Driving Licence Offences

Driving Licence Offences

If you are confused by the maze that is the UK licence system, there is every possibility that you can commit an offence through ignorance alone. Matters are not helped by the fact that over the years the categories have not remained consistent. The driver who obtained their licence 30 years ago was covered for vehicles in groups A and E and would be completely unfamiliar with C1/C2 etc which appear on the more modern licences.

Further problems arise on issues of age and supervising other drivers, not to mention the different requirements for passenger carrying vehicles, mini buses and motorcycles.

If you have been summonsed, contact us direct for expert advice on a fixed fee basis.

If your concern relates to the possible suspension of your licence under the "totting up procedure" please refer to our Totting Up page.


Frequently Asked Questions

I have been stopped for driving on my own without holding a full driving licence. What are the potential offences and punishments?

If you hold a provisional driving licence, and were not accompanied by a qualified driver, you will probably be prosecuted for driving otherwise in than in accordance with a licence and driving uninsured. The potential penalties are a fine, penalty points or an instant disqualification.

Do I have to carry my licence with me at all times when driving/riding?

No, but it is strongly recommended. The Police are entitled to ask to see your licence at any time and if you do not have it immediately, you will be ordered to produce it to a Police Station within 7 days. Failing to produce within that period of time is another offence, even if you do actually hold a licence.

I have not updated my licence following a change of address. What are the potential penalties?

If you take steps to correct the error immediately, the probability is that no action will be taken. However, failure to notify the DVLA of the correct address is an offence which will result in a fine.

At what age can I supervise a learner driver?

In order to supervise a learner driver, you must be a "qualified driver". In normal circumstances (excluding in certain situations such as the armed forces etc or goods vehicles), a qualified driver must be at least 21 years of age and have held the relevant licence for 3 years.

I passed my driving test in Europe, am I allowed to drive in the UK?

Yes. If you hold a full licence issued by another EU country, you are entitled to drive in the UK, provided you are not disqualified. Your licence will run until it expires or to the equivalent British licence would have to be renewed.

Do I have to exchange my EU licence?

You do not have to exchange it if you hold a EU licence or until you are a resident in the UK for a year or more. However, it is advisable to exchange it as in the event of any issues resulting in conviction, a UK Court is more likely to impose a disqualification if the licence held is not one that can be endorsed.

What if I hold a driving licence that cannot be exchanged?

You can drive in the UK as a "visitor" for up to 1 year but if you wish to drive thereafter, will have to apply for a provisional licence and pass both the practical and theory tests.

What do the categories mean on driving licences?

Category Vehicle
A1Light motorcycles with an engine size of up to 125cc and a power of no more than 11kw (14.6 horsepower)
AMotorcycles (with or without a sidecar) up to 25kw or 33 horsepower and a power–to–weight ratio of up to 0.16kw/kg
B1Motor tricycles and quadricycles weighing up to 550kg when unladen (not loaded)
BMotor cars or light vans with up to eight passenger seats and weighing up to 3500kg (allowed to tow a trailer weighing up to 750kg)
C1Vehicles weighing between 3500kg and 7500kg (allowed to tow a trailer weighing up to 750kg)
CVehicles weighing over 3500kg and a trailer up to 750kg
D1Small passenger–carrying vehicles with nine to 16 passenger seats and a trailer weighing up to 750kg
DAny bus with more than eight passenger seats and a trailer weighing up to 750kg
B+EMotor cars or light vans with up to eight passenger seats, with a trailer of more than 750kg
C1+EVehicles over 3500kg and a trailer of more than 750kg
C+EVehicles over 3500kg and a trailer of more than 750kg
D1+ESmall passenger–carrying vehicles with nine to 16 passenger seats with a trailer of more than 750kg
D+EAny bus with more than eight passenger seats and a trailer of more than 750kg
fAgricultural tractors
gRoadrollers
hTracked vehicles
kPedestrian–controlled vehicles (those powered by a person)
pMopeds