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Driving licences news - That's not you - 2009

Sorry to get a bit Anne-Robinson-on-Watchdog with you, but did you know that your driving licence can get out of date? And that the DVLA could fine you £1000 if it is? You didn’t know that, did you?

See, many of us in the Top Gear office weren’t aware of this, but the photo on your driving licence is only valid for ten years.

Which means you have to update it, and for that privilege you will be charged £17.50. And if you don’t, then you’ll be liable for a fine of up to £1000. Ouch.

So, check your photocard licence. Now. Unless you’re operating heavy machinery or something. See that date right next to ‘4b’? That’s when your photocard expires. If that date is in the past, stay quiet and get it sorted quickly.

The DVLA assure us they send out advance warning of expiries, but if you don’t receive it – because, say, your address isn’t up to date – then be warned. Though your licence lasts until you’re 70, your photocard doesn’t. Presumably because most of us – with the spooky exception of Tom Cruise – change appearance as we get older.

Which seems fair enough, except being charged for a new one does smart in another stealth-tax-on-the-motorist sort of way.

Anyway, that’s our worthy Watchdog story for the month. Look forward to ‘The Rising Cost of In-Car Air Fresheners’ in February. Can’t wait.

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