It’s worthwhile knowing the process for informing the Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency that you’ve moved to a new property, as failing to notify them of a change in your address could result in a maximum fine of £1,000.
How to tell DVLA you’ve changed address:
Some useful things to bear in mind
Irrespective of whether you’re still a learner driver with a provisional licence, or a qualified driver with a full licence, the process for changing your address is the same.
It’s completely free, and even if there’s a bit of a delay in getting the paperwork sorted on the DVLA’s side of things, you can continue to use your old licence. On average, online applicants receive their new licence within seven days.
Even if you are only moving for a couple of months -- perhaps because you’re about to go to study at university -- you will need to update your details if your car is coming with you. However, you cannot put a foreign address on a UK driving licence.
You make applications for changes to UK addresses either online or by post.
Key Facts:Free, same procedure for all licence types, can be done online (takes around seven days) or by post. Continue to use your old licence while you’re waiting for the new one.
Change your driving licence address online
The process is nice and straightforward as long as you are prepared and have your personal details to hand.
First up, you need your Government Gateway ID and password. This is what you would have used to apply for your driving licence in the first place.
The other information you’ll require include the number that’s on your driving licence, your passport number, and your National Insurance number. Don’t worry if you’re missing any of these details, as you will be given alternatives to help verify your identity.
During the application, you may be asked to provide every address where you have lived for the past three years.
Do bear in mind that only motorists in England, Scotland and Wales can use this website -- and the procedure is different if you reside in Northern Ireland.
Likewise, you cannot use this page if you are currently a disqualified driver, and you cannot fill out one of these forms on behalf of someone else.
Things you’ll need:Your Government Gateway ID and password, driving licence number, passport number, and your National Insurance number.
Change your driving licence address by post
It is possible to change your driving licence the old-fashioned way through the post.
You need to fill out the “changes” section that appears on the D741 form supplied with the driving licence you are now replacing.
If you have misplaced this form or no longer have it, don’t worry. You can order a replacement on the Government’s website, or obtain a fresh copy by popping into your local Post Office.
Along with your application, you need to include your old driving licence.
The main downside with this process is that it can take up to three weeks for everything to be finalised.
Main downside:Takes up to three weeks.
Change your driving licence photo
If you want to change your photo, you can do so easily online if you have a current UK passport and you’re happy for the pictures on both documents to be the same. This application takes just seven days to complete -- however, it does cost £14.
This is still cheaper than going through the process by post, which will set you back £17 unless you’re over the age of 70. You need to fill out a D1 form, include an unsigned passport-like photo which has been taken over the past 30 days, and provide your old licence. Like with normal postal applications, it takes three weeks.
Key facts:Online application takes seven days, costs £14. Application by post takes three weeks, costs £17.
Change the name on your driving licence
This is another important thing to do promptly, as you could get fined by the DVLA if your information is not kept up to date. You may have had a name change through marriage or by deed poll.
Changing your name cannot be done online, only by post. However, it can be done free of charge.
You will need to fill out the relevant sections of the D1 form, provide your old licence, and offer original documents which can act as confirmation that you are using a new name. This could include a deed poll (which many companies can help you out with inexpensively to ensure the legal wording is right), or your marriage certificate.
Unfortunately, if you need to change your name and photo at the same time, there will be a £17 charge.
Key Facts:Only done by post, free of charge.
Change your driving licence address when disqualified
If you change your address while you are disqualified from driving, you need to write a letter to the DVLA.
Here is their address: DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1AB.
You need to provide information about what your old address was, where you are going to be living now, your date of birth and your driving licence number.
Key Facts:Need to write a letter to the DVLA
What to do if you’re in Northern Ireland
As we mentioned earlier, the rules for changing your details if you’re a qualified driver are slightly different in Northern Ireland. This, in part, is because they have a separate office -- the Driver & Vehicle Agency -- and also because the paper counterpart of the driving licence which was abolished in Britain in 2015 remains in force here. Similar fines apply if you fail to inform the DVA of any changes.
To change your address, you need to fill out the paper counterpart of your licence and send it along with the photocard to this address: DVA, Driver Licensing, County Hall, Coleraine, BT51 3TB.
There are also seven MOT test centres which can check your application for you. The list is here.
Things to do:fill out the paper counterpart of your licence, send it along with the photocard to the DVA.
Don’t forget your vehicle log book
Finally, make sure you don’t forget about your vehicle log book when you are changing the address on your driving licence -- irrespective of whether you’re in Northern Ireland or the rest of the UK.
You will need to update section six of the log book with your new address, but make sure that you don’t tick the “new keeper” box which indicates that the vehicle has changed hands.
Then, the entire log book needs to be posted to the DVLA using the address provided above, or the DVA if you’re in Northern Ireland. You should get it back within six weeks or so.
Things to do:Update section six with your new address (don’t tick the “new keeper” box). Post the entire log book to the DVLA (DVA in Northern Ireland).
Lastly, if you pay your vehicle tax by Direct Debit, you need to phone the authorities to let them know about the address change as any correspondence will end up going to the wrong place. The number to do this is 0300 790 6802.