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DRIVING LICENCE OFFENCES

Geoffrey Miller Solicitors specialise in all types of Driving Licence Offences in England and Wales. Call our team of expert motoring solicitors for some free initial advice.

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Driving whilst disqualified

Disqualified driving is one of the most serious driving licence offences we deal with which carries very serious consequences. This is an ‘absolute liability offence’ meaning that there is no defence to this charge other than not being disqualified in the first place. If convicted magistrates will have no choice but to either:

  • Impose points on your licence and/or
  • Extend the period of your disqualification
  • Order you pay an unlimited fine
  • Impose a community order
  • Impose a prison sentence

If you are found guilty your sentence will depend on the unique circumstances on your case. For example, magistrates will not look favourably if you drove within days or even hours of being disqualified! If you are charged with this offence you must seek legal advice immediately. A dedicated motoring lawyer will be able to defend your case and will strive to achieve the best possible outcome.

Failing to drive in accordance with a valid licence

All road users must drive in accordance with the conditions of their licence. If you drive a class of vehicle they are not legally entitled to, you have committed a driving licence offence and will be liable to prosecution.

Your licence will display which categories you may be entitled to drive. These are:

Vehicle TypeCategoryDetails
MopedsCategory AMYou can drive 2-wheeled vehicles with a maximum design speed of over 25km/h (15.5mph) but not more than 45km/h (28mph).
This category also includes light quad bikes with:
● unladen mass of not more than 350kg (not including batteries if it’s an electric vehicle)
● maximum design speed of over 25km/h (15.5mph) but not more than 45km/h (28mph)
MopedsCategory PYou can drive 2-wheeled vehicles with a maximum design speed of over 45km/h (28mph) but not more than 50km/h (31mph).Its engine size must not be more than 50cc if powered by an internal combustion engine.
MopedsCategory QYou can drive 2-wheeled vehicles with:an engine size not more than 50cc if powered by an internal combustion engine
a maximum design speed of no more than 25km/h (15.5mph)
MotorcyclesCategory A1You can drive light motorbikes with:
● an engine size up to 125cc
● a power output of up to 11kW
● a power to weight ratio not more than 0.1kW/kgThis category also includes motor tricycles with power output up to 15kW.
MotorcyclesCategory A2You can drive motorbikes with a:
● power output up to 35kW
● power to weight ratio not more than 0.2kW/kgThe motorbike must also not be derived from a vehicle of more than double its power.
MotorcyclesCategory AYou can drive:
● motorbikes with a power output more than 35kW or a power to weight ratio more than 0.2kW/kg
● motor tricycles with a power output more than 15kW
Light vehicles and quad bikesCategory B1You can drive motor vehicles with 4 wheels up to 400kg unladen or 550kg if they’re designed for carrying goods.
CarsCategory BYou can drive vehicles up to 3,500kg Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM) with up to 8 passenger seats (with a trailer up to 750kg).You can also tow heavier trailers if the total weight of vehicle and trailer isn’t more than 3,500kg.You can drive motor tricycles with a power output higher than 15kW if you are over 21 years old.Physically disabled drivers with provisional category B entitlement will also have provisional entitlement to ride category A1 or A motor tricycles.Able-bodied drivers can no longer ride motor tricycles with a provisional category B licence.
CarsCategory B autoYou can drive a category B vehicle – but only an automatic one.
CarsCategory B+EYou can drive a category B vehicle with a trailer when they have a combined weight over 3,500kg.
Medium-sized vehiclesCategory C1You can drive vehicles weighing between 3,500 and 7,500kg (with a trailer up to 750kg).
Medium-sized vehiclesCategory C1+EYou can drive C1 category vehicles with a trailer over 750kg, but the trailer – when fully loaded – can’t weigh more than the vehicle.The combined weight of both can’t exceed 12,000kg.
Large vehiclesCategory CYou can drive vehicles over 3,500kg (with a trailer up to 750kg).
Large vehiclesCategory C+EYou can drive category C vehicles with a trailer over 750kg.
MinibusesCategory D1You can drive vehicles with:● no more than 16 passenger seats
● a maximum length of 8 metres
● a trailer up to 750kg
MinibusesCategory D1+EYou can drive D1 category vehicles with a trailer over 750kg, but the trailer – when fully loaded – can’t weigh more than the vehicle.The combined weight of both can’t exceed 12,000kg.
BusesCategory DYou can drive any bus with more than 8 passenger seats (with a trailer up to 750kg).
BusesCategory D+EYou can drive D category vehicles with a trailer over 750kg.
OtherOther categoriesF Agricultural tractor
G Road roller
H Tracked vehicles
K Mowing machine or pedestrian-controlled vehicle
L Electrically-propelled vehicle
M Trolley vehicles
N Exempt from duty
You don’t need a driving licence for electric bikes, mobility scooters or powered wheelchairs.

Learner Drivers

If you are a learner driver who gets behind the wheel without displaying L plates you will also be guilty of driving other than in accordance with your driving licence.

Learner motorcycle riders who ride a motorcycle unaccompanied by an approved DSA motorcycle instructor on a road without first passing a CBT test will be guilty of driving other than in accordance with a driving licence. This also applies to learner motorcycle riders who have passed a CBT test but fail to display L plates.

If you received points for this driving licence offence as a learner driver, then when you pass your test, you will have to be extra vigilant. The Road Traffic (New Drivers) Act 1995 provides that drivers who accrue six penalty points on their licences within two years of passing their first driving test face revocation. The points endorsed on your provisional licence would be included in the six points rules.

The Penalty

If you fail to hold to an appropriate licence for the category of vehicle which you are driving you shall be deemed guilty of driving other than in accordance with your driving licence. The court can impose:

  • 3 – 6 penalty points and
  • a fine of up to £1,000

Foreign licence holders

If you are a foreign licence holder you may be able to exchange your domestic licence when you relocate to the UK and become a British resident. The rules surrounding the status of your foreign driving licence depend on numerous factors:

  • The type of driving licence you have: car licence, motorcycle licence, lorry licence, bus licence or minibus licence etc.
  • The age and the date your driving licence was issued
  • The country in which your foreign driving licence was issued, there are different rules concerning different countries including:-
    • The European Union
    • Northern Ireland
    • Jersey, Guernsey or Isle of Man
    • A designated country who have exchange agreements with Great Britain, these include: Andorra, Australia, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Faroe Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Hong Kong, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland and Zimbabwe
    • Any other country

If you are foreign and subsequently become a resident of Great Britain then there are various time limits in which you can begin the process of exchanging your licence.  It may be the case that you can only drive temporarily in Britain before you have to take a theory and practical driving test to obtain a valid driving licence. It may be that you are restricted to driving temporarily before you are required to exchange your non-British licence for a British licence.  You may even be required to stop driving certain classes of vehicle until you pass the relevant theory and practical driving test.

If you are from outside the UK it is very important that you clarify your legal entitlements to drive. Since April 2009 Endorsable Fixed Penalties can be issued to any driver who does not hold a driving licence issued in Great Britain, so you must be aware of the rules before you take to the road.

Not Sure What to Do About Your Driving Licence Offence?

Most people who get in touch with our team of driving licence offences expert solicitors are uncertain of their options. They are unaware of any legal defences that may be available and find it difficult to believe that it might be possible to defend the drink driving offence charge they face by using loopholes that apply to the rich and famous! We do represent celebrities but we also represent many hardworking motorists like Brian and we want to help you make the right choice about what you do next.

We are always more than happy to chat things through with potential clients Free of Charge. Call us now on Freephone 0800 1389 123 to speak to one of our specialist motoring offence solicitors. It is only once you decide to instruct us that payment will become necessary and we can often arrange installment plans to assist you. Many satisfied clients have thanked us for offering this free consultation service as it has prevented them from following inaccurate non-expert advice which could have led to them accepting a driving ban unnecessarily.

If you would like to spend more time browsing on the site before you get in touch, make sure you have a look at our specialist motor offence guidance features such as our drink driving ban calculator which will help you to determine the penalty you may face if convicted and our money saving calculator which helps to outline some of the hidden costs of accepting a conviction.

We think we are simply the best in the business but if you are not satisfied in taking our word for it, our unique “ask our clients” testimonials scheme allows you to contact previous clients of the firm to seek a completely independent reference about us and what we might be able to do for you.

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Geoffrey Miller Solicitors are specialists defending drivers nationwide for all types of driving offences. Call our team of expert driving offence solicitors for some free initial advice.

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