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Lost driving licence: Here’s what you need to do

Losing your driving licence can be frustrating and stressful. Fortunately, there is a straightforward process for getting a new licence.

Losing your driving licence can be frustrating and stressful. Fortunately, there is a straightforward process for getting a new licence.

If you’ve searched the house from top to bottom and still can’t find your licence, or if it has been stolen or damaged, here’s what you need to do.

uk driving licence application with l plates

How to apply for a replacement driving licence?

To apply for a replacement driving licence, you will need to:

  • Be a resident of Great Britain (there is a different process for Northern Ireland).
  • Not be disqualified from driving.
  • Provide addresses where you have lived for the last three years.
  • Be able to pay the replacement driving licence fee of £20 by Mastercard, Visa, Electron, Delta debit, or credit card.
  • Provide your driving licence number, National Insurance number, and passport number if you know them.

Apply online

If the details on your driving licence have not changed, you can apply for a replacement licence online. This is the quickest, easiest, and simplest way to apply, and your new driving licence should arrive within a week.

Remember to always apply through the official GOV.UK website and not through a third-party agency. These misleading websites may charge additional fees and your application might not even get processed.

You will receive a confirmation email from the DVLA once you have applied for a replacement licence online.

Apply by phone

Alternatively, you can apply for a replacement licence by phoning the DVLA on 0330 790 6801. Lines are open between 8 am and 7 pm Monday to Friday and between 8 am and 2 pm on Saturdays.

You cannot apply by phone if any of your details have changed or if your licence expires within 56 days.

Apply by post

You can also apply for a replacement licence by post by completing either a D1 application for a car or motorbike licence or a D2 application for a lorry or bus licence. The D1 or D2 application forms are available online, or you can collect a form from your local post office.

Note: postal applications may take longer to process, and you should also send a cheque for the full amount with your application to:

DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1AB.

If your driving licence has been stolen

If your driving licence has been stolen, you will need to contact the police as soon as possible to protect yourself against fraud attempts.

Cost for a replacement driving licence

The cost to replace a lost, damaged, or stolen driving licence is £20. You can make a payment by debit or credit card when you apply for your new licence online. For postal applications, you can enclose a cheque for the full amount made payable to the DVLA.

The cost of a replacement driving licence is £20. If you apply for a replacement online with a debit or credit card.

Can you drive while waiting for a replacement driving licence?

Most motorists can drive while they wait for their application to be processed, providing:

  • They have not been disqualified from driving,
  • Refused a licence on medical grounds,
  • Or told they cannot drive for any other reason.

Do you need ID for a replacement licence?

In most cases, the DVLA can get the photo and signature for your replacement driving licence from your passport, if you provide a valid passport number

What happens if you find your old licence?

If you find your old driving licence, you will need to return it to the DVLA if you have applied for or received your new licence. You will also need to explain to the DVLA what happened.

What happens if the details on the replacement licence are incorrect?

If there is a mistake on your new driving licence, you will need to return it to the DVLA with a letter explaining what is wrong.

Failing to keep your driving licence up to date with the correct information is an offence and could land you a hefty fine.

What happens if the new licence hasn’t arrived?

You should allow at least three weeks for your replacement licence to arrive before contacting the DVLA. If you have completed an online application, you can track its progress. You’ll need the application reference number, which is emailed to you after you applied. The number is usually 14 digits long.

Does a lost licence affect motor insurance?

Losing your driving licence does not affect your motor insurance premium. However, some insurers may require your driving licence number when providing a quotation.

Can you still do your driving test if you’ve lost your provisional?

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to take your driving test if you don’t have your driving licence. You will need to apply for a new one before you take your test or rearrange your test if your licence does not arrive in time.

If you turn up to your test without your driving licence, your test will be cancelled, and you will not get your money back.

How to keep your driving licence safe?

Many motorists believe they should carry their licence around, but this isn’t necessarily the case.

If you get pulled over by the police, they may ask to see your driving licence. But don’t worry if you don’t have it with you at the time. You have 7 days to take your licence and other documents to the police station.

Keep your driving licence in one safe and secure place at home along with other important documents, so that you don’t run the risk of losing your licence when you’re out and about.

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