The interactive website that partners The Car and Motorcycle Theory Test book

How long does a licence last?

These pages include extracts from the DVLA's D100 leaflet called "What you need to know about driving licences". You can download the original document by following this link.
This leaflet and these pages gives general information. It is not a statement of law.
Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the information reproduced is correct, Select All cannot not be held responsible for any inaccuracies.

Full paper licences for cars, motorcycles and mopeds normally run out on your 70th birthday. After that you must renew your licence every three years. You need to renew a photocard licence every 10 years, although your actual driving entitlement will normally be valid until your 70th birthday.

After providing a first photograph when you renew your licence on or after the age of 70, you will not need to provide any further photographs unless you want to do so. Other drivers will need to renew their photograph every 10 years until they reach the age of 70.

If you have a medical condition (see sections 17 and 18) which needs to be reviewed regularly, we may issue your licence for a period of one, two or three years.

Provisional entitlement for motorcycles

A provisional motorcycle licence issued on or after 1 February 2001 will be valid until your 70th birthday. If your provisional motorcycle licence was issued before 1 February 2001 it was valid for two years only. If you had not passed a test by the end of those two years, you may apply for a further provisional licence, which will be valid until your 70th birthday. Provisional motorcycle entitlement issued with a full moped licence is also valid until you are 70. (Since March 2002, provisional motorcycle entitlement has automatically been included on driving licences.)

Provisional licences for medium or large vehicles (3500kg or over) and minibuses or buses

Before you can learn to drive larger vehicles you must have a full car licence (category B or B automatic). You can apply for provisional entitlement (depending on your age) to drive medium and large vehicles (C1 or C), minibuses or large buses (D1 or D).

when you claim your full category B licence; or

any time after you claim your full category B licence.

If you passed your category B or B automatic test before 1 January 1997 your licence will already show C1, C1E (8.25 tonnes), D1, D1E. You can drive vehicles in these categories but not for hire or reward (in the course of a business of carrying goods or passengers).

Although these limited categories are included in your licence:

if you want entitlement to drive medium or large vehicles, minibuses or buses in the European Community or European Economic Area, you must apply for the appropriate provisional entitlement; and

you must not apply for theory or practical tests until the entitlement is shown on your licence.

To apply for a provisional licence for medium or large vehicles, minibuses or buses:

fill in form D2 (available from us,, Traffic Area Offices or DVLA local offices);

get a copy of the medical report form D4 (available from us, the medical rules section of, Traffic Area Offices or DVLA local offices); and

ask a doctor to examine you and fill in the medical report form D4.

Lorries and buses

Entitlement to drive medium or large vehicles, minibuses or large buses will normally last until your 45th birthday. After that, you need to renew your entitlement every five years until you are 65. After 65 you have to renew your licence every year. If you are renewing your lorry or bus licence and are 45 or over, you must send us a medical report form (D4). If you have a medical condition, your driving entitlement may need to be reviewed regularly. In this case we may issue your licence for one, two or three years. Please read ‘Your health’ and ‘Your eyesight’ (sections 17 and 18) very carefully before you apply.

If you are making your first application to drive a medium or large vehicle, minibus or bus, you must wait for your new licence to arrive before driving.