New DVLA Photocard Licence

Why change the driving licence Photocard?

In December 2021 the UK driving licence changed with a series of design alterations for the full licence photocard and provisional licences issued.

The original photocard driving licences were introduced in 1999, and there has been a number of updates particularly since the UK was part of the EU. Now the UK is officially out of the control of the EU, the DVLA has decided to make some changes to the now new UK driving licence photocard.

If your existing licence photocard is due to expire, your photocard will be updated to the new version. If you require a licence check by your employer via a licence scan device such as a CDR from it may take some time for the new licence software to be updated and included by the service provider. In this case, you can use SMS invites, e-Permission or complete a D906 authority form issued by your licence checking provider such as or share the driving licence service available from the DVLA.

The main changes are the introduction of the Union Jack flag which now appears in the top-right corner of the card, replacing the EU badge. The new driving licence photocard now has the Royal Crest embossed on the front, much like a UK passport. A secondary holographic image of the cardholder now appears on the front, directly beneath the primary photo.

New UK English Driving Licence Photocard issued by the DVLA 2021

New DVLA issued Full driving licence Photocard

New DVLA issued Provisional driving licence Photocard

The new photocard driving licence number appears directly in line with other text, rather than being offset to the right-hand side as in the previous version. There are changes to the design of the colour shifting ink (ODI) on the back of the driving licence photocard. The shape and design of the authenticity hologram have been updated also.

New UK Welsh Driving Licence Photocard issued by the DVLA 2021

New DVLA issued Full driving licence Photocard


New DVLA issued Provisional driving licence Photocard

Why are they changing the driving licence style photocard?

There are two primary reasons why UK driving licences are changing. Firstly, the UK’s departure from the EU necessitated the removal of the EU insignia. While this was done back in January 2021, only basic changes were made to the design – so it’s easy to see why the DVLA thought it was time for a total overhaul.

Furthermore, driving licence photocard fraud remains a huge problem for UK enforcement, with criminals and fraudsters consistently developing new and advanced ways to forge identities. Regular design updates make it harder for fraudsters to keep pace with change and particularly the introduction of the advanced holographic identifiers and OVI colour shifting ink will make a significant difference in preventing driving licence fraud.

The newly-designed UK driving licence photocard is already being issued by the DVLA so if you apply for a new full or provisional licence, or renew your existing photocard licence you will be issued with the new style of photocard. All existing photo licence cards will remain valid until their expiry date. This means that you do not need to apply for a new driving licence, simply wait until your existing photocard licence expires or request a new licence if it's lost or stolen.

You should always update the DVLA if your personal details changed, such as a change of name(s), or wish to add other names such as a middle name. You must update the DVLA if you change your residing home address (£1000 fine is possible if you don't)