Updating and Applying for a licence
Identity documents, photograph criteria and Post Office® checking service
Before a photocard driving licence is issued by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), drivers are asked to submit original documentation confirming their identity and a photograph. It may also be possible to have your application checked at a Post Office® if you dont want to send documents through the post.
The DVLA accept the following documentation as confirmation of your identity:
- full valid current passport
- UK birth certificate
- certificate of registry of birth (provided your name is present on the certificate)
- adoption certificate
- identity card issued by a member state of the European Community / European Economic Area (EC/EEC)
- travel documents issued by the Home Office
- Certificate off naturalisation
If you dont have a birth or adoption certificate, or the one that you have does not show your full name or country of birth, contact your local registry office. NB birth certificates are not absolute proof of identity and so DVLA may ask you to provide other evidence to confirm your identity.
If you have reached state retirement pension age, you can provide originals of one of the following in your name (do not send your pension book to DVLA).
- recent (within three months) bank or building society statement showing your pension payment
- BR2102, BR2103 or BR2199 letter confirming your eligibility for the state retirement pension
If your name has changed from that shown on the document you provide, you must also give DVLA proof of your name change, eg a marriage certificate, decree nisi or absolute, or deed-poll declaration. The evidence you provide must show a clear link between the name on your identity document and your current name.
What criteria does my photograph have to meet?
Your photograph must be:
- colour passport style and size (size of image 45mm x 35mm)
- a recent and true likeness, showing the full face, with no hat, helmet or sunglasses, although you may wear everyday glasses
- taken against a plain light and evenly lit background
- signed on the reverse by the person who has completed section seven of your D1 form (if you enclose any document other than a full valid current United Kingdom (UK) passport)
Will I need my photograph certified?
If you send a full valid current UK passport with your application there is no need to have the reverse of your photograph certified.
If you send any other documentation to confirm your identity with your application you will need to have the reverse of your photograph certified. The person who signs the reverse of your photograph must also complete section seven of your D1 form.
Who can certify my photograph?
- a local business person or shopkeeper
- a librarian
- a professionally qualified person, for example, a lawyer, teacher or engineer
- police officer
- a bank or building society officer
- a civil servant
- a minister of religion
- a magistrate
- a local councilor or an MP (AM, MEP and MSP)
This person must have known you personally for at least two years and must not be a relative.
The DVLA will make random checks on people who sign photocard driving licence applications.
Some professionals may charge you for this.
DVLA will carry out checks on those who sign your photograph and D1 form.
Premium service at Post Office® branches
If you are applying for a photocard driving licence where you have to provide identification and photo, you may be able to use the premium service available at selected Post Office® branches. Rather than sending your documents through the post, your application will be checked and your identification will be returned to you immediately.
Applications must be made in person and be supported by any one of the following forms of identity in your present name:
- current UK passport
- Department of Working Pensions (DWP) state retirement pension order book
- proof of receipt of state retirement pension (a bank or building society statement received within the last three months)
- proof of eligibility to state retirement pension letter (BR2102, BR2103 or BR2199)
The premium service fee is £4 and is in addition to the licence fee. For information on participating Post Office branches, call 0845 722 3344 or visit the link below. DVLA reserves the right to see the original documents.