Lost Driving licence UK | How To Replace And Apply

So, you lost your driving licence and are wondering what to do next?

Losing your driving licence in the UK isn’t the world’s end, as you can still replace a lost driver’s licence in a few simple steps.

Among the many steps in replacing the licence, the first step is to inform the authorities, namely the DVLA and the police.

Whatever the cause, the DVLA and the police will start the process right after you apply for a lost driving licence.

uk drivers licence

Thanks to technology, replacing a lost driving licence is smooth and convenient.

Everything is done online as long as you meet the requirements and other needed documentation.

If you need to replace your lost driving licence, this article tackles everything you need to know from step 1 to the last.

I’ll go through all the details of dealing with lost driving licences in the UK, including what steps you can take to restore your driving privileges and how to get another driving licence as soon as possible.

In summary, here’s what the article covers:

  • How to Replace Lost Drivers License?
  • Steps to Apply for a Replacement Driving Licence
  • How to Apply for Lost Provisional License?
  • Options for Obtaining a Replacement Driving Licence
  • How should I proceed if I discover my old driver’s Licence?
  • Can You Drive While Waiting for a Replacement Licence UK?
  • Alternative Ways to Travel Without a Driving Licence
  • What to Do When My Driving Licence Has Not Arrived?
  • Tips to Keep Your Driving Licence Safe from Damage or Theft
  • Quick Summary FAQs Regarding Lost Driving Licence UK

Further Reading for Driving in the UK.

How to Replace Lost Drivers Licence?

What Are the Requirements

If you lost your driver’s licence, don’t worry! Replacing it is relatively simple.

All you need to do is contact the DVLA, who will issue a replacement for a small fee.

But first, you should contact the police and make a full report of the loss.

You can do this either as soon as you lose your licence or within 24 hours.

The police will take details of the loss, and if they find any more information on where it could be, they’ll let you know.

Once reported, you’ll get a reference number allowing you to go online with DVLA.

However, before you can apply for a replacement of a lost driving licence UK, the following are some requirements set by the government of the UK.

  • You must reside in the United Kingdom

To apply for a replacement licence in the UK, you should be a resident of Great Britain.

DVLA is not responsible for issuing a driver’s licence outside the United Kingdom.

  • You must be a qualified driver

You cannot be disqualified from driving to receive a new licence from DVLA.

If you are disqualified for any reason, you will have to wait until the disqualification period expires before applying for a new licence.

One of the reasons why you get a disqualification is not abiding by the country’s driving rules.

Hence, you may face legal consequences like fines or even imprisonment.

In such cases, the government can seize your driving licence, and you would have to get a new one after being released from prison.

If you are unaware of the primary driving rules, you can read our article on a visitor’s guide on driving in London.

Every country has different laws and regulations, so learn them first! It will save you from incurring penalties.

  • You must provide a three-year-old address

When applying for a new driver’s licence, you must submit proof of addresses where you have resided for the past three years.

The DVLA may ask for evidence to prove the address was yours.

Take photos of any relevant mail (e.g., electricity bills) and other documents like bank statements or payslips from that period and keep them on hand just in case DVLA requests them.

Moreover, to replace your lost driving licence, DVLA will use your passport photo for the new licence only if it meets the following:

  • Your driver’s licence has an expiry date of two years
  • You possess a legitimate UK passport
  • You authorize the DVLA to use your photo on the card

However, if the image in your passport isn’t appropriate, the DVLA will let you know and provide you with the necessary documents so you can submit a new photograph.

Steps to Apply for a Replacement Driving Licence

If you meet the above criteria mentioned, you can apply for a replacement of your lost driving licence.

Visit the page Replace a lost, stolen, damaged or destroyed driving licence of gov.UK and click ‘Start Now‘.

driving in london

The site leads you to the application page showing five steps to replace the driving licence.

  1. Authentication
  2. Application
  3. Summary
  4. Payment
  5. Confirmation

The first step involves the authentication process and security of your data.

It explains briefly to use only the buttons on the page, have your documents prepared, and ensure that your transactions are safe and secure online.

After clicking ‘Next’, the page leads you to a form where you have to input your details, including title, full name, gender, birthday, and birthplace.

The following steps under the authentication stage involve your addresses, driver record, security details, National Insurance number, and UK passport number.

Afterwards, you will proceed to the application stage and a summary of your application.

After checking your details for correctness, you will be asked for payment details and confirmation.

Regarding payment, the fee for replacing driving licences in the UK is £20. However, there are different fees for driving licences in Northern Ireland.

You can submit the payment through many options like Mastercard, Delta Electron Debit card, Visa, or Credit card.

It applies to all expired, stolen, or damaged driving licences.

How to Apply for Lost Provisional License?

A provisional licence is a document that allows people to drive a vehicle for a temporary period, typically between one and three years, depending on their age.

The provisional licence must be accompanied by a full driving licence which is then surrendered when the Provisional driving licence expires.

But if you have misplaced your Provisional permit, you can apply for a replacement Provisional driver’s licence by filling out the form given by DVLA.

The process of replacing a damaged, stolen or lost provisional licence is the same as that of a full driving licence as mentioned in the steps above.

The processing time is up to a few days. DVLA may also want you to bring ID proof when applying for a provisional licence replacement.

For example, they will require an original copy of your birth certificate or passport so that they can prove that you are who you say you are.

If this isn’t possible, they will allow photocopies of these documents as long as there is an original document to back them up. Moreover, the whole process also costs £20.

Options for Obtaining a Replacement Driving Licence

If you have lost your driving licence, there are several options for obtaining a replacement other than the online system.

However, it depends on the type of driving licence you may have:

For a photocard driving Licence

If you have a photocard driving licence, you can apply for a replacement by two methods.

Apply via phone

Call the DVLA to apply by phone if your credentials are the same. You cannot, however, register by phone if your licence is damaged, expires in less than 56 days, or 90 days if it is ending due to a medical issue.

Apply via post

Applying by post can take about 21 days or three weeks. However, it can take longer if an additional examination of your personal or medical information is needed.

There are different licensing forms available for different vehicles.

Fill out form D1 “Application for a Driving licence” provided by the DVLA form ordering service or Post Offices to apply for a car or motorcycle licence.

Check here whether your local post office has DVLA forms as some post offices don’t have them.

After that, you must post the submission to the given address on the form and include the appropriate fee (also shown on the form).

You’ll also need to supply authentic documentation if your name has changed.

For a paper driver’s Licence

If you have a paper licence, you can only submit an application by post.

Apply by Post Office

In three weeks, you should have your driver’s licence. Similarly, the process could take longer if your medical or personal information needs to be reviewed. The process of posting is the same as for a photocard driving licence.

You can do this by visiting your local post office branch with a form of identification.

However, you must call a DVLA employee at 0843 479 9821 to ask them to mail an application form to your location if there is no post office nearby or your neighborhood Post Office does not carry D1 documents.

You will need to enclose the following along with your application.

  1. Original documents verifying your identity

Here is a list of identity documents for your application for UK passport holders:

Here is a list of identity documents for your application for non-UK passport holders:

  • Current and valid foreign passport
  • Current and valid Irish passport
  • UK biometric residence permit (BRP)
  • Certificate of UK birth, adoption, and naturalization
  • Travel document
  • Document for state pension

These documents will be returned to you by second class post. Thus, you need to include stamped and self-addressed mail.

The documents are normally sent back in a separate mail from your driving licence.

In case you haven’t received your documents back, Contact DVLA by phone, webchat, email, or post.

  1. Passport-type photograph 
  • Digital
  • Printed
  1. Old paper driving licence if it has been damaged

How Should I Proceed if I Find My Old Driver’s Licence?

If you request a new driver’s licence and later discover your old one, you must return it to the DVLA because it is no longer applicable.

Even after receiving your new driver’s licence, the old licence should be sent back to the DVLA.

You can send it to DVLA at DVLA Swansea, SA99 1AB.

Can You Drive While Waiting for a Replacement Licence UK?

The answer to the question depends on the category and circumstances listed under Section 88 by the government of the UK.

Section 88 is a law enacted by the Parliament of the UK that provides regulations for driving licences and allows drivers to continue driving a vehicle even without a current driving licence. Here’s a list of possible scenarios.

  • You cannot drive until DVLA reissues your driving licence. However, if it is a provisional driver’s licence and you are waiting on the D1 form from DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency), then yes! You can drive, but with some limitations.
  • You may drive as soon as the DVLA receives your accurate and comprehensive request for a driver’s licence.
  • If your licence is revoked or stopped because of a health issue, you cannot drive. Before you may resume driving, you must wait for the DVLA to issue you a new driving licence.

Important Note:

  • Remember that while Section 88 is legal in the UK, it may not be recognized in other countries you wish to drive a vehicle in. So before you travel, I suggest you verify with the appropriate licensing authority in that country if driving without a current driving licence is legal or not.
  • You are only permitted to operate the cars for which you have submitted an application and are currently approved based on your prior licence. Click here to check the vehicles you can drive.

Alternative Ways to Travel Without a Driving Licence

If you lost your driving licence and need to travel urgently, you still have some options.

It includes hiring minicabs and black taxis, using public transport, or asking for help from family or friends.

Minicabs and black taxis are very similar in price and availability.

However, minicabs are found to be more comfortable for long distances. You can either book cabs via taxi apps on your phone or go to the nearest taxi rank or office of a local company.

Alternatively, if you live near a train station or bus stop with services going where you want to go, it may be cheaper than taking a taxi or private car hire.

Another option is asking for a ride from friends and family who have a car.

They may be happy to drive you, especially if they’re traveling that way anyway.

Just let them know in advance, so they don’t waste time looking for you at the pick-up point when they arrive.

What to Do When My Driving Licence Has Not Arrived?

Application for a new driving licence can take up to six weeks to arrive by post. If it hasn’t arrived yet, there are a few things that you can try before contacting DVLA.

First, check with family or friends as they may have received the letter for you.

Next, contact your local sorting office to see if they have an envelope addressed to you waiting for collection.

Before you may pick up the letter, you must present identification. If all else fails, contact DVLA Driver Licensing via their online form and let them know your driving licence has not arrived.

They will then arrange for a duplicate copy to be issued free of charge so that you can continue driving legally until the original comes.

The process usually takes around two weeks but can sometimes take up to six weeks.

To make the process quicker, don’t forget to mention your full name and date of birth, your current address, and the lost licence number details.

Once submitted, you should receive confirmation within ten working days, including instructions on collecting your replacement. You will also receive another email when the replacement arrives.

Tips to Keep Your Driving Licence Safe from Damage or Theft

A damaged or stolen driver’s licence will render it unusable.

Not only will you have to apply and pay again to replace the card, but the driving privileges may also be revoked while you await the new licence.

Hence, protecting a driver’s licence from damage or theft is essential.

The following tips will help you take good care of your driver’s licence and secure it against theft.

  • Don’t keep your licence in your wallet.

It’s not a good idea to put your licence in your wallet as it will take up room and could quickly get damaged.

You should store your licence with other vital documents in a safe place, preferably somewhere secure where thieves can not have access to it.

  • Don’t leave it in the glove compartment of your vehicle.

Don’t leave your driving licence in the glove compartment.

That’s because if you’re in an accident and the airbag deploys, it could fly out of the glove compartment and damage your licence.

If you have to keep it in the glove compartment, attach it securely with tape, so there is no way for it to move around.

  • Get the licence secured by laminating it.

The easiest way to keep your licence safe is by getting it laminated. It’s a simple process that will protect your card for years and only costs a few dollars.

Plus, the lamination will make it much more difficult for someone else to alter any information on the card.

  • Avoid folding its ends.

Be careful not to bend or tear the edges to prevent your driving licence from getting damaged.

If you want to click a picture of it for some reason, use a flat surface and hold both ends of the licence so that it doesn’t fold.

Quick Summary FAQs Regarding Lost Driving Licence UK

What to do if you lose your licence UK?

  1. If you misplace your driver’s licence, you should contact the police immediately.
  2. After this, apply for a new driving licence.
  3. When applying, you will need to pay a fee of £20 for a replacement licence and have your passport and driving licence number with you.

The application process typically takes three weeks, but if you are traveling within the next ten days, they may not be able to issue a temporary paper licence.

However, they may be able to issue a permit allowing you to drive until you receive your new licence by post.

Can I still drive if I lose my licence UK?

No, you cannot drive after losing your licence. Driving without a valid driver’s licence is illegal.

Additionally, if you are pulled over for any reason and have no driving licence, it can lead to hefty fines or jail time.

However, if you already applied for a replacement, you can drive with limitations under Section 88.

How long does a replacement driving licence arrive in the UK in 2022?

The time it takes for a replacement driving licence to arrive depends on what type you are applying for.

People who have lost their UK driving licence must apply for a provisional one. This process can take up to six weeks but is usually completed within four weeks.

Those who have lost their full UK driving licence must apply for a duplicate.

This process can take up to 10 working days and may take longer if there are any problems with the application.

Drivers must be medically fit before getting a new licence.

Moreover, they must also prove that they still live in the UK and that their name has not changed since their last application.

Do I have to notify the UK police of a missing driver’s licence?

Yes, you will need to report it at a police station. Make sure you have all your details with you, including where you live and what type of licence (i.e., car or motorcycle) you had before you lost it and that it’s not stolen.

Someone else can contact you through DVLA if your licence is found. They might want to charge for postage, though.

Can I take the driving test without a provisional licence in the UK?

No, you can’t. You will need a provisional licence to take the practical driving test.

The provisional licence is usable for two years and can be applied for at 17 years old.

Moreover, you can apply for a provisional licence anytime by completing an application form and posting it with the necessary documentation to DVLA (the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency).

The cost of the first provisional licence in the UK is £34. It takes up to five weeks for a provisional licence to be issued.

Final Words

Getting things misplaced is not a big issue when you have the option to replace them. However, taking precautions for valuable things like driving licences is best.

You might believe it to be merely a sheet of paper, but losing it or having it stolen can be costly.

You can obtain a replacement, but you must pay a charge.

Additionally, remember that if you are stopped by the police and found to be driving without your driving licence, they may decide that it is due to negligence.

So, it’s always better to keep up-to-date with the UK’s rules regarding driving!

Lastly, contact the DVLA with an official identity card or passport document to replace your lost driving licence UK.

They will send it to you within seven days of receiving your application. So, next time you lose something, make sure you don’t panic.

Just think about what steps to take before going ahead and finding out what’s needed for replacement. I hope this guide was helpful in some way.

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