Updating your car insurance and driving licence

They say moving home is one of the most stressful things you can do in life, and if you’re sitting in a sea of packing boxes right now, you’ll know why. 

There’s so much to do, organise and update. Who knows what could slip through the life admin cracks?  

Don’t let your car insurance or driving licence details get swallowed up because you could be in for a nasty, expensive surprise if you do. 

They say moving home is one of the most stressful things you can do in life, and if you’re sitting in a sea of packing boxes right now, you’ll know why. 

There’s so much to do, organise and update. Who knows what could slip through the life admin cracks?  

Don’t let your car insurance or driving licence details get swallowed up because you could be in for a nasty, expensive surprise if you do. 

Did you know you could be fined £1,000 for forgetting to update the address on your driving licence? Oh, and your car insurance could be invalid if it has the wrong personal details? And that driving without valid insurance is illegal?  

Here’s what you need to know and do...

Kate Hughes
Insurance expert
4
minute read
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Last Updated 2 SEPTEMBER 2022

When do I need to update my car insurance or driving licence details?

Now we’ve got your attention, here’s another slightly alarming fact. It’s not just a change of address that requires action. You’ll need to tell your car insurance provider if you:

  • change your name (maybe you got married or divorced)
  • change your address
  • receive penalty points on your licence
  • were caught speeding
  • add another driver to your policy
  • change the named main driver of your car
  • develop a medical condition that impacts your ability to drive
  • modify your car

Meanwhile, you'll need to tell the DVLA if you:

Did we mention that if you move house or develop a medical condition that affects your driving and don’t let the DVLA know, you could be fined up to £1,000?

Now also seems a good time for a little reminder about updating the photo on your driving licence every 10 years…

Why do I need to tell my car insurance provider if I change my address?

This isn’t just about annoying admin. The price of your car insurance is calculated using several different factors, including where you live. If you move to an area that’s considered less safe (e.g. has a higher crime rate), your car insurance could cost more. If you don’t tell your insurance provider that you’ve moved, you could invalidate your policy.

But telling your insurance provider about a change of address could also work in your favour: if you’re moving to a safer, less built-up area, or your new house has a driveway, you might find that the cost of your policy goes down.

Always let your insurance provider know if you move house so they can update your details.

Top tip: don’t forget to update any other changes in circumstance while you’re updating your insurance provider. If a house move means you no longer keep your car in a garage, for example, this could affect your premium. We often assume that keeping a car in a garage reduces the premiums thanks to greater security, but vehicles are so often damaged getting in and out that it’s not always the case.  

Do I need to change insurance if I move?

No. You don’t need to change your car insurance policy if you move house, but you might find that your current provider can’t offer you the same policy at your new address.

If that’s the case, you can compare car insurance with Compare the Market.

I’m moving house. How do I change the address on my driving licence?

The easiest and quickest way to change your address on your licence is by using the DVLA’s online form. You can also change your address by post. If you apply by post and have a photocard driving licence, you’ll need to fill in the ‘changes’ section on the D741 letter that came with your licence. Don’t panic if you don’t have the letter though, as you can get an application form from the Post Office.

Meanwhile, as long as your application has been submitted, you can carry on driving while you’re waiting for your new licence to arrive.

Do I need to change the address on my driving licence if I go to university?

Ah, another common driving licence myth, so let’s be clear about this. Yes, even if you change your address temporarily – for instance, you go off to university – you still have to tell the DVLA.

Can I use my British driving licence abroad?

No. You can’t register your British driving licence at an overseas address. If you’re moving abroad, you’ll need to contact the driving licence authority in your new home country to find out what to do.

Don’t forget that if you’re taking your car abroad, take the log book with you too. You’ll need it to register the car over there.

What happens if I change insurance provider?

Simply tell the insurance provider your new address and they’ll work out the price of your policy based on that.

My car logbook and insurance are registered at different addresses. What should I do?

Try to update the address for all your motoring documents at the same time. Trust us, it’ll save a lot of admin tail-chasing - not least because you’ll need to tell your car insurance provider your correct address and update your VC5 logbook to that address.

If you forget to update your log book, your vehicle tax reminder letter (V11) and any possible tax refunds will be sent to the wrong address.

My car insurance is registered at the wrong address. Does that make it invalid?

Potentially, yes. That’s why it’s so important to contact your insurance provider if you move house. We can’t stress how important it is that you make sure your car is insured. You’re breaking the law every time you drive if it’s not. 

How do I change my name or gender on my driving licence?

You can do this by post. You’ll need to send the DVLA your old driving licence, along with an application form and any supporting paperwork.

You can pick up an application form at the Post Office. You’ll need a D1 form if you drive a car or motorbike. If you drive a lorry or bus, you’ll need form D2.

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