In a word, what is (really) required in practice, when changing address for a UK driver's license?

Consider, say, the situation where in the UK you are (genuinely) "living at a friend's house," or you've been spending a lot of time overseas. You may have no bank account statements, or utility bills, or lease.

Does any one have any specific, experiential, facts on this? Thanks!

  • One could have a cell phone bill sent to the friend's house? What about forwarding services? I am currently expat from USA in Europe and I have a forwarding service in the USA. Aug 25, 2014 at 14:41

3 Answers 3


Assuming you still have your paper counterpart, it's trivially easy. Just fill in your new address on the form on the back, and post it off to the DVLA along with the photocard. A week or so later, a new photocard and paper counterpart will appear at the new address.

There is no requirement to present proof of address when changing the address on your UK driving license, assuming you have all of it and don't try to do anything online

(This is especially handy, as it means you can then use your new license to prove your address for other things relating to your move)

  • It's absolutely incredibly that, in a word, you do NOT need to furnish POA. (If you're "living with a friend", it's usually a hassle doing this.) Thank you so much.
    – Fattie
    Aug 26, 2014 at 10:08
  • Why would you need to provide proof of address? You're sending them all of your old license, and telling them where to send the new one. No point lying as you won't get the new one, plus it'd be illegal. They want you to keep your address current, so they can find you if you're a naughty driver!
    – Gagravarr
    Aug 26, 2014 at 10:14
  • @JoeBlow I have opened bank accounts in a number of countries, and the UK seems fairly easy (but not the easiest) across all of them... KYC is a bank-only thing, but becoming increasingly common in some form or another worldwide. Much of the rest of the government seems fairly relaxed, but if you have counter examples best ask them, as you might find you're just tackling it the wrong way and we can help!
    – Gagravarr
    Aug 26, 2014 at 10:27
  • Note that from 8 June 2015 the UK will no longer issue paper parts for driving licences and these will no longer be valid or required. So after that date this will no longer be possible. Mar 21, 2015 at 0:43
  • @MichaelHampton They must be introducing a way to change your license with just the photocard from that date, which will make things even easier! We'll have to look in a few months and see exactly what that route is (probably downloading a form from online and completing)
    – Gagravarr
    Mar 21, 2015 at 0:45

You only need to change the address on your UK driving licence, if you are a resident in the UK. If you live abroad, but you still have your UK driving licence, then you don't need to notify DVLA of your new address (they can't handle foreign addresses anyway).

If you live by your friends, but you are not considered as a resident, then you still don't need to notify DVLA about your new address. Of course having a proof of address is kinda useful in the UK, and one of the ways is your driving licence, so while it's not mandatory, you might still want to modify your address.

To change your address one way is to fill out the "New Address" part on your counterpart driving licence, and then send you licence to DVLA. You'll get your new licence via post in 1-2 weeks.

Alternatively you can also apply to change your address online. However they will ask you for your residence in the last 3 years, and if you came from an EU country, and were not living in the UK for at least half a year they will not consider you as a UK resident, and will not allow you to continue the process. If you finish this process they will send you a letter where you have to send your old licence back to them. You'll get your new licence in 1-2 weeks.

I assume that in both cases they'll verify your address by the fact that you'll have access to the mail at that address, as the licence will be sent there.

  • @JoeBlow: I've just recently asked DVLA for a new (provisional) licence through the website. I'm not a GB citizen, but they didn't ask for any kind of POA. I always assumed they believe where you live from the fact that they'll send your licence and all related documents to that address. On the other hand If you apply by post using the D1 form you have to provide them with a proper proof-of-address.
    – SztupY
    Aug 25, 2014 at 17:51
  • @JoeBlow: the only thing they cared n the website whether I'm living in the UK for more than 6 months or not, to check if I'm a resident.
    – SztupY
    Aug 25, 2014 at 17:52

According to the UK Government, you will need the following to change the driver license address:

  1. have your driving licence (both parts if it’s a photocard licence)
  2. be a resident of Great Britain - there’s a different process in Northern Ireland
  3. provide addresses of where you’ve lived for the last 3 years
  4. have a valid UK passport or other form of identity
  5. have your National Insurance number if known
  6. not be disqualified from driving

Point 2. is going to be a problem. If you are travelling a lot, going from country to country, defining your residency is going to be tricky.

Surprisingly, this page does not indicate that you need a proof of address for your current address. I am wondering if it is implied by 3. which requires a 3-year address history.

Have you consider using a foreign driver license to drive in Great Britain?

  • 1
    TBC @DavidSegonds, you couldn't even call it a "form" - there's literally just one space "write in your new address" and then send it to Box... How bizarre. Perhaps I was idiotic to think it would be a "fascist", paperwork-fueled process?
    – Fattie
    Aug 25, 2014 at 17:11

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