Surrendering your driving licence
There may come a point in your life where you or your doctor will deem you unfit to drive a vehicle. It may be for a short period of time or it might be for longer. If this is the case, you will need to contact the DVLA to inform them of change of circumstances relating to your health. If you want, you can voluntarily give back your driving licence. You may also have to surrender your licence due to a driving conviction or ban; in this case you will need to send back your licence for the period of the ban.
Surrendering licence due to ill health
When you surrender your driving licence, you will need to fill out a form stating why you're doing it but anytime in the future you can re-apply to have it reinstated. As long as you wouldn't be refused a driving licence in the future or haven't been disqualified, then you may soon have your licence back. It's better to surrender a licence voluntarily rather than having it revoked as it'll look better on your driving record. If you wish to drive again, you can start driving after the forms have been sent and received by the DVLA but only if you haven't been banned, or failed to disclose a medical condition that affects your driving and you meet all the required medical standards of fitness to drive.
Surrendering licence due to driving convictions
If you have been banned from driving, then the courts will tell you to bring your licence with you so they can revoke it; in some instances you can be banned for a short period and when your time has finished, you can apply to have it reinstated. You will most probably have to pay a fee but this is a small price to pay when you actually think about it; some people have to do the theory test and practical test before they can get their licence back.
Unless you have voluntarily given back your driving licence (nobody actually does that anyway), being deprived of driving can be a harsh thing. All the little things that you take for granted like doing the shopping or visiting friends and family can become a nightmare when you don't have your own mode of transport. Some people who rely on their ability to drive to earn a living will find it even harder because they may not be able to get any work and this can cause real problems and affect family life as well as cause stress which can lead to health complications.
I got a 1 year ban last June. This was my first offence for anything. I have just been told I should have surrendered my full licence at the court that day. I was not told to do so by my duty solicitor or the court, so I still have it in my drawer at home. Should I send it to my local dvla Maidstone or to Swansea with a note saying what has happened.
You said you have just been told to surrender your driving licence - by whom?
Normally the court which sentences you retains your driving licence and then sends it to the DVLA with details of your ban. It is surprisingly that you were not asked to hand over your licence at that time. So the best thing for you to do is contact the court where you were sentenced and ask them what you should do. You can also try the DVLA if you cannot get in touch with the court.
One other thing - you should inform your insurance company of your driving ban (just in case you haven't done so)