In some situations, such as when changing your name or address, exchanging an old paper driving licence to the new photocard version is compulsory.
The information in this section explains how to replace, or convert, old-style paper driving licences for photocards online or by postal methods.
Common reasons for getting a new photo licence include:
Note: The process to exchange a paper licence to photocard is also available in Welsh language 'Cyfnewid eich trwydded yrru bapur am drwydded cerdyn-llun' (Cymraeg).
It is not compulsory to have a photocard driving license if none of the reasons for exchanging apply to you. Thus, as long as your paper licence is still valid, there is no need to exchange it for the photo version.
You will need to:
Important: 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 most Post Office branches.
As a rule, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) will use a UK digital passport photo. But, what if the DVLA cannot use it, or you want them to use a different one?
In this case, you would need to send a photograph to the DVLA address by post. The online application process would send you the correct form after completion. Thus, you would be able to return the form with your chosen photograph.
As long as you meet all the conditions below, you can drive while the DVLA exchanges your licence. To continue driving (all must apply):
The DVLA sends out a confirmation email after receiving online applications. They may also ask you to take part in some research by email (you can opt out of the survey).
Note: The DVLA produces promotional material titled 'Can I drive while my application is with DVLA? (INF188/6)' (e.g. the rules for driving while waiting for a licence).
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 using normal postal methods.
Complete form D1 to exchange a paper licence to photocard by post. You can get it from the DVLA form ordering service or from any large Post Office branch.
You would need to include:
You should send all the relevant documents and payment to:
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 How to Change Paper Driving Licence in the United Kingdom