Changes to learner and restricted driver licence expiry dates

On 30 November 2019, the government extended the licence expiry date of most learner and restricted driver licences. Their expiry date was extended by two years.

Who was extended

Your learner or restricted licence would have been extended if:

  • It was only issued for five years, and
  • It’s expiry date was between 30 November 2019 and 1 December 2021, and
  • It was current on 30 November 2019.

Your new expiry date will be two years from your original expiry date. 

We didn’t send you a new driver licence with a new expiry date. While your expiry date was extended in the Driver Licence Register, you still may have an old driver licence card that still has your old expiry date.

Who wasn’t extended

Your learner or restricted licence wasn’t extended if:

  • It was issued for 10 years, or
  • You had a zero alcohol or alcohol interlock sentence, or
  • You were suspended or disqualified from driving on 30 November 2019, or
  • You were aged 75 or over, or turning 75 at your next licence expiry date, on 30 November 2019, or
  • You were suspended or disqualified and hadn’t reinstated your driver licence yet by 30 November 2019.

What are my options?

If you choose to move on to the next stage of your driver licence, you’ll get your new class for 10 years.

If you’re sitting a practical driving test to move on to the next stage, there are particular requirements about the licence you show the testing officer before the test.

  •  Read more

    When you sit a practical driving test, you need to show your licence card to the testing officer. If the expiry date on your current licence card is before the day you sit the test, you may not be able to sit the test. If you book (or have already booked) a practical driving test, check your licence card.

    • If the expiry date is before the day you’re going to sit the test but your licence has been extended, go to an agent and do the paperwork in advance. Take the letter we sent about the extension with you (if you didn’t receive the letter, don’t worry – it might just take a bit longer to complete the paperwork). The agent will be able to give you a temporary licence to cover the day you sit your test. Make sure you allow plenty of time to do the paperwork and get the temporary licence before your test. While you could apply for a replacement licence card before your practical test, getting a temporary licence using this process will cost you less and mean less paperwork.
    • If the expiry date is after the day you’re going to sit the test, you don’t need to do anything extra.
    • Note that if your licence was not extended and has expired before the day of the test, you need to renew your licence before the day of the test.

If you’re not ready to move on yet, but you want a new driver licence card to show your new expiry date, you can apply for a replacement driver licence, or renew your driver licence.

If you renew, you’ll get a 10 year driver licence to give you time to practice your driving skills before you’re ready to move on.

Find out about changes to renewing learner and restricted licences

How to renew your driver licence

How to replace your driver licence

Other licence classes

If you have other licence classes on your licence as well, such as learner or restricted car or motorcycle classes issued before 1 December 2014, or a full car or motorcycle class, or any heavy vehicle classes, the extension did not apply to these classes (meaning their expiry dates will stay the same). If you hold any of these classes, make sure to check the back of your licence card for their expiry dates – you may still need to renew them.

Driving with your old licence

If you’re stopped by the police after the expiry date on your current card, they’ll be able to see your new, extended expiry date in the Driver Licence Register.