1.5 million motorists have an out of date address listed on their driving licence

18 Aug, 2017

UK drivers could face hefty fines for failing to register their driving licences to their current address. According to research from comparethemarket.com, 1.5 million drivers have an incorrect address on their licence. The penalty if you are caught driving with an incorrect address on your licence is £1,000, meaning that DVLA could claim as much as £1.5 billion worth of penalties nationwide.

UK law states that it is illegal for a driver to be incorrectly registered at an address, as current residential information is required should the licence-holder be involved in an accident. Drivers who change their address on their licence must also do the same on their vehicle log book and vehicle tax Direct Debit. Changing your licence address is free of charge and motorists can still drive whilst waiting for a new licence.

Many motorists are unaware of this address requirement, with over a third (35%) admitting that they did not know it is illegal to have anything other than your current place of residence on your driving licence. Young drivers are the least engaged, with over one in ten (11%) 18-24 year olds listing an incorrect address and nearly 50% confessing they are not aware of the law.

Motorists can incur fines for a number of surprising activities. Muddy licence plates are deemed a criminal offence which could also land drivers with a £1,000, fine while splashing pedestrians with puddles can lead to fines of up to £5,000. For more unexpected driving fines, click here.

John Miles, Head of Motor at comparethemarket.com, said:

“A £1,000 fine is a high price to pay for something which is free to change. The DVLA website is clear on the penalties if you don’t update your driving licence when your address changes, but many motorists may still not realise they are breaking the law. It is worth double checking all these details, including when your licence expires and that your photograph is up to date, as these details can also incur fines if incorrect.

“If your address is different on your driving licence and motor insurance policy it won’t invalidate your cover but it’s worth making sure all your records are as accurate as possible, as factors such as your postcode can impact your insurance premium, and can ultimately impact how much you pay. With plenty of drivers waiting to buy new cars as the 67 plates enter circulation on September 1 2017, now is as good a time as any to check your paperwork is up to date.”