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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71031
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I forgot to renew my driving licence at age 70. I applied

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I forgot to renew my driving licence at age 70. I applied for a new licence on line at 6pm on 12 May 2016. It was issued a few days later and the period stated on it is 12 May 2016 to 11 May 2019. Does it validate my driving between midnight and 6pm on 12 May?

Hello has anyone challenged its validity?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Not yet. I was stopped by police at about 3pm on 12 May. I expect to be prosecuted for driving without a licence on 12 May.

Sorry for the delay.

When did you licence expire?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
7 October 2015

If this is a renewal application rather than a fresh licence application then there is an argument that the licence can be relied upon from the date of application rather than the date of issue.

Normally you wouldn’t be able to put a time upon the application but if you did it online then it should be time stamped.

Obviously you do need to be insured as well though.

Can I clarify anything for you?


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** does not quite answer the question. The date of application and the date of issue are the same. There is no time of issue. Therefore I have a licence which entitled me to drive on 12 May. Clearly I committed an offence at 3pm on 12 May, but if the licence is operative and valid on 12 May, then this is a retrospective validation which nullifies the offence. Test it this way: the licence expires on 11 May 2019. That can only mean midnight on that day. That seems to support an argument that a renewal must take effect from 12.01 on 12 May 2019, not from 6pm that day. I see no problem with the contention, since this is a criminal offence and it is up to the prosecutors/DVLA to make sure their system works effectively. All they need do is specify a time on the licence (as with insurance certificates) or date the licence with the day after application. I suspect they simply have overlooked the problem, which probably only arises with on-line applications. Do you agree?

Yes, but your licence cannot be operative before you applied for it.

Im not sure I am understanding you correctly? You cannot back date the application.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have not backdated my licence or sought to do so. The DVLA issued it for the period stated on it, which includes the day of the offence. If the licence operates from 12.01 on 12 May then it seems to me to be a retrospective validation of my eligibility to drive on that day. It may not be what was intended but that's tough. As I say this appears to be a loop hole arising from the desire to be ultra efficient and modern with on-line applications.I appreciate this is not an easy point. Please don't feel it necessary to answer exhaustively. If a summons comes, I can deal with it.

I'm not sure I can really add to what I've said. There is an argument that it runs from the time that you applied.

It is really simple enough.

If you applied at 6pm then there is an argument that you can drive from that time.

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