Previously disqualified driver driving without a new licence

18 October 2021

Not reviewed after the date of publication

Question:

A driver has been disqualified from driving by the courts for 12 months. Once the disqualification period has ended, I was of the opinion they must apply for a new driving licence before they drive.

If the person does not apply for their licence back but drives some 3 months after the disqualification period has ended, which offence will this be?

Answer:

When the disqualification period is at an end, if the person wishes to drive, they must apply for another licence. Once the application has been correctly made to the DVLA, the driver becomes protected by virtue of section 88 of the Road Traffic Act 1988. If the person drives before the correct application has been made, they commit the offence under section 87 RTA 1988 (driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence).

Assuming the person hasn't been required to retake their test or take an extended driving test by the court, as the ban is for 56 days or more the person can apply for a licence and drive providing the licence application has been accepted by DVLA (providing there are no medical reasons that would prevent driving). If they have not even applied for the licence following a period of disqualification, then:

if the licence would have been granted had they applied and his/her driving would have been in accordance with that licence had they bothered to apply for it (such as where he/she had a full licence prior to disqualification and was not required to take a retest) – use the non-endorsable offence (H9420 on PNLD).

if the offender's driving would not have been in accordance with any licence that could have been granted to him/her - for example, if he/she only had a provisional licence in the first place or was required to take a test after disqualification and was driving without supervision, L Plates etc. – use the endorsable offence (H31 on PNLD).

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