What do I need to know about being disqualified from driving?

What do I need to know about being disqualified from driving?

If youre convicted of a motoring offence, the court can endorse your driving licence with penalty points or impose a disqualification period from driving. They can also order you to resit another driving test.

Short period disqualification (SPD)

If youre disqualified for less than 56 days, the court will stamp your paper driving licence or counterpart document and give it back to you. The stamp shows the disqualification period and you dont need to renew your licence. The licence becomes valid and you can return to driving after the disqualification ends.

Disqualification periods of 56 days or more

If youre disqualified for 56 days or more youll need to apply to renew your driving licence before you can return to driving.

  • Getting your driving licence back after disqualification

Disqualification under the totting-up system

If you build up 12 or more penalty points within a period of three years, youll be liable to be disqualified under the ‘totting-up’ system.

Generally, you can be disqualified from driving for:

  • six months if you get 12 penalty points or more within three years
  • 12 months if you get a second disqualification within three years
  • two years if you get a third disqualification

Disqualification until test pass or extended test pass

If you’re disqualified until test pass or extended test pass, to regain your full driving licence you’ll need to apply for a provisional driving licence and retake a theory and practical driving test.

Motorcycle riders will need to complete another compulsory basic training (CBT). If you’re disqualified until extended test pass, you’ll have to sit an extended practical driving test.

To regain your full entitlement to drive all categories of vehicles you previously held, you’ll need to pass a test in category A (motorcycle) or B (car).

If you previously held category C (large vehicle) and or D (bus), restoration of entitlement will be subject to the approval of the local traffic commissioner.

  • The extended practical driving test

Disqualification for alcohol related offences

If youre disqualified for some alcohol related offences, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) will make medical enquiries before your driving licence can be renewed.

These offences are:

  • disqualified with an alcohol level of over 200mg in 100ml of blood, or 87.5mg in 100ml of breath, or 267.5mg in 100ml of urine
  • two disqualifications within 10 years for drinking and driving, or being in charge of a vehicle while unfit through drink
  • disqualified for refusing or failing to supply a specimen for analysis

As well as paying a higher fee to renew your driving licence, you may also have to attend and pay for a medical examination.

How to check when your disqualification ends

You can check:

  • the D27 reminder sent by DVLA – it gives the date the disqualification ends
  • online – if your driving licence was issued after making an online application
  • by phoning DVLA customer enquiries
  • View your driving licence details online

Reducing the period of a disqualification

You can ask the court to reduce the period of your disqualification after serving:

  • two years of the disqualification period if the disqualification was for more than two years but less than four years
  • half the disqualification period if the disqualification was for more than four years but less than 10 years
  • five years of the disqualification period if the disqualification was for 10 years or more

Youll need to apply in writing to the court that disqualified you, giving the date of offence, date of conviction and any information to justify your request. If successful, the court will notify DVLA of the decision. You can then apply to renew your driving licence.

If the court refuses your request, youll have to wait three months before you can ask the court again.

  • Getting your driving licence back after disqualification

Mutual recognition of driving disqualifications

There is mutual recognition of driving disqualifications between Great Britain, Northern Ireland and Isle of Man.

  • More about Northern Ireland and Isle of Man driving licences

If you change your name and address while disqualified

You can notify DVLA of a change of name and address while youre disqualified. Write to DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1AB giving details of your old and new address, name if changed, your driving licence number (if known) and date of birth.

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