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Unwitting drivers face £1k fine over incorrect address on licence

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Written by: Paloma Kubiak
18/08/2017
More than a million drivers have an out of date address listed on their licence which could see them face a hefty fine of up to £1,000.

UK drivers face a big fine if they fail to register their driving licence to their current address, with research from comparethemarket.com revealing as many as 1.5 million drivers could be caught out.

As such, it said the DVLA could reap up to £1.5bn of penalties nationwide if drivers do not inform the authority of their most recent address. This is a legal requirement as the information is needed in case of an accident. The address on the vehicle log book and vehicle tax direct debit should also be updated.

However, the comparison site revealed that over a third of motorists (35%) are not aware of this law, while 11% of 18-24-year-olds list an incorrect address on their licence and 50% of this age group said they were unaware of the legal requirement.

Changing your licence address is free of charge and motorists can still drive while waiting for a new licence.

Comparethemarket explained there are other surprising ways motorists can incur fines, such as driving with muddy licence plates. Splashing pedestrians with puddles can lead to fines of up to £5,000.

John Miles, head of motor at comparethemarket, said: “A £1,000 fine is a high price to pay for something which is free to change. The DVLA website is clear on the penalties if you don’t update your driving licence when your address changes, but many motorists may still not realise they are breaking the law. It is worth double checking all these details, including when your licence expires and that your photograph is up to date, as these details can also incur fines if incorrect.”

Miles added that if your address is different on your driving licence and motor insurance policy, it won’t invalidate your cover but it’s worth making sure records are accurate as your postcode can impact your insurance premium and the price you pay for cover.

“With plenty of drivers waiting to buy new cars as the 67 plates enter circulation on September 1 2017, now is as good a time as any to check your paperwork is up to date,” he said.

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