Legally reviewed by: Kevin Waddingham Updated:

Driving Without A Licence

Driving without a Licence

If you are accused of driving without a licence – provisional or full – Cartwright King’s trusted Motoring Offence Lawyers will work with you to build a strong case for your defence. Benefit from our proven track record of helping clear UK drivers of motoring offences to protect you from punishment.

Get in touch with a specialist Motoring Offence Solicitor now for fast, reliable legal advice.

Driving without a licence and the law in the UK

If you do not have a full driving licence, it is imperative that you do not operate a vehicle, unless you are a ‘learner driver’ and have a full licence owner sat with you. If you choose not to, you stand a very high chance of being caught as the Police have the technology to track if your car is insured, MOT’d and if you have a valid licence. Driving while you do not have a full driving licence is a serious motoring offence and can lead to serious punishments and fines. This is also moderated by the DVLA who will put you on their records of not having a full driving licence.


What are the consequences of driving without a licence in the UK?

Driving without a licence, under the LC10 conviction code, can incur 3 – 6 points on any future licence and a fine of up to £1,000. If you are found guilty of driving without a licence and insurance, you could be penalised with a further 6 – 8 penalty points and a fine of up to £5,000.

The Courts also have the power to restrict you from obtaining a full driving licence for a period of time.

How Cartwright King can defend you

Cartwright King takes a non-judgemental and pro-active approach to your case. We listen, we understand and we genuinely care about protecting you from penalties and punishment. We offer honest, reliable legal advice to ensure that the best possible action is taken to help clear you of driving without a licence accusations. 

We can help with the following driving without a licence issues:

  • Driving unaccompanied on a provisional licence
  • Operating a company vehicle without a licence 
  • Driving while disqualified
  • A third party driving your vehicle without a licence

Benefit from a free, initial telephone conversation

If you have been charged with driving without a licence and you face getting penalty points or disqualification, you can benefit from a free, initial telephone call with a specialist Cartwright King Motoring Offence Lawyer to assess your options.

There’s no substitute for speaking to one of our specialist solicitors to get the right advice, and start preparing your defence. 

For immediate action, contact us today for your free* initial discussion.

The discussion is completely informal and confidential, and is an opportunity for us to:

  • Get to know you 
  • Understand your situation
  • Agree how you want to proceed

*Please be aware that this is a ‘get to know you’ call and no advice will be given.

Why choose Cartwright King for driving without a licence defence?

Having an experienced Motoring Offence Lawyer representing you is often the difference when it comes to avoiding penalties or punishment for driving without a licence.

We listen, we understand and we genuinely care about protecting your driving future. That’s why we offer sound, honest, reliable legal advice to ensure that you understand your rights when facing charges for driving without a licence.

Working with a specialist Cartwright King solicitor gives you the assurance of having access to legal counsel who will advise you at every stage of your case. We know that charges for driving without a licence can damage future licence applications and potentially your employment prospects.

That’s why we will do everything we can to clear you of wrongdoing or minimise any action against you.

We’re committed to defending your legal rights and protecting your driving future, ensuring that you’re treated fairly throughout your case. When you need us most, we’ll be there to offer sound, sensible legal advice and sure guidance.  

We’re a trusted, resourceful Legal 500 top tier law firm with specialist solicitors that are calm under pressure, giving you defence counsel that you can count on.

We're here for you.

Frequently asked questions.

Is it possible to reduce any penalties or punishments?

While driving without a licence in the UK is viewed as an ‘absolute offence’, some leniency will be shown if you enter a guilty plea early in the proceedings. If you are a first time offender, and you enter a guilty plea at the earliest opportunity, a lesser penalty or punishment can be expected. However, if you’re a repeat offender, less leniency will be shown.

If you enter a guilty plea, depending on the circumstances, you can use ‘special reasons’ to argue your case as to why you unintentionally committed the offence.

What is a 'special reason?'

A ‘special reason’ is something that does not amount to a defence, but is connected with the offence. It must be a mitigating circumstance and something which the court should properly take into account as a reason for why you were driving without a licence.

Who is the DVLA?

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) is the UK enforced organisation formed in 1965 that is responsible for maintaining the database of drivers and vehicles in Great Britain. The information that they retain helps them improve road safety, reduce vehicle – related crime, support environmental initiatives and limit vehicle tax evasion. They deal with all the delegated powers of the Secretary of State in cancelling and revoking licences, for example in cases of illness or disability.

How would you get caught driving without a licence in the UK?

Modern technology such as the ANPR [Automatic Number Plate Recognition] systems that are fitted in police cars and in static cameras in high traffic areas have made it much easier to discover motoring offences. They can check if vehicles are insured, MOTed and taxed. If you drive a vehicle that is detected for not having one of these, your chances are much higher of being flagged down by the police, which will also reveal you are driving without a licence. You could also get reported to the police by someone who knows you are not in possession of a licence.
Once stopped, if you don’t have the documents available, you will be given 7 days to take them to a police station.

What happens if I drive while disqualified?

If you are caught driving a vehicle while disqualified, it is a very serious offence. You can be fined up to £5,000 or imprisoned for up to 6 months. You will face a further disqualification from driving. If you do not receive a prison sentence you are likely to be given a community sentence.

Can you be arrested for driving without a license?

While driving without a licence is not an arrestable offence, however you can receive up to six penalty points on your license and a fine of up to £1,000, you may have to attend court to answer a summons.

What happens if I am caught driving with a Provisional Licence unsupervised?

If you are a learner driver and you are caught driving without supervision before passing your driving test, you are breaking the law. Provisional licence holders can only drive legally if accompanied by a qualified driver over 21 years old, in a car showing L plates. The offence is driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence and will result in a fine and penalty points if convicted.

Will driving without a licence affect my insurance?

If you receive points on your license because you were driving without a valid licence, you will be seen as a higher risk by your insurance company. You may be refused insurance, and any premium charged will be higher than it would otherwise be.

What happens if I am caught driving without a licence and drink driving?

These are both serious driving offences, so you can expect at the least a large fine and a driving ban of a year or more. In addition, you could face a possible prison sentence. Driving without licence and insurance are both factors that aggravate the offence of driving with excess alcohol.

What if my driving license has expired?

It is illegal to drive a vehicle if your license has expired, it is free [unless you have been disqualified] and simple to renew. Usually, you aren’t required to renew it unless you are over seventy years old, and then you will be required to renew it every three years. However, your photo licence needs to be renewed after 10 years. The DVLA will post a renewal pack in advance, and to renew it costs £20.

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