Motorists whose driving licences are set to expire will be given an automatic seven-month extension in moves to ease the pressure on motorists who are struggling to renew because of issues caused by the coronavirus.

The move currently affects around 1.4 million UK drivers who otherwise would have had to arrange a renewal.

The current rules state that driving licences are valid for 10 years, with an update required to replace photos and personal details. Those with photocards that expire between February 1 and August 31 will automatically be given an additional seven months to arrange a renewal.

This extension applies to the photocard only. If a driver’s entitlement to drive is due to expire and they wish to continue to hold a valid licence, they will need to renew this entitlement in the normal way.

DVLA chief executive Julie Lennard said, “This extension will make it easier for drivers who need to update their photocard licence with a new photograph. This means as long as they have a valid licence, drivers will be able to continue to make essential journeys.”

The extension is automatic so drivers do not need to do anything and will be sent a reminder to renew their photocard before the extension ends.