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Is your driving licence among the thousands due to expire in January?

Motors | Published:

How many driving licences are coming up for renewal?

Just over 25,000 during the peak month of January 2019.

How many have you completed?

As at 26 November 2018 about 40 per cent of the licences. which are due to expire in January 2019, have been renewed. That still leaves over 14,000 people who need to apply for a new driving licence.

What is the usual number of licence renewals or new issues on a weekly/monthly basis?

Islandwide we would normally expect to process around 1,000 licence applications per month. During the past month, the 12 parishes have processed over 9,500.

How did we end up with so many licences coming up for renewal within such a short space of time?

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The bulk renewal is a remnant of the days when all driving licences expired on the same date.

It happens every ten years and still affects one in three of us who have held a Jersey driving licence since 1994 or before.

What are my options for applying for a replacement licence?

Use the online driving licence application or apply in person or by post. The online service is on the parishes’ website at services.parish.gov.je. Paper application forms must be collected from your parish hall.

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What is the waiting time for a licence application to be processed?

Processing times vary from parish to parish. In St Helier we are currently maintaining the normal 10-15 working day turnaround but this may increase during peak periods.

How early can you apply for a new licence without losing the ten-year valid period?

You can apply up to three months in advance of the expiry date without losing any time on your licence. Please note that some parish halls will be closed for the week between Christmas and new year so we are encouraging every driver whose licence expires before the end of February 2019 to apply now.

How much quicker is it if you complete your application online?

The online application has been designed with our customers in mind. We have had some great feedback on the service. Parishioners say it is quick and really easy to use. The service works on a smartphone, tablet or computer and you can take your photo with the camera on the device so that saves getting a printed photograph. Paper applications do require a printed photograph. The online application reduces the inputting time for parishes but all applications are dealt with in the order received so the turnaround times are the same for all applications.

Is your licence automatically renewed for all categories?

Unless an applicant indicates that they do not wish to renew certain categories, we will renew all categories providing that all the required documentation has been submitted.

If you apply online, can you use a ‘selfie’ or do you need a professional photograph?

One of the advantages of the online application is the driver can use the camera on their device to take their photograph. We would recommend asking a family member or friend to take the photograph to ensure it adheres to the provisions of the law. A photograph is required for every application, except a duplicate, and must be:

  • Taken within the six months before the application date.
  • In colour, taken against a white, cream or light, plain background.
  • 45 mm x 35 mm and printed on normal photographic paper.
  • A close-up of the head and shoulders with the face covering 65 to 75 per cent of the photograph.
  • Of the applicant alone.

The photograph must show:

  • No shadows.
  • The full face, looking straight at the camera.
  • A neutral expression, with the mouth closed.
  • The eyes open and clearly visible (with no sunglasses or heavily tinted glasses, and no hair across the eyes).
  • The full head, without any covering, unless it is worn for religious beliefs.
  • The face uncovered.

It must also:

  • Be in sharp focus and clear.
  • Have a strong definition between the face and background.
  • Be printed at 1200dpi resolution or better if a digital or scanned photograph.

How many additional staff and what equipment have you had to allocate to deal with the volume of renewals?

The Parish of St Helier has taken on a team of five extra staff. They will cover tasks such as processing, scanning documents, printing, quality control, enveloping and posting.

If you are caught driving without a valid licence, which consequently invalidates your insurance, and you are subsequently caught driving, what are the maximum fines for driving without a licence and insurance?

It is an offence to drive a vehicle on a road without holding a valid driving licence. The maximum penalty is currently £10,000 (level 3 on the standard scale).

However, the vehicle insurance may be invalid if your driving licence has expired. It is an offence to use a vehicle on a road unless there is insurance covering third-party risks. The maximum penalty is currently £10,000 (level 3 on the standard scale) or prison for up to 18 months or both.

My new licence feels thinner and flimsier than the previous one. Will it be just as durable?

The new licence is the same thickness as the old one. The cards are made to ISO7810 international standard so they are completely durable.

Why is the photograph now black and white?

The printing method has changed since ten years ago and it is now laser-engraved rather than transfer-printed. The transfer printing was less durable so required a laminate cover (laser printing was introduced in 2014), which may explain why the old licence feels marginally thicker.

The plastic licence comes with a paper section. Do I need to keep this part and, if so, what for?

The ‘paper section’ you receive with your licence is a covering letter only and does not constitute part of your licence. You should read the letter carefully as it contains important information such as a reminder to destroy your old licence if you have retained it (your old licence ceases to be valid once the new licence is issued).

The Town Hall team behind the licences.

Do I need a doctor’s report if I have a medical condition?

You may need a doctor’s report if you have certain medical conditions which may affect your fitness to drive.

A report is required if you have a medical condition of which you have not previously notified your parish in writing, or you have previously notified your parish but the medical condition has since become worse. You will also need a doctor’s report if you wish to renew vocational categories and you are over 45 years of age. If you do not wish to continue holding the vocational categories, a medical report is not required. Your parish can provide further advice.

How do I know when my driving licence will expire?

The expiry date is shown in column 11 on the reverse of the licence. There may be different expiry dates for each category of vehicle so each category should be checked.

Do I need to surrender my old licence when I apply for a new licence?

You do not need to surrender your driving licence but you may be asked to provide it for inspection on demand. If you keep your old licence please make sure you cut it up when you receive your new licence as the old licence is no longer valid.

If you have lost your licence you should apply for a duplicate. You can do this online or use a paper application form.

If I have lost my licence can I renew it online?

Yes, the online service can be used to renew a lost driving licence, including a lost provisional licence. You will be issued with a duplicate licence and the cost is £50 for a full licence and £20 for a provisional licence. You must make a declaration that the licence has been lost or destroyed. The penalty for making a false declaration is currently a maximum fine of £10,000 (level 3 on the standard scale).

Diane Bisson overseeing the printing of the licences on laser engraving machines at the Town Hall

My provisional licence is due to expire soon. Can I renew it online?

You will need to use a paper application to renew your provisional licence. The online service is currently only available to renew a full driving licence.

A provisional licence is granted so that you may learn to drive a motor vehicle with a view to passing a test. You will usually be refused a second provisional licence if you fail to attempt your driving test within six months without good cause.

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