Driving without a Licence
The official term for this type of offence is Driving Otherwise than in Accordance with a Licence ) so this is how it will appear on your Summons. You can face an allegation of driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence if:
- You have a licence but it’s expired,
- You don’t have the correct entitlement to drive the vehicle you’re driving,
- You have a provisional licence, but weren’t supervised / displaying L plates, were on a motorway etc. or,
- You don’t have a licence at all.
If you’re facing an allegation of driving without a licence and want some advice, please get in touch.
What are the penalties for driving without a licence?
This depends on whether or not it is a licence you could have held but didn’t (for example a licence that you forgot to renew) or if you drove a vehicle for which you did not have an entitlement for (eg. if you drove a large HGV but only ever passed a test for a car).
In the former case, the offence does not carry penalty points (although there’ll still be a fine etc.), but in the latter, it carries 3-6 points or even disqualification. You should also be aware that it can have implications upon your insurance and therefore if you are prosecuted for the second offence above, you may find yourself with an additional potentially more serious allegation of driving without insurance.
You should also bear in mind the potential consequences upon your licence if you already have penalty points on your licence.
I thought I had the correct licence, it was a genuine mistake!
Unfortunately even if it was a genuine mistake, that won’t provide you with a defence to the allegation. If you were somehow misled into believing that you held the correct licence, it may be that a special reasons argument could be advanced to try and avoid penalty points.
If you believed that your licence entitled you to drive the vehicle but accept that you weren’t misled, then your belief is still important mitigation that the court should be made aware of as it could reduce the severity of the penalty imposed.