There are some circumstances when you are allowed to carry on driving even though you don’t have a valid licence. The law giving you this right is in Section 88 of The Road Traffic Act 1988. 

It states that if you have applied to the DVLA to renew your licence and it expires while it is processing the application, you can carry on driving as long as you meet the following criteria: 

1. You have been told by your doctor that you are fit to drive. 

2. You meet any conditions that were specified on your previous driving licence and that still apply. 

3. You sent your licence renewal application to the DVLA within the past 12 months. 

4. You have not been disqualified from driving by a court.

Extensions to driving licences

The DVLA was severely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, and as a result any driving licences that expired between 1 February and 31 December 2020 were automatically extended for 11 months. However, it is now operating fully again, so there is no extension for licences that expired on or after 1 January 2021.