I'm guessing it's not actually your licence that has expired (valid 50 years I think) - simply the photo card part of it that only lasts 10 years? I think the rule here in HK is that if you have a UK licence you can get an HK one as long as the photo card only expired less than 3 years ago. So try the grovel route, it's only an admin technicality in that you didn't renew your photocard.
Alternatively, if you still have an address in the UK, try renewing it there. I don't know what the implications on doing that is though if you are non-resident for tax.
Thanks everyone. It seems nuts that my license was only valid for 7 years (passed in 2003, expired 2010) and makes sense that it is only the photocard that expired. I will speak to the HK people tomorrow and see what they say.
7 years? That's very strange - photocards are valid for 10 years. Take a look here:
Are you over the age at which the actual licence expires?
Don't you have a paper license? I let my photo card expire once but my paper license is good till 2040. I just used my MIL address and got a new photo card.
Don't know if HK will accept a paper license only but I know a few Brits that still do not have a photo card and use their paper license only.
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Not sure if relevant but my UK photo card part of my license was expired when I applied for my HK one. They asked me to get a fax from DVLA to confirm my license was still valid which I did, then there was no problem after that.
I've hired cars in the UK twice with the HK license, I took along the international driver's permit just in case, but never been asked for it.