hand, it’s valid for less than two years, you’ll be able to swap out that snap!
To do this, you can use one of the following options:
– Use the same photo as your passport
– Send a passport-style photo—you can’t do this online, so you’ll have to wait for a letter informing you how to send it.
Whilst it won’t cost you a penny to change your address on your driving licence, you will be charged a small fee of £14 for your new photo. Payment options for this include: MasterCard, Visa, Electron or Delta debit or credit card.
Please note: if you’re over 70 or have a medical short period licence, you will not have to pay anything.
How to apply online
To get started today, simply follow the instructions on the online application form and make sure you fill in all of the required details. Make sure you double check everything before you click confirm—you really don’t want to have to do it all over again because you were too lazy to look over it properly. Once you’ve finished your application, you’ll receive a confirmation email from the DVLA. They might also ask you to take part in a research questionnaire, but don’t feel obligated to take part—it’s completely optional.
Your new and updated driving licence should arrive within one week of your online application. Please bear in mind that you might be waiting a bit longer depending on how many applications the DVLA is dealing with. If it’s been longer than three weeks since you completed the online form, then it’s time for you to contact the DVLA.
Applying by post
Decided to apply by post? The process is just as simple as the online application, it just requires you to send off for a couple of forms. The exact process may differ depending on whether you’re a paper or photocard driving licence holder, as we’ll explain below.
Photocard driving licence holders
When the DVLA sent you your photocard licence, they will have included a D741 form, which is what you need to fill out in order to update your address. If you’re a bit of a hoarder, you might still have it. If this is the case, all you’ve got to do is fill in the ‘changes’ section. Can’t find your form? Before you go into full meltdown mode, breathe in and out—you can simply order a licence application form online or pick one up from your local post office. If you’re driving a car or motorcycle, you’ll need form D1. If you’re driving a lorry or bus, then it will be form D2.
Once you’re received your form and filled it in, you need to send it offer with your photocard driving licence to the DVLA:
If you want to change your photo at the same time
If you’re updating your address by post, you’ll also be able to update your photo at the same time, if you so wish. All you’ve got to do is send off for order form D1 and fill it in. You will also need the following in your application pack:
– A recent passport-style photo
– A cheque or postal order for £17, made payable to the DVLA. You will not need to pay the fee if you’re over 70 or have a medical short period licence.
If you want to change your name at the same time
If you’ve recently changed your name, you can kill two birds with one stone and update your name and address at the same time. To do this, simply send off for order form D1 and fill it in. You will also need to send the DVLA original documents in your new name:
– A marriage or civil partnership certificate
– Your decree nisi or decree absolute, along with your birth or adoption certificate, or UK certificate of naturalisation
– A statutory declaration
– A deed poll
The DVLA also stipulates that you must provide an identity document or driving licence that shows your previous name.
Paper driving licence holders
In case you weren’t aware, paper driving licences were replaced by photocard licences in 2015 and are no longer circulated by the DVLA. Only paper driving licences that were issued before 1998 are still considered valid by the DVLA. If you’re looking to update the address on yours, you will need to send the following to the DVLA:
– Form D1 for car and motorbike licences, or
– Form D2 for lorry and bus licences
– Your paper driving licence
– Original documents confirming your identity, e.g., your passport or UK birth, adoption or naturalisation certificate
– A passport photograph
Once you’ve sent off your application to the DVLA, your new and updated licence should arrive within three weeks. If you still haven’t received your licence after this time, contact the DVLA to see what the hold up is.
Now, if you’ve changed address, it’s not just your driving licence that needs updating. You also need to change the address on your vehicle log book (V5C) and update your Direct Debit (if that’s how you pay your vehicle tax).
Changing your address on your vehicle log book (V5C)
Thought you were done once you’d changed the address on your driving licence? Think again—you’ll have to do the same with your vehicle log book, or risk a fine. Fortunately, as with updating your address on your driving licence, it’s usually free to change address on your log book. Wondering why it’s so important? If the DVLA has the wrong address, you won’t receive your vehicle tax reminder letter (V11) and you won’t get any vehicle tax refunds.
Changing your address
If you’ve changed addresses, it’s as simple as writing your new address in your log book and sending it to the DVLA. The section you write this in will vary depending on the style of your log book:
– If it’s a new style log book (with multi-coloured number blocks on the front cover), you’ll need to fill in section 3
– If it’s an older style log book, you’ll need to fill in section 6
When filling in your details, it’s important that you do not tick the ‘new keeper’ box. Doing this tells the DVLA that your vehicle has changed hands. You also shouldn’t fill in your name on the older style form. Once you’ve filled out the required section, you can send your whole log book (and any supporting documents) to:
If you’ve changed your name recently, you can update it in your log book at the same time as your address. Simply fill in section 3 or 6 with your new name in full—do not give initials or joint names. You will also need to provide a separate note to inform the DVLA that you’ve changed your name, along with proof that your name has changed, e.g., a deed poll. You do not need to do this if your name has changed because of marriage or divorce.
Lost your log book?
If you’ve misplaced your log book, or can’t even remember having one, don’t panic too much – you can just apply for a new one. Simply download and fill in the DVLA’s application for a log book (V62). Once you’ve filled in the application form, send it on over to the DVLA with a cheque or postal order for £25, made payable to the DVLA:
Please note, it might take up to 6 weeks for you to receive your new log book. If it still hasn’t arrived after this time, you should get in touch with the DVLA. Remember, you will need to actually have a UK address to receive your new log book. If you’re moving abroad, you’ll need to apply before you take your vehicle outside of the UK.
Change your address on your Direct Debit
Do you pay for your vehicle tax by Direct Debit? If the answer is yes, then you will need to inform the DVLA that you’ve changed your address. Fortunately, it’s a very simple process—you don’t even have to download any application forms! All it takes is a quick phone call to the DVLA so that they can update their records:
DVLA vehicle tax enquiries
Telephone: 0300 790 6802
Monday to Friday, 8am to 7pm
Saturday, 8am to 2pm
And there you have it! Now you have absolutely no excuse to not update the DVLA if you change your address!