In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the DVLA previously announced that photocard driving licences and entitlements expiring between 1 February 2020 and 31 August 2020 would be automatically extended by seven months. The DVLA has today (1 September 2020) announced that the extension of expiry dates has been extended to eleven months and applies to photocards and entitlements expiring between 1 February 2020 and 31 December 2020.
This means that drivers will not need to renew their photocard or entitlement to drive until 11 months after the original expiry date. For example, a driver whose entitlement or photocard originally expired in February 2020 was previously given a 7-month extension until September 2020 but will now have a new expiry date of January 2021.
The extension is automatic but operators should note that the driver record will still show the current (and not the extended) expiry date on the driving licence. Drivers will be sent a renewal reminder form at the end of the extension period and the driver record will be updated once the application to renew the licence has been made.
The extension only applies to full GB licence holders (including short period medical licences and vocational licences). It does not apply to provisional driving licences or where the licence needs to be renewed following a disqualification.
The extension of licence entitlement and photocard is an EU wide agreement, which will mean expired licences will continue to be recognised anywhere within the EU.
If a driver has already applied to renew their photocard or entitlement, this will be processed as normal and drivers can continue to drive whilst DVLA are processing their application providing they have not been told by their doctor or optician that they should not drive (further information can be found here). DVLA reiterate that by law, all drivers must ensure that they always meet the medical standards for fitness to drive when driving.
For more information, contact the Regulatory team at Backhouse Jones on 01254 828300 or Regulatory@backhouses.co.uk