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lost driving license
Simon Jones white clock learner driver5 minute read Learner Drivers

Lost driving license

You’re checking your wallet for your I.D. and hang on… where’s your driving licence? We all lose things now and then, don’t fret, you can fix this.

Simon Jones

Lost your driving licence?

It’s annoying isn’t it, losing your driving licence? First things first, try and retrace your steps and think about the last time you used it, whether it was for that night out for I.D., or you saw it while you were flicking through your wallet to find those restaurant vouchers. If it turns up, you’re saving yourself time and hassle. But if you’re sure it’s gone into the abyss, it’s time to start applying for a replacement. 

How to apply for a lost driving licence 

If your driving licence was stolen rather than lost, you’ll need to contact the police because your details could be used for identity theft. 

Either way, to apply for the replacement driving licence, you have 3 ways – online, by phone or via post. 

To replace your licence you’ll need to: 

  •   be a resident of Great Britain (it’s different for Northern Ireland) 
  •   not be disqualified from driving for any reason 
  •   pay £20 by MasterCard, Visa, Electron or Delta debit or credit card 
  •   provide addresses for where you’ve lived for the last 3 years 

 If you apply online, you’ll need to also have your national insurance number and passport number to hand, and fill out your details. When you’re done, DVLA will send you a confirmation email of your application. 

 Apply for a lost driving license by phone

 You can apply for a replacement driving licence by phone on 0300 790 6801. Lines are open between 8am and 7pm Monday to Friday and between 8am and 2pm on Saturday. 

You can’t apply by phone if any of your details have changed, if your driving licence is damaged or if it expires in less than 56 days (90 days if it’s expiring for medical reasons). 

Apply for a lost driving license by post

If you want to apply for a lost driving licence by post, you can go to any post office and request a D1 form if you have a car or motorbike licence, or a D2 form for a lorry or bus licence. Once you’ve filled it out, you’ll need to send it to the address written on the form along with the fee. 

 If your name has changed too, you need to send the original documents to prove that as well. Postal applications take up to 3 weeks to be returned. 

How to find your lost driving licence number 

Your driving licence number has 16 characters and is unique to you. It’s on your driving licence underneath the licence’s expiry date.  

You can put your other details in such as name, date of birth and address when filling the form and DVLA will figure it out without the driving licence number. 

Provisional licence replacement 

You can apply for your provisional licence replacement in the same 3 ways as above. If you’re going to apply online, you’ll need to try and remember your government gateway ID when you first set up your provisional licence – now that’s probably the trickiest part. 

Can you drive while waiting for a replacement licence? 

If you’re learning to drive with your parents, borrowing a car or using your own car, as long as you’re not disqualified from driving for any reason, you can carry on learning to drive once you’ve applied for a replacement.

If you’re learning to drive with a driving instructor, it would be up to them. Most driving schools ask students to bring their provisional licences to their first session at least, so you might be let off if you’re halfway through. 

If you’ve already passed your test, you can carry on driving while you wait for the new driving licence, as long as you’ve applied for a replacement. 

Lost your provisional licence before your driving test? 

To put it shortly, you won’t be able to do your test without the licence card. Even if you’ve applied for a new one but it just hasn’t come in time. Ouch. 

If you’ve lost your provisional licence and don’t think it will come in time, you should re arrange the test date as early as possible. 

Had your driving license stolen?

Before you do anything, you need to first call the police if your driving licence is stolen, to avoid identity theft. 

If you’re ordering a new driving licence if it’s damaged or stolen, the process is pretty much the same as above, except you can’t order one by phone if your current one’s damaged. Ordering a new driving licence might sound daunting, but it’s a piece of cake once you know how. 

How to change the photo on your driving licence 

If you have a valid UK passport and your driving licence will expire within the next 2 years, you can give DVLA permission to use your passport photo for your driving licence photo. DVLA will also let you know if they don’t have a suitable photo and they’ll send you a form to give them a new one. 

If you want to update your photo anyway, you can do it through the photo driving licence renewal service. 

Found your lost driving licence? 

Worn that old jacket after months and found your lost driving licence with a fiver in its pocket? Treat yourself to some coffee with the fiver, but sadly you won’t be able to have the driving licence as a keepsake. If you’ve applied for a new one already or got the replacement, you’ll have to return the old licence to DVLA and explain what happened. 

You’ll need to send your old driving licence to: 



SA99 1AB 

Goodbye old friend. 

All in all, your driving licence is pretty important and probably the last thing you want to lose. Try to keep it in the same place and put it back each time you use it. And if you’re still learning to drive and you need some practice in a friend or family member’s car, we might be able to help you out with our learner driver insurance. You can choose as little as 2 hours and as much as 180 days. Got your back. 

Simon Jones

Worked for short-term car insurance provider Veygo for over 3 years. Been involved in building insurance products for learner drivers and people looking for temporary cover on cars, then telling the world about them through marketing campaigns. Also drive a bit myself, mainly my son around where ever he needs to go.

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