Keeping your driving licence up to date

Northern Ireland driving licences are made up of two parts, a plastic photocard and a paper part, known as the paper counterpart. You must tell the Driver & Vehicle Agency (DVA) immediately of any changes to your name, address or your health.


Keep your details correct

Informing the DVA of your changed details will make sure your records are up to date and all future driving licence renewal notices are sent to the right address.

Change of address

If you permanently move to another country, the DVA can’t register your new address on your Northern Ireland driving licence. You’ll need to contact the driving licence authority in your country of residence for information on exchanging.  

Apply online

Tell the DVA of a change of address and get your driving licence updated at the following link:

Or by post

When changing your address you’ll need to:

  • complete the 'changes' section on your paper counterpart, sign and date it
  • send both parts of your driving licence - photocard and counterpart document to the address below:
Driver & Vehicle Agency (DVA)
Castlerock Road
BT51 3TB

Change of name

You cannot tell the DVA about a change of name online.  When changing your name (due to marriage or divorce for example) with or without a change of address, you’ll need to:

  • fill in a DL1 'application for a driving licence' available from main Post Office branches or MOT test centres
  • send in original identity documents that confirm your new name such as a passport or birth certificate or marriage certificate or Deed Poll
  • send in both parts of your driving licence this includes your photocard driving licence and the paper counterpart (there's no need to send in a new photograph)
  • send all your documents to:
Driver & Vehicle Agency (DVA)
Castlerock Road
BT51 3TB

Note - if you would like your supporting documents returned by secure delivery then include a registered post or pre-paid Royal Mail Special delivery envelope with your application.

Or, you can hand in your application at any one of the following seven MOT test centres that have a checking service:

  • Armagh
  • Ballymena
  • Belfast
  • Downpatrick
  • Enniskillen
  • Londonderry (New Buildings)
  • Omagh
  • Coleraine (County Hall)


Remember - you can only make the DVA aware of a Northern Ireland address change.  An address outside Northern Ireland cannot be applied to a Northern Ireland driving licence.

It's a legal requirement to tell the DVA when you change name or address. You could be fined £1,000 if you fail to do so.

Updating your vehicle registration certificate (V5C)

Making a name or address change to your driving licence does not automatically make a change to your vehicle registration certificate or your vehicle record.

To find out how to change your name and address details on your vehicle registration certificate and record, use the link below:

Informing DVA of a medical condition

If you develop a medical condition or disability that may affect your driving, or you already suffer from one and your condition gets worse, you must tell the DVA.

Lost or stolen licence

If you’ve lost your driving licence, or you don’t have one or both parts of your photocard driving licence, you can apply for a replacement licence online at:

The cost of a driving licence

For information about the fees for different types of driving licences and details of how to pay, follow the link below:

When to expect your licence

The DVA aims to process your licence within 10 working days of receiving a completed application. This may take longer if your health or personal details have to be checked.  Allow at least four weeks for your driving licence to arrive before contacting DVA.

If your driving licence has not been delivered six weeks after you made your application you should contact DVA Driver Licensing.

If you do not tell the DVA within eight weeks that your licence has not arrived, you will have to apply for a duplicate licence and pay the relevant fee.

Driving before your licence is returned

You can drive before you receive your licence as long as you:

  • have held a Northern Ireland or Great Britain licence issued since 1 January 1976 or another exchangeable licence
  • aren't disqualified from driving
  • haven't been refused a licence for medical reasons or for failing to meet medical enquiries
  • wouldn't be refused a licence for medical reasons (if in doubt, check with your doctor)
  • keep to any special conditions which apply to the licence

You must tell the DVA if you’ve ever had, or presently suffer from, a medical condition that may affect your driving.

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