Home > Driver Offences > Penalties of Driving Without a Full Licence

Penalties of Driving Without a Full Licence

By: Garry Crystal - Updated: 12 Jan 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Full Licence Provisional

Many people are under the impression that driving without a full licence would carry the same penalties as driving while disqualified but they are separate offences. Around 800,000 drivers in the UK are unlicensed according to an AA survey, and penalty points and fines can be applied if convicted.

Unlicensed Drivers in the UK

One out of every 40 drivers on UK roads is unlicensed according to a survey undertaken by the Automobile Association (AA). This figure includes drivers who have been disqualified, provisional licence holders and motorists who have never held any type of licence. The survey points out that the majority of unlicensed drivers are young males. Many unlicensed drivers are ashamed to admit that they have failed the driving test and will simply begin driving without a licence. But taking to the road without a full driving licence can lead to penalty points, fines and increased insurance premiums.

Rules for Provisional Licence Holders

Drivers cannot learn to drive in the UK without a provisional driving licence. Learner drivers can only drive a motor vehicle if accompanied by a fully licensed adult. The accompanying driver must be over the age of 21. The accompanying driver must also have held a full licence for at least three years. The vehicle must be insured for the learner driver and ‘L’ plates must be displayed when the learner is in control of the vehicle.

Failing to Comply With Licence Conditions

There are terms and conditions that apply to driving licences including provisional driving licences. If a driver breaks the terms and conditions of the licence they will be committing an offence and can be charged. A provisional driver who drives without ‘L’ plates can be charged under a PL10 conviction code, which is Driving Without ‘L’ Plates. The act of driving without the correct ‘L’ plates can be enough to have penalty points applied to a provisional licence. Breaking the conditions of the licence can also lead to fines and a driving disqualification depending on the offence.

Driving Without a Full Licence

Driving without a full licence is an offence and three to six penalty points can be applied. Driving without a full licence comes under the LC10 conviction code. This offence can also lead to a maximum fine of £1000. Courts also have discretionary powers to ban the convicted driver from obtaining a full licence for a specified period of time. If the driver is not entitled to drive the vehicle under the terms and conditions of their licence then this can be an endorsable offence.

Endorsable and Non Endorsable Driving Offences

An endorsable offence means that penalty points will be applied and will appear on a licence for a set period of time. The penalty points can stay on a licence for four or eleven years. It may be the case that driving without a full licence may be a non endorsable driving offence; no points but a period of disqualification. This can happen if the driver has a full licence but it has been suspended by the DVLA without the driver’s knowledge. This would mean the motorist is driving without a full licence but has not yet been notified that their licence has been revoked or suspended.

Driving Without a Full Licence and Insurance

Driving without insurance is viewed as a serious matter and if convicted can lead to six to eight penalty points. This offence can also lead to a fine of up to £5,000. In the view of most insurers a driver who breaks the conditions of their licence, for example driving without a full licence, will also invalidate the vehicle insurance. This means drivers will not only be driving without a full licence but also driving without insurance. Again, the courts do have discretionary powers to ban a driver from obtaining a licence for a set period of time for this offence.

Driving Without a Full Licence and the Consequences

Driving without a full licence may not seem serious to unlicensed drivers but the potential consequences simply aren’t worth the risk. Consequences can include:

  • A fine of up to £1000 plus three to six penalty points
  • Banned from obtaining a full licence for a set period of time
  • A higher fine of up to £5000 if convicted of driving without insurance
  • Insurers will impose higher insurance premiums for those with driving convictions, penalty points and/or a disqualification
  • Additional expense of legal representation
  • Those looking for driving employment may ruin their chances with a driving conviction on their licence
Motorists who have been charged with a driving offence are advised to seek legal advice and representation. The powers of the courts regarding driving offences can vary between countries, and a solicitor will be able to advise on the potential consequences and the best line of defence.

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[Add a Comment]
Hi, A friend is deciding to drive with provisional driving licence, maybe "L" plates on and insurance in her car, but she'll drive even if she's alone in the vehicle. What's the charges if she got caught without accompanied by an experienced driver?
Tess Summer - 12-Jan-17 @ 4:37 PM
Sam - Your Question:
Hi police stopped me and I realised I had no insurance, I got insurance the time after they stopped me. They said to show proof that I had insurance and I have 7 days. What do I do? How much will the fine be and what will the penalty points be

Our Response:
The penalty for driving without insurance can be a fine of £300 and 6 penalty points.
NoPenaltyPoints - 10-Jan-17 @ 2:09 PM
Hi police stopped me and i realised i had no insurance, i got insurance the time after they stopped me. They said to show proof that i had insurance and i have 7 days. What do i do? How much will the fine be and what will the penalty points be
Sam - 9-Jan-17 @ 7:20 PM
Hello what can be when getstoppedpolice tree time without driving licence ?
Henry - 28-Dec-16 @ 3:37 PM
i sombody driving a motorbike without A category, what could be for the driver?
superbike - 28-Nov-16 @ 7:08 PM
Hi, my 21 years old son was driving he was involved in a miner accident with the black cab taxi driver, he didn't stop to exchange details he was in shock he continued driving the cab driver was following him behind they both passed the red light as well, then he stop when he relied, he then try to get the driver attention to exchange detail the driver waived his hand to him to drive off, straight after my son returned home called the police and report the incident to the insurance but he didn't take no registration no of the vehicle but still he did reported the incident he didn't runaway from it. Know he received a letter from the police hit and run offence that he needs to complete the form and send it back to the police with his licence and insurance details. We are both are really worried, he doesn't want to lose his licence or get point for his licence his been driving last four years his got clean licence and his always had fast powerful cars on this occasion he doesn't know what happens, there is no damage on his car so it wasn't big accident we also been told taxis have cameras fitted inside.
LO - 27-Nov-16 @ 9:10 AM
I have been issued NIP for driving on provisional licence on motorway. Though I had misunderstanding that Non-EU full licence is valid for 12 months to drive from last date of entry in country. That's why I used to go back to my country every 12 months thinking fresh 12 months will start from the date of my entry into country. And need to take full driving licence before you become citizen of this country, which I did once I got citizenship this week got passed my driving test and got full licence, But now came to know that's not the case. I did paid penalty as per NIP and given details of my Non-EU licence, but received letter couple of days back that as I was driving on provisional licence court summon would be issued. Now worried what would be the outcome in court and for what all things I would be charged and for how much and what all penalties would be imposed.
Karan - 25-Nov-16 @ 12:35 AM
My nan has just had her license revoked by the dvla due to her medical illness, dementia. The problem I'm having is she still drives some days as she forgets. I clearly need to report her but who do I turn to? Is it a police matter?
Jc - 4-Nov-16 @ 10:16 AM
One of my friend is hiring and driving car with out uk license, she is having international driving licence, but she is in U.K. For more than 15 months, can she drive, whom should I report these type of issues, she able to hire a car from Heathrow airport.
Jp - 17-Oct-16 @ 9:36 PM
I have been in the car with both my mother in law and father in law on numerous trips in the car as a passenger. I have just found out that neither of them has passed their driving test and have no insurance or L plates. As a qualified driver myself, could I also have been prosecuted when in the car with them?
Colin moss - 5-Oct-16 @ 7:22 PM
Lu - Your Question:
Hi, My partner was previously convicted for drink driving and lost his license for a year, however previous to this conviction he was caught driving with no insurance and the court date isnt till next week. What would the likely outcome be? a higher fine ontop of the one he already has? more points on his license? would they suspend his license for longer?He was under the impression that his car was insured under his company policy when he worked at a garage however it turns out that it was not for personal use. Many ThanksLucy

Our Response:
This will be for the judge to decide. He could be given a fine or a longer ban etc but if he can prove that he thought he was insured by his company, then the judge may be lenient.
NoPenaltyPoints - 5-Oct-16 @ 12:04 PM
Hi, My partner was previously convicted for drink driving and lost his license for a year, however previous to this conviction he was caught driving with no insurance and the court date isnt till next week. What would the likely outcome be? a higher fine ontop of the one he already has? more points on his license? would they suspend his license for longer? He was under the impression that his car was insured under his company policy when he worked at a garage however it turns out that it was not for personal use. Many Thanks Lucy
Lu - 4-Oct-16 @ 8:40 AM
Patty - Your Question:
Pls can someone tell me what to do.i have got a provisional licence and I couldn't find my licence I got back home so I had to get through provisional one here and also did my theory test.i did all that in 2014 and this year I got a car but I was stopped by the police and was interviewed and said I will probably go to court.so I was wondering if anyone can tell me my possible charges and what will.happen.will I be ban and if yes for how long.i was told to pay £150 to pick up the car from the police station pending the date for the court hearing.im so nervous.pls I really need to know what I'm should be facing.thanks

Our Response:
Drving without a licence can incur between 3 and 6 points plus fine of up to £1000. If your insurance was also invalid, you will incur extra penalties. It is of course all at the discretion of the police.
NoPenaltyPoints - 3-Oct-16 @ 2:13 PM
Pls can someone tell me what to do.i have got a provisional licence and I couldn't find my licence I got back home so I had to get through provisional one here and also did my theory test.i did all that in 2014 and this year I got a car but I was stopped by the police and was interviewed and said I will probably go to court.so I was wondering if anyone can tell me my possible charges and what will.happen.will I be ban and if yes for how long.i was told to pay £150 to pick up the car from the police station pending the date for the court hearing.im so nervous.pls I really need to know what I'm should be facing.thanks
Patty - 1-Oct-16 @ 11:21 PM
Carlaparla - Your Question:
Hi. I was pulled over the other day on a routine check in my mums car (which I am insured to drive). The policemen said my licence isn't valid and hasn't bee for about ten years even though it was in date. This is because I had a four month driving ban back then for not having proper insurance. What is going to be my penalty? What's the punishment for this? I'm very stressed out about this.

Our Response:
Contact the DLVA, they should have a record of the date the ban was lifted and be able to renew your licence for you. The DVLA is supposed to send you a form 56 days before your ban ends in order for you to apply for a new one, but in practice this doesn't seem to happen as often as it should. It might be worth checking with a solicitor or even Citizens' Advice to get someone to have a look at this for you.
NoPenaltyPoints - 30-Sep-16 @ 10:42 AM
Hi. i was pulled over the other day on a routine check in my mums car (which I am insured to drive). The policemen said my licence isn't valid and hasn't bee for about ten years even though it was in date. This is because I had a four month driving ban back then for not having proper insurance. What is going to be my penalty? What's the punishment for this? I'm very stressed out about this.
Carlaparla - 29-Sep-16 @ 1:43 AM
Shhuuii - Your Question:
I'm a 15 year old male will turn 16 in a few months, my step-dad has no driving license and he took the car out for a drive and scraped a trailer and he didn't stop (hit & run), and also there wear 2 more people in the care excluding me and him who are under age, he was also a bit drunk, can someone please give me a little insight about what kind of charges he will be facing. Thank you.

Our Response:
Driving uninsured could mean a £300 fine plus 6 penalty points. If it goes to court he could get an unlimited fine, be disqualified from driving and the vehicle could be seized. Driving without the correct licence could incur 3 to 6 points plus a fine. He could also be prosecuted for failing to stop/failing to report an accident.
NoPenaltyPoints - 26-Sep-16 @ 10:25 AM
I'm a 15 year old male will turn 16 in a few months, my step-dad has no driving license and he took the car out for a drive and scraped a trailer and he didn't stop (hit & run), and also there wear 2 more people in the care excluding me and him who are under age, he was also a bit drunk, can someone please give me a little insight about what kind of charges he will be facing. Thank you.
Shhuuii - 24-Sep-16 @ 9:36 AM
I no a lady who had been driving on a provisional licence for years she insures the car as having a full licence. She even parks the car in the local high street with a disability badge. She has almost caused a few accidents in the last year or so. I have reported her to the police but nothing has been done
Lindyloo - 19-Sep-16 @ 10:44 PM
Hi I have been suspended from work because I drove on there property with just a provisonal the car is insured for me to drive it the next day I passed my test can I have my liecenc took away if they contact the police
Lis - 13-Sep-16 @ 12:34 PM
I was driving with provisional, with no one and stop by police do you no why many point pls
Ste - 7-Sep-16 @ 7:00 PM
Hi can anyone give me advice . I am a 51 year old learner driver and I have failed my test 6 times due to nerves.On the morning if my last test date I took my car into a car park behind my house to practise reversing . I left it parked for 10 minuses as I was going to ask my instructior to put it back on the drive. However I was reported for parking in a disabled space and then charged with driving withouta licence, Motor insurance.The police officers were very kind and said they believed I would not take the car into the road and would give me a favourable report . I have no previous convictions of any sort . Does anyone have a clue as to what penalty I may be looking at ? I am in Scotland. I'm absolutely beside myself with worry as I don't have much money and I have a family to support.
J - 25-Aug-16 @ 6:04 PM
Princess - Your Question:
Hi I was wondering if anyone could help me I have a provisional liscence and me and my friend was out in the car she's 20 and I didn't realise she had to be 21 to a company me. I ended up crashing the car into another car and me the girl and her son was taking to hospital nothing serious the police said it looks worse than it was.I just feel awful can't sleep or think properly as I no its now my own fault as I should of looked into it more.if I pass my test by the court date would they likely take my liscence of Me even though it happend while I had a provisional liscence any advice would be helpful x

Our Response:
We can't really say what the penalty would be - that's up to a court judge. The penalty for driving other than in accordance with your licence is 3 to 6 points, but that fact that you crashed as well may add additional penalties.
NoPenaltyPoints - 22-Aug-16 @ 11:48 AM
Hi I was wondering if anyone could help me I have a provisional liscence and me and my friend was out in the car she's 20 and I didn't realise she had to be 21 to a company me. I ended up crashing the car into another car and me the girl and her son was taking to hospital nothing serious the police said it looks worse than it was..I just feel awful can't sleep or think properly as I no its now my own fault as I should of looked into it more..if I pass my test by the court date would they likely take my liscence of Me even though it happend while I had a provisional liscence any advice would be helpful x
Princess - 21-Aug-16 @ 1:48 AM
I have provisional license and I passed thory test. I bought a car I have insurance just I'm trying to move to other side of the road in the streets park. I get a cycles just I run from her I scratch other can on the park.the police officer coming and they take my car and I'm waiting what can to say to me.I'm so stressed please give some advice
Bini - 17-Aug-16 @ 8:41 PM
I have provisional license and I passed thory test . I bought a car i do insurance but when I'm driving to change parking my car Iscratch other car in theit is not damage but because I'm not control the car.I have not any one with me I hade the L I show the police just I'm going to change parking I told them.they take my car I'm waiting please I'm so stressed give me some advice
Bini - 17-Aug-16 @ 8:31 PM
I am provisional license holder with an Irish drivers learner permit for a motorcycle category Awhat are the regulation with me driving in the uk on a learner permit fully insured With an L jacket for a weekend away ?
Jef - 17-Aug-16 @ 12:07 PM
Hi I have never had any previous convictions but have received 3 points on my licence and 100 pound fine for driving at 100 and average of 90 on the motorway. I was told I might get a course but got this instead.I have never commuted any offence. What shall I do
Scared - 10-Aug-16 @ 7:07 PM
I m eu licenseholder night police check me Iast night with out insurancebut my wife also insuranceon this car vaild please any body tellme about this
Mm - 14-Jul-16 @ 8:55 AM
Hi I'm looking for some advice My 14 year old sister has just told me that a few weeks ago 2 girls we know took her for a drive. Both girls were under the influence of alcohol and one of them didn't have a licence but was still driving whilst the owner of the car had got out. Is there anything the police can do about this now or would they have needed to be caught on the night? Thanks
Amy - 14-Jul-16 @ 8:19 AM
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