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Tuesday, 2 October 2023

Replacing your driving licence if lost, stolen, defaced or destroyed

You must replace your driving licence if it has been lost, stolen, defaced or destroyed. You can do this online, by telephone, by post, or you may be able to use the premium checking service.

Apply online

You can replace your driving licence using the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) secure online service.

Interactive tool

DVLA also provides information based on your individual needs as an alternative to the content below.

Photocard driving licence holder

Apply by phone

You can apply by phone if one or both parts of your photocard licence have been lost or stolen and none of your details have changed. DVLA accepts the following credit or debit cards - MasterCard, Visa or Eurocard and the fee is £20.00. The telephone number is 0300 790 6801. Lines are open during the following times:

Driver and Vehicle General lines - Monday to Friday 8.00 am to 7.00 pm; Saturday 8.00 am to 2.00 pm

You won’t be able to apply by phone if you are a paper licence holder or if your photo is due to expire or has expired.

Apply by post

You’ll need to:

  • fill in the D1 ‘application for a driving licence’, available from the DVLA form ordering service or Post Office® branches
  • include the part of your licence you have if only one part is missing
  • send your application and fee to DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1AB

You’ll also need to provide original documents to confirm your new name if it’s changed since your last licence was issued.

If you need to renew your photo

You can renew your photo at any time, however, if your photo is due to expire very soon, it’ll need to be renewed before the date of expiry. You won't be able to renew your photo using the telephone.

Paper driving licence holder

Apply in person or by post

You’ll need to:

  • fill in the D1 'application for a driving licence', available from the DVLA form ordering service or Post Office® branches
  • enclose original documents confirming your identity
  • send a passport type photo
  • return your paper licence if it’s been defaced
  • send all your documents to DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1AB or use the premium checking service at selected Post Office® branches or DVLA local offices

If you find your old licence...

You must return your old licence to DVLA with an explanatory letter if you find it after requesting or receiving your new duplicate photocard driving licence.

When to expect your licence

DVLA aims to send your new driving licence to you within three weeks of getting your application. It’ll take longer if your health or personal details need to be checked. Allow at least 21 days for your driving licence to get to you before contacting DVLA.

When your licence is issued it’ll have a number of added security features. One of the main differences is a laser engraved black and white photo.

Driving before your licence is returned

You can drive before you receive your licence as long as you:

  • have held a Great Britain or Northern Ireland licence issued since 1 January 2024 or another exchangeable licence
  • aren't disqualified from driving
  • haven't been refused a licence for medical reasons or for failing to comply with medical enquiries
  • wouldn't be refused a licence for medical reasons - if in doubt, check with your doctor
  • keep to any special conditions that apply to your licence

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