The UK Rules
'Follow the Regulations'
Exchange Paper Licence for Photocard

Exchange Paper Licence for Photocard

There are several reasons for exchanging an old paper driving licence to the new photocard. This section explains how to exchange a paper driving licence for a photocard online or by post.

PLASTIC PHOTOCARD: Some of the most common reasons to get a new licence include:

It is not compulsory to have a photocard driving license if none of the reasons for exchanging apply to you. Thus, providing your paper licence is still valid, there is no need to exchange it for a photocard version.

Note: The process to exchange a paper licence to photocard is also available in Welsh language (Cymraeg).

Extra Help Exchanging a Paper Licence to Photocard

You can apply online using your Government Gateway ID if you have one. If not, registration for a Government Gateway ID takes place as part of the application. Either way, you will need to:

Note: You must apply by post for a change of name. Use form D1 for cars and motorbikes and form D2 for lorries and buses. You can get the forms from 'DVLA form ordering service' or most large Post Office branches.

Photograph used on a Photocard Licence

As a rule, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency use the photo on a UK digital passport. So, what if the DVLA cannot use your passport photo or you do not want them to?

In this case, you would need to send a photograph to the DVLA by postal methods. The online application process will post a form to you after completion. Thus, you can then return the form with the photo that you want on your licence.

Driving while a Licence gets Renewed

Providing you meet all the conditions you can drive while your licence gets renewed by DVLA. To continue driving all these must apply:

Note: Read the guidance titled 'Can I drive while my application is with DVLA? (INF188/6)' for more information. DVLA send a confirmation email after you have applied. They may ask you to take part in some research by email (you can opt out of the survey).

Other Methods to Exchange Paper Licence to Photocard

There are several other ways to apply for the new plastic photocard driving licence. You can make an application in person at the DVLA in Swansea. You can also apply by post.

Complete form D1 to exchange a paper licence to photocard by postal methods. You can get it from the DVLA form ordering service or from any large Post Office branch. Note that you will also need to include:

You should send all the relevant documents to:

DVLA
Swansea
SA99 1BU

Note: The DVLA try to send a new photocard driving licence within three (3) weeks. But, it can take longer if they need to check any medical details or personal information.

DVLA Exchange Paper Licence for Photocard in the United kingdom