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Drivers Legal Obligations

Drivers and Riders Legal Obligations

The list of drivers legal obligations includes having valid and current documents in place. Find out what the law says you must do before you drive a car or ride a motorcycle on the roads.

LAW GUIDE FOR DRIVERS: This section explains the legal obligations of all drivers and riders in the United Kingdom.

What are the duties and responsibilities of drivers and registered keepers of vehicles?

Legalities include getting a valid driving licence and registering your vehicle with DVLA. The law states you must also inform DVLA when there are any changes in your personal or vehicle details.

As a rule you will also need to get vehicle insurance cover, a current MOT, and road tax.

Note: Car drivers and motocycle riders must have the legal obligations in place before driving on roads.

Legal Obligations Before Driving or Riding

All vehicle drivers and motorcycle riders must:

  1. Meet the legal age restrictions for driving or riding.
  2. Meet the legal rules on eyesight regulations.
  3. Hold the correct driving licence for the vehicle or motor bike.

Legal Obligations of a Learner Driver

All learner drivers must:

  1. Have direct supervision by a qualified driver in a car (exception if riding a motorcycle).
  2. Display red L plates on the front and rear of the vehicle. The letter L stands for learner driver (use D plates in Wales).

Legal Requirements for Vehicles

Drivers legal obligations mean the vehicle must:

  1. Be registered with DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency).
  2. Have and display vehicle road tax which must also be up to date.
  3. Hold a current MOT certificate (where required).

Note: You must get a minimum of third party insurance covering the use of your vehicle on public roads.

Reporting Changes in Personal Information or Vehicle Details

All drivers and riders must inform DVLA if you:

Legal Obligations for Driving Large Vehicles or Buses

Higher and stricter medical and eyesight standards apply for drivers of larger vehicles. You must also inform DVLA if you have acquired any driving convictions.

Inform DVLA if you have any other convictions when applying for a passenger-carrying vehicle (PCV) licence.

Producing Your Driving Documents to Police

If a police officer asks to see your driving documentation, you must be able to show or produce:

  1. Your valid driving licence.
  2. A valid and appropriate insurance certificate.
  3. A valid MOT certificate (if required for your vehicle).

Note: What happens if you do not have the documents with you when the police stopped you while driving? In this case they may ask you to produce valid documentation at a police station within 7 days.

Drivers Legal Obligations Before You Drive or Ride in the United Kingdom