Hello.

For this article to justify its place on my naval website, I am going to have to call it

Navy and ex navy personnel Driving Licences.

I am posting this for your benefit because in printed matter, there is no DVLA or Police sponsored literature which will guide you in this matter should it occur to you.

There are two types of driving licences in the UK.  Whilst not called so or referred to as such, they are LONG TERM and SHORT TERM licences.  Although it smacks of ageism [and therefore prejudicial], those under the age of 70 [when a certain event occurs] have long term and those over 70 [when a certain event occurs] have short term licences.

LONG TERM.  If you have a modern licence [a 'photo card], the FRONT of your licence, at Section 4b, will give a date.  The photograph on your licence lasts for 10 years and this date tells you when you need to replace that photograph. If you are under 70 when this date occurs you have a LONG TERM licence and you will be warned by letter from the DVLA two months before this date,  that you must submit a new photograph which of course leads to a new licence being issued.  If you allow this date to expire without heeding the warning from the DVLA, it will render your licence OUT OF DATE and thus INVALID, DESPITE the stated expiration date on the BACK of your licence.

SHORT TERM.  If you have a modern licence [a 'photo card], the FRONT of your licence, at Section 4b, will give a date.  The photograph on your licence lasts for 10 years and this date tells you when you need to replace that photograph. If you are over 70 when this date occurs you have a SHORT TERM licence.   You will NOT be warned by letter from the DVLA two months before this date, and you take no action whatsoever AS LONG as the date on the BACK of the licence is still extant. Therefore, for all outward appearances, the FRONT of your licence APPEARS to be out of date whereas the BACK of your licence is the correct expiration date of your licence.  If you are stopped by the police and you have to show your licence, an inexperienced police officer might make heavy-weather out of the anomaly, which, remember is not written down by the DVLA.  Stand your ground.  You could also experience difficulties when offering your licence as proof of identity for things like buying currency for your holidays under the money laundering rules.  Again, the date on the BACK is the date of the licence expiration and not the date given in Section 4b on the FRONT IF you are aged over 70 when that date expires. 

The next event for SHORT TERM licence holders is your 73rd birthday.  Two months before it, you will receive the warning sent out by DVLA to LONG TERM licence holders about the photograph expiration date. At this point, you submit a new photograph and receive in turn a new licence. This is repeated every THREE YEARS thereafter, always assuming that your health and eligibility is acceptable.

Hope this might help somebody.  Happy travelling.  Yours aye.