Driver SOS (UK)

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Driver SOS (UK)
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Driving without a licence

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It is against the law to drive without a valid licence. This law is in place for the safety of all road users in the first place. People who want to drive must first learn how to drive and pass both a theory test (with hazard perception) and a practical test to obtain a full driving licence.

You can be prosecuted for driving without a licence under these circumstances:

  • Not having a valid licence but still driving
  • Driving with just a provisional licence and not being accompanied by someone who is at least 21 years old and having held their licence for at least 3 years
  • Driving a vehicle for which you do not have the right entitlement on your licence eg driving a large goods vehicle (LGV) with an ordinary car licence

A driving licence is important as it shows that you understand the Highway Codes and know how to drive on your own. Just think about it - if someone was driving and does not have any clue about road markings, traffic signs and speed limits, would you be fully confident being near that driver? No, you wouldn't as that unlicensed driver may not think anything of a road where he needs to give way and carry on going where you thought you had priority and are coming with full speed and the next thing you hear is a loud bang because you've just been involved in a terrible accident.

Things like this happen more than you think and even if someone claims to know how to operate a car, it doesn't mean that he can drive safely because there's more to driving than just knowing how to move a vehicle forward and backward and operating the controls of the car.

The penalty and fine if you get caught

You will incur a penalty of 3-6 points and will face a fine of up to £1000. You may also be banned from obtaining a licence for a set period of time. On top of this, you may be charged with driving without insurance as having no licence invalidates any insurance cover that you may have.

Unlicensed drivers are a threat to the society and it is an offence to become one. If you haven't applied for a driving licence yet, then please do it now as this will make you a better driver and will increase the safety on UK roads. The driving test is not hard at all especially if you learn what is required during the test and you do your fair share of understanding the theory and practical exam.

If you want to report someone driving with no licence, then contact CrimeStoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. They take these things seriously and will do the necessary.

gices Published 06 Mar 2009
I'm a Software Developer and the founder of Clever Dodo. I encourage people to practice MAM (Movement/Arts/Meditation) for a well-balanced and happy life. Born in Mauritius and now living in the UK, I usually blog about fitness, music, spirituality and driving topics to pass on my knowledge.


Driver SOS (UK)

Helping with car insurance, driving bans, learning to drive and other motoring issues

Driver SOS (UK)

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2900 members . 1218 topics . 2221 posts
TheresaBurgess 02 Nov 2019

Will I be arrested for not paying court fine the same day

I went to court for driving without a licence and the judge fined me £250 plus court costs. I did not have the money to pay the fine that day so I left. Will they issue a warrant for my arrest?

[Migrated from previous topic 10539 dated 14 Jul 2009]

gices 02 Nov 2019


Usually the court gives you 21 days to pay the fine. This is because people who are being sentenced do not know how much they will have to pay in fines and court costs until they have been trialed. If you don't pay the fine within the 21 day period though, then you could be sent to prison as the court will try to get back the money you owe.

[Migrated from previous post 540 dated 08 Sep 2009]

LukeAppleyard 16 Oct 2019

Caught driving a manual gearbox car whilst having licence for automatic car only

I had a car accident in a manual gearbox car and i only had a license for an automatic. I have been summoned to court but have pleaded guilty before hand. What will the punishment be and will i lose my lisence? Thank you!

[Migrated from previous topic 11444 dated 25 Sep 2010]

jamesconnolly 19 Jul 2012

I was caught drink driving a few years ago and got banned for one year and 370 pound fine, 4 months after my ban was up I was pressured into driving my friend home in the rain and was stopped again by the police. I was driving my girlfriends car and had to say I took it without permission so that my partner wouldn't get into trouble, I was given another 18 month ban and fined another 300 pound, my ban is nearly up and am wondering if anyone knows how hard it will be to get insured again to become legal and what problems I might run into.

anonymous_2 22 Aug 2012

If you said you took the car without the owners permission, when this was not actually true, surely that is "perverting the course of justice", a very serious offence, usually punished by a custodial sentence?

jamesconnolly 22 Aug 2012

The police officer on the night knew rightly that I had permission to drive the car but after admitting to everything and being straight up with them and admitting to everything but my girlfriend letting me use the car then he let it go this one time. He even let my girlfriend come get the car and never took it in to be inpounded. My question was how hard will it be to get insured once I go for my licence again?

gices 23 Aug 2012

The first time you were charged with a DR10. What about the second time? Was it BA10 (driving whilst disqualified by court) or LC20 (driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence)? Different motoring offences will impact your premiums and eligibility for cover differently.

jamesconnolly 23 Aug 2012

The second time was taking without permission and driving without a license, the bad thing is I held my licence for six years before and never had penalty points or broke the law, I guess I just went off the rails for a bit. I sure have paid for that now.

anonymous_2 07 Jul 2012

I had accident and I received court summons charges drive otherwise than in accordance with a licence use motor vehicle no insurance what happened with provisional licence i have book my practical test after court hearing do my provisional licence will revoked

JessicaRose 13 Feb 2011

I've just ran over my mum without a licence, what shall I do? I only have £5 and I am 8 years old.

MarcusThackeray 15 Feb 2011

There is nothing you can do.