More than 40,000 drivers risk fines of up to £1,000 because they have failed to renew their photocard driving licences.
Photocards expire after 10 years, unlike the old green paper licences, which were valid until the driver was 70. Drivers risk prosecution if stopped by police and may also find that their insurers refuse to pay out on claims they make.
The problem has only emerged in recent months because photocards were first issued in 1998. The first renewals were due in July last year, and between then and the end of January 173,867 photocards expired.
Figures obtained by The Times from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) show that only 128,987 of those drivers have paid £17.50 and sent in new photos to renew their licences, leaving 44,880 outstanding. Some of those drivers will have died or stopped driving, but the vast majority will have failed to notice the small print on their photocards showing the expiry date.
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