Motorists are being urged to check the address on their driving licence and car registration and to update it if it’s incorrect.
Research carried out by price comparison site CompareTheMarket, has found that 1.5 million drivers in the UK currently have the incorrect address on their licence.
But it is illegal in the UK for a driver to be incorrectly registered at an address, and this can result in a fine of £1,000 if you’re caught. This means the DVLA could net up to £1.5 billion from forgetful motorists.
According to CompareTheMarket’s research, more than a third (35%) of motorists are unaware of this requirement. Young drivers are the worst culprits, with one in 10 (11%) holding licences with incorrect information and nearly half (49%) unaware that it is illegal.
An up-to-date home address is required if the licence-holder is involved in an accident, for example. The address must also be correct on the vehicle log book and vehicle tax direct debit.
Correcting your information is free of charge, and you can still drive while awaiting the replacement licence. See Gov.uk for the full information and links to update your details.
John Miles, head of motor at comparethemarket.com, says: “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.”
Other driving related fines to watch out for
But there are other reasons that could also land a motorist with a big fine. Licence plates that are unreadable due to dirt, for example, is deemed a criminal offence and punishable with a £1,000 fine. Meanwhile, splashing a pedestrian with a roadside puddle could land you with as much as a £5,000 penalty.
See the list below of offences that can lead to significant fines:
Taking prescription drugs before driving depending on the drug type and quantity
Splashing a pedestrian by driving through a puddle
Sleeping in your car if you are over the drink driving limit
Having an outdated address on your driver's licence
Using your horn when stationary in a vehicle unless another road user poses a genuine danger
Using your horn between the hours of 23:30 and 07:00 in a built-up area unless another road user poses a genuine danger
Having a dirty number plate - registration numbers should always be visible
Using an Apple watch or any other hand-held device while driving
Driving too slowly or in a manner that could obstruct the progress of other road users
Driving with a "for sale" sign in your car window - this could be classified as trading from a public road according to local councils
Hogging the middle lane of the motorway
Parking on the pavement in London
Driving with snow on the roof
Asking a stranger for change to pay for parking - this is legally classified as begging
Driving for more than 10 hours non-stop
Leaving a car parked with the engine running
Source: CompareTheMarket, August 2017.
*These are all potential fines that could be incurred and charges may fluctuate.