DRIVING DISQUALIFICATIONS: There are several reasons why courts ban motorists from driving. As a rule, you will get disqualified for:
- Being convicted of a serious motoring offence.
- Building up 12 or more penalty points endorsements within a period of three years.
The court notifies offenders with a summons sent through the post. The summons states the date to make the court appearance.
Note: Some of the driving disqualification regulations are dissimilar in Northern Ireland.
Driving Ban: How Long Does it Last?
Generally, driver disqualification takes place under the ‘totting-up‘ system in the United Kingdom. The courts decide how long the ban will last and they base it on the seriousness of the offence committed.
The result can be an automatic ban from driving when there are 12 or more penalty points on a driver record. You could get banned for:
- 6 Months: For totting-up 12 or more penalty points within three years.
- 12 Months: For receiving a second disqualification within a 3 year period.
- 2 Years: After getting a third disqualification within a 3 year period.
Disqualified Less than 56 Days: SPD
A short period disqualification (SPD) means you got disqualified for a period less than 56 days. But, motorists can check a disqualification period by viewing driving licence records online.
There is no need to renew the licence before you can start driving again. But, you must not drive until the driving ban has completely ended.
Disqualified 56 Days (or longer)
Being disqualified for a period of 56 days or longer means you will need to reapply for your driving licence before you drive a vehicle again.
The court can issue extra conditions attached to a ban before they return a full licence. They can order drivers to retake the driving test after a ban. In some cases they may impose an extended driving test instead (see below).
DVLA Disqualification Outside of Great Britain
Driving in the Isle of Man and Northern Ireland is not allowed if you got banned on a Great Britain driving licence. Likewise, those banned in the Isle of Man or NIR cannot drive in Great Britain while disqualified.
Note: This agreement is a ‘mutual recognition of disqualification’ for driving purposes.
Check When DVLA Disqualification Ends
There are several ways to carry out a DVLA driving ban check to find out the date when a driving disqualification ends:
- You can check your driving licence information online to see what date the ban will end.
- Check the reminder form D27. DVLA send this to you 56 days before a disqualification ends.
- Inspect the D27PH form. The D27PH letter gets issued 90 days before the end of some drink-related disqualifications.
- You can contact the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (or contact the DVA in Northern Ireland).
Note: You may be invited to take a National Driver Offender Retraining Scheme course. If so, you can search for NDORS courses online but you would need to book directly with the course provider.
Applying for a Reduced Disqualification Period
In some cases the courts can reduce the disqualification period. Motorists banned from driving can ask the court after:
- 2 Years: In cases where the disqualification was between 2 and 4 years.
- Half of the Disqualification Period: If the ban was between 4 and 10 years.
- 5 Years: Where the ban was for at least 10 years.
That said, there must be a valid reason for reducing disqualification. As a rule, it would happen if the court made a legal mistake. Another example could be where the court failed to consider all the facts.
Send a letter to the court that disqualified you if you want to ask for a reduction. The letter should state the date of the offence and the date of conviction. Add copies of any other supporting and relevant information.
The same court will inform the DVLA if they reduce your disqualification period. It also means you would need to apply for a new driver licence.
Note: You must wait 3 months before asking again if the court refuses to reduce a driving disqualification.
After a Disqualification Reduction
Car and Motorbike Licence
Send a completed form D1 ‘Application for a driving licence’ to DVLA. You can get it from the DVLA form ordering service or most large Post Offices. There will be driving licence fees for using this service.
Bus and Lorry Licence
Send a completed form D2 ‘Application for a lorry/bus licence’ to the DVLA. You can get it from the DVLA form ordering service. There is a fee to pay for this service.
Note: Apply to the DVA for getting your driving licence back after disqualification in Northern Ireland
Disqualified Until Test Passed Offence or Extended Test Passed
Banned from driving rules include disqualified until ‘test pass‘ and ‘extended test pass‘. These disqualification regulations affect motorists when they want to drive again.
In this case the first step is applying for a new provisional driving licence. Passing the appropriate test allows you to drive when the ban ends.
Renewal of Driving Licence after Disqualification
- DVLA send a reminder 56 days before the disqualification ends. Use this form to apply for a new provisional driving licence. Order an application form if you did not get the reminder. Make sure it is either order form D1 for a car and a motorbike licence or form D2 for a lorry and a bus licence.
- Book and take the theory and practical test. It will be the compulsory basic training and motorcycle practical test for motorcyclists. Disqualification until ‘extended test pass‘ means booking an extended practical test. This usually lasts around 70 minutes. It is worth noting that fees are higher for the extended tests.
- After passing the practical test, ask the examiner to arrange sending the new licence. It is legal to drive as immediately after you passed the practical test.
Note: The local traffic commissioner will need to agree if you want to drive a large vehicle (category C) or a bus (category D). DVLA will arrange this when you apply for a new full licence.
Licence from another EU Country
Do not apply for a new provisional if your licence is from another country in the EU. Instead, use the EU driving licence to take the test. Follow all the usual rules for learning to drive until retaking, and passing, the test.
Name and Address Changes while Disqualified from Driving
You must inform DVLA if you change your name or address in a driving disqualification. Send them a letter with the details of your old and new address with name (if changed). Make sure to add the driving licence number (if known) and your date of birth.
Disqualification for Drink Driving
Motorists can get disqualified if found guilty of drink driving offences. Depending on the offence, the punishment of drink-driving penalties can include a fine and a prison sentence.
The drink drive rehabilitation scheme is often used to reduce the length of a driving ban. The court can offer banned drivers the opportunity to take the DDRS course. It is available to those who got banned from driving for 12 months or more.
High Risk Offender
Those who are ‘high risk offenders‘ will need to prove they are fit to drive before they get a new licence. The process also includes passing a medical examination with a DVLA appointed doctor. High risk offenders are those who:
- Got convicted of 2 drink driving offences within a period of 10 years.
- Drove with an alcohol reading of at least:
- 87.5 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres (ml) of breath.
- 200 milligrammes (mg) of alcohol per 100 ml of blood.
- 267.5 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of urine.
- Refused to give a sample of breath, blood, or urine to test for alcohol, to the police.
- Refused to allow a sample of blood to get tested for alcohol (e.g. taken while unconscious).
High risk offenders get a D27PH renewal form 90 days before a disqualification ends. Fill in the form and mail it to DVLA to reapply for the driver licence.
DVLA Medical Examination
The DVLA have appointed doctors who can perform the drink drive medical examination. The medical test takes place before you get the licence back. You will need to pay a fee for the drink driving medical examination which includes:
- A DVLA questionnaire about your medical history and use of alcohol.
- A physical examination performed by a doctor and having your blood tested.
Disqualification for Drug Driving
Being found guilty of drugs and driving can result in a disqualification for at least one year. Serious offenders can also get fined or get sent to prison. Either way, you need to apply for a new licence before you can start to drive again.