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Update driving licence and car insurance

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How to update car insurance and driving licence information

When you buy car insurance, the provider will ask for various details about you, where you live, your circumstances and your car.

Your insurer will base your annual car insurance premium on the information you give.

So, if any of your details change, such as your address or job, it’s essential to keep your insurer up to date.

Failing to update your information could cause problems if you need to make a claim.

It’s also vital to update your driving licence if you move, as your address must match the one on your car insurance. Failing to update the Driver and Licensing Agency (DVLA) could result in a fine and invalidate your car insurance.

Fortunately, updating your details with your insurer and the DVLA is a simple administrative task. This guide will explain how it’s done.

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Why is it important to keep car information up to date?

Moving and changing addresses means doing several things to keep your car information current. You’ll need to:

  • Update the address on your driving licence with the DVLA
  • Change the address on your V5C car registration document
  • Tell your insurer you’ve moved
  • Check that the address on your driving licence matches your insurance details

There aren’t any set deadlines for updating this information, but it’s important to do it as soon as possible.

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Why is it important to keep car information up to date?

Failing to have everything correct could mean running into problems later. It could mean:

  • Your insurance becomes invalid
  • Insurance claims are rejected
  • Anyone you injure in an accident could take legal action against you
  • You could be prosecuted for insurance fraud
  • You could be fined up to £1,000 by the DVLA
  • Your vehicle tax reminders could be sent to the wrong address

How to update car insurance information

To keep your car insurance policy current and valid, you must inform your insurer about any changes to your personal information and vehicle. You can usually do this online or over the phone.

About you What you need to tell your insurer
Name change If you change your name by deed poll or after marriage/divorce
Gender change Ensure your gender on your insurance matches your driving licence
Moving house When you permanently move to a new address
Accidents Details of any accident you’re involved in, even if you don’t make a claim
Medical conditions If you develop a “notifiable” medical condition or disability
Driving convictions Driving bans must be reported to your insurer immediately. Tell your insurer about penalty points at renewal time
Your job If you change your occupation or role
About your car What you need to tell your insurer
Registered keeper If you sell your car or change the registered keeper
Where the car is kept Where you park during the day/at night – i.e. garage, private car park or on the street
Change of use This could be social, domestic and pleasure or commuting and business use
Annual mileage If this increases or decreases significantly
Named drivers Other people insured to drive your car
Modifications These might affect your car’s appearance or performance

The process of updating car insurance information

If you need to update your personal or car information, you’ll need to follow the process set out by your insurer. This can vary, but it can usually be done by following these steps:

  • Contact your insurer online or by phone
  • Tell it the details you need to change (i.e. name, address or occupation)
  • Provide any proof requested (i.e. a utility bill at your new address)
  • Pay any increased premium charges (i.e. if you’re moving to a higher-risk area or if modifications to your car result in a higher premium)
  • Pay an administrative fee if levied (this can vary between insurers; some won’t charge at all, while others will charge £20 to £30)

How to update driving licence information

The following tables show how to update certain information with the DVLA.

Note that the paper counterpart to the UK photocard driving licence was abolished in 2015 – if you have a paper licence, it’ll still be valid, but new and replacement licences will be a photocard.

Changing address

Information you need to give to the DVLA Your driving licence number
Addresses for the past three years
National Insurance number
Passport number (if you have one)
Cost of changing address  Zero
Ways to change address Online
By post

Changing name or gender

Information you need to send to the DVLA  Completed DVLA form D1 “Application for a driving licence” 
Original documents showing your new name/gender
Your photocard or paper driving licence
New passport-style photo if you have a paper licence or want to change your photo on your photocard
Cost of changing name or gender Zero (in most cases) £17 if you want to change your photo or £20 if you don’t send your old licence
Ways to change name or gender By post

Telling DVLA about health conditions

Information you need to send to the DVLA  Check with the DVLA if your health condition needs to be reported
Details of your driving licence
Your general practitioner or consultant details
Cost of telling the DVLA about health conditions Zero
Ways to tell the DVLA about health conditions Online

Replacing a lost, damaged or stolen licence

What to do if your licence has been stolen , lost or damaged Tell the police if it’s stolen
Provide the DVLA with your driving licence number, National Insurance number and passport number
Get a new photo if your licence is due to expire within two years
Cost  £20
How to replace your licence Online

The process of changing your name and address on your driving licence

Here are the various ways to process changes on your licence.

How to change your address on your driving licence

You’ll need to change the address on your driving licence if you move house. But temporary address changes, such as term time at university, won’t need to be altered if you’re still contactable at the original address.

Failing to tell the DVLA about your new address can result in a £1,000 fine.

You can continue to drive while you’re waiting for your new licence from the DVLA.

You can change the address on your driving licence in either of the following ways:

  • Online
  • Post

How to change your address with DVLA online

Visit DVLA “change your details”.

You’ll need the following information:

  • Driving licence and driving licence number
  • National Insurance number
  • UK passport number
  • Email address

Step-by-step guide

  1. Provide your details as requested: title, name, gender, date of birth and country of birth
  2. Provide your new address and how long you’ve lived there
  3. Provide the addresses you’ve lived at in the past three years
  4. Complete your security details to help the DVLA confirm your identity
  5. Include your National Insurance and passport number if you have these
  6. Provide your two-digit licence issue number and the 10- or 12-digit number on the back of your photocard licence
  7. Confirm you’re not disqualified from driving
  8. Confirm if you want to register for organ donation
  9. Double-check all your details before submitting the application
  10. Wait for your new licence in the post – it’ll take about two to three weeks

How to change your address with the DVLA by post

The process for changing the address on your licence by post depends on whether you have a photocard or paper driving licence.

Photocard driving licence

Complete the “changes” section on letter D741 that came with your licence. If you don’t have this letter, pick up a licence application form D1 from a Post Office.

Send both your photocard driving licence and the letter to:

DVLA, Swansea SA99 1BN

If you want to change your photo at the same time, you’ll also need to send a recent passport-style photo and a cheque or postal order for £17, payable to the DVLA (there’s no fee if you’re over 70 or have a medical short period licence).

Paper driving licence

Fill out the D1 form and send it to the DVLA at DVLA Swansea SA99 1BN.

You’ll need to send the following:

  • Your paper driving licence
  • Original documents to verify your identity
  • A passport photograph

Is my paper licence still valid?

Up until 1998, drivers were only issued paper driving licences.

From 1998, a plastic photocard licence and the old-school paper counterpart were handed out. Penalty points were recorded on the paper counterpart.

The paper counterpart was abolished in 2015, with penalty points recorded online instead.

If you hold a plastic and paper licence, you can destroy the paper version. However, if you only have a paper licence from before March 2000, you can keep using it as long as all the details are current. When you turn 70, you’ll need to renew your licence, and your new one will be a photocard.

If you hold a paper licence and need to change your name or address, you’ll be issued a plastic licence instead.

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How to update information on your car’s V5C

Your V5C is the log book that comes with your car. You must update your V5C if you change your address to match your driving licence and car insurance address.

Failing to change the address on your V5C will mean that reminders about car tax and any tax refunds are sent to the wrong address.

Updating your V5C online

You can change the address on your V5C online at gov.uk unless you also need to change your name or update your vehicle.

You’ll need the following information:

  • The registration number of your vehicle
  • Your log book reference number
  • Your UK address

If your vehicle needs taxing in the next four weeks, you’ll need to tax your vehicle online using your current V5C before changing your address.

Updating your V5C by post

How you update your V5C by post depends on whether you have an old or new style log book.

If you have the older style log book, you need to:

  • Write your new address in section 6 (this can’t be a PO Box address)
  • Sign and send the whole log book to the DVLA address in section 8

If you have the new style log book (with multi-coloured numbered blocks on the front cover), you need to:

  • Write the new address in section 3 (not a PO Box address)
  • Send the whole log book to the DVLA address in section 3

Updating car insurance or driving licence FAQs

Your car insurance must have the same address as where your car is kept. This is because one of the factors used to calculate car insurance premiums is the accident and theft statistics where the car is kept.

Your insurer may charge you an administrative fee for changing the address or any other details on your car insurance. These fees vary between insurers but are normally about £20 to £30, although some insurers won’t charge you if you change your address online.

It’s free to change your address on your driving licence with the DVLA or to change the address on your V5C log book.

No, the process for changing the address on a provisional driving licence in the UK is the same as changing the address on a full licence.

No, you need a UK address for your UK driving licence. Other countries may have different rules.

You must renew a photocard licence every 10 years. You’ll receive a reminder before your current licence ends. If you have a valid paper licence, you can use it until you reach the age of 70.

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Emma Lunn

Money Writer

Emma Lunn is a multi-award winning journalist who specialises in personal finance and consumer issues. 

With more than 18 years’ experience in personal finance, Emma has covered topics including mortgages, first-time buyers, leasehold, banking, debt, budgeting, broadband, energy, pensions and investments. 

Emma’s one of the most prolific freelance personal finance journalists with a back catalogue of work in newspapers such as The Guardian, The Independent, The Daily Telegraph, the Mail on Sunday, and the Mirror. 

As a freelancer she has also completed various in-house contracts at The Guardian, The Independent, Mortgage Solutions, Orange, and Moneywise. She also writes regularly for specialist magazines and websites such as Property Hub, Mortgage Strategy and YourMoney.com. 

She has a real passion for helping people learn about money – especially when many people are struggling to get by in today’s challenging economic climate – and prides herself on simplifying complex subjects.

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Amy Reeves

Editor

Amy is a seasoned writer and editor with a special interest in home design, sustainable technology and green building methods.

She has interviewed hundreds of self-builders, extenders and renovators about their journeys towards individual, well-considered homes, as well as architects and industry experts during her five years working as Assistant Editor at Homebuilding & Renovating, part of Future plc.