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Penalties of Driving Without a Full Licence

By: Garry Crystal - Updated: 11 Sep 2020 | 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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Hi I was stopped by police driving without insurance and license and I’ve been arranged to the court,what’s my date and also I don’t have money for a solicitor do I go to the court or stay away
Kato - 11-Sep-20 @ 5:16 AM
Hi.. I’ve been stopped by police driving with provisional license.. they told me I will get a letter 4-7 weeks? Anyone knows how many points or fine I will get..
Sel - 2-Sep-20 @ 4:25 PM
Hi, I was banned for 7 years due to drink driving. I got my license back 4 years ago after undergoing a medical. I was given it back for 12 months at a time, first 2 years was fine passed medical, last year I was sent a letter saying I wouldn’t be getting a medical so I fully expected it back permanently. How ever I was pulled over in March and was told my license had been revoked. I was charged with no license and fined £100. I was caught again last month with no license and I am still awaiting to hear what the outcome is of that, I have been trying to contact the Dvla but finding it difficult with covid. Today the police have been at my door but I wasn’t in. I drove my car earlier and passed the police and I’m concerned it is due to that. If it is that will be my third caught without a license offence this year. What is the likely punishment for this?
Deano - 20-Aug-20 @ 12:47 PM
Hi I have just got a letter through I was in a minor traffic collision and I failed to stop as I had no license or insurance I just want to know what penalty I could get.
123 - 15-Aug-20 @ 11:26 PM
I was recently caught driving my girlfriends car with her beside me, the police said that they will give me a £300 and 3 points to my provisional licence.However I do not have a provisional licence, I ordered it on the day that I was stopped.where will the points go to if I do not get it in time?,will I be taken to court?
jay - 19-Jul-20 @ 1:15 PM
Hi, If an accident happens on provisional licence without the L plate and without right supervision of a person who is more that three years experience. Will the insurance cancel my policy? Does the driver who is less than three years will be convicted being with me ?
Ema - 13-Jul-20 @ 8:51 PM
Myslef and my partner was at a party new yr I wasnt drinking he was our intentions was to catch a cab home but a fight broke out with weapons ect and we was at serious risk my partners father lived a 5 min drive away so stupidly I told my partner to get in the car and we drove off I dont have a license and unfortunately a car pulled out on me at a junction and we had an accident my partner told the police he was driving to protect me but I cant let him take the wrap for my mistake if I tell the truth now what will happen to me
Cla - 24-Feb-20 @ 5:20 PM
Hi I got pulled over last week I had a provisional licence no driver next to me or no l plates my car got impounded I got it bk out with compound insurance and 2 days ago I passed my test what will happen to me when I go to court I never drive on my own but my mom is terminally ill will lung cancer she wasn't very well and I needed to get my son cuz no one could fetch him and no one else was about so I drove the car and got pulled a mile from my house what will happen I've passed my test since I really need the car for my moms hospital appointments shes got no one else
Min - 26-Oct-19 @ 2:51 AM
I know a guy that is driving without a full licence and insurance what would be the best way to stop him doing so as its putting other road users at risk.
Ross - 25-Sep-19 @ 4:35 PM
I kno a guy that is driving with out a full licence but has insurance what would be the best way to stop him doing so as its putting other road users at risk
Shadow - 20-Aug-19 @ 3:54 PM
I was driving without insurance and full license. Stopped by the police and my car taken, i was allowed to go free. What is to be expected please? can i have a rough guide? Thanks
Kunlex - 28-Jul-19 @ 10:37 PM
Hi. I'm planning to buy a car, but I have a provisional licence. Do is allowed to drive alone?Thanks.
Wasse - 11-Jul-19 @ 8:10 PM
My partner has been pulled for driving on a provisional license was insured an taxed but think the insurance would be void as not having a qualified driver with him at the time... what can he expect as this is his first offence... he has sat his theroy an car test a few times but failed an is eager to keep retrying until he passes
Rebecca - 7-Jun-19 @ 1:47 PM
Hi. My boyfriend have only provisional driving license and I have full one but he said he will drive on motorways... I know he can’t it’s not aloud but question is what will be after?? What problems he will have??
Alex - 4-Mar-19 @ 9:40 PM
My friend was caught last night with no insurance and he is driving with provisional licence.Police told he was penalised with 6 points. What are the consequences ? How much fine he is liable to pay ?
bell - 20-Feb-19 @ 12:33 AM
Hello there! I want to apply for a provisional driver license. Can i drive alone? I mean just me with myself in the car after i have the provisional driver?
Jackye - 14-Feb-19 @ 1:21 PM
Just to be clear my circumstances are very unfortunate. I’m far from a bad driver just been unlucky with cars in the last 2 years. Never had an accident just unfortunate no Insurance circumstances for short journeys.
DB - 3-Feb-19 @ 5:27 AM
Today I got stopped by a unmarked car which was police. They initially thought I was drinking driving because I thought someone was tailing me so I moved lanes a couple times and they stopped me and gave me a breathalyser which I passed. They did further checks: Because it was my sisters car I was driving she had insurance but I didn’t. I had noidea that her cars MOT had expired too, since July last year. I always had my license revoked recently because I had my license under 2 years. What do you think my punishment will be?? Would I be banned for like with some £2000 fine?
DB - 3-Feb-19 @ 5:22 AM
What happens if you drive into a store without a driving licence or insurance and a camera films you whilst driving into the shop.
Gg - 1-Feb-19 @ 4:58 PM
I drove my sisters car, with my provisional license and I had a head on collision with another car, my sister is insured but the police have quizzed me , what fine and punishment would I get?
Collkings - 1-Dec-18 @ 4:47 AM
i was not ferling well and i called my brother to take me home . he drove me home in my car. but because i have a fully comp insurance i was of the view that he can drive it whilst i am the car . unfortunately he passed a red light 0.9 sec . they now sent a letter to me . if i say that i wSthe ibe driving i will get fine and penalty and possibly refreshers course .if i say he was driving i will still be orisecuted for allowing him to drive my car . i am so confusedandworried . any adviice
allli - 18-Oct-18 @ 12:36 AM
I hit someone's car and I have provisional licence she called the police so I have been caught now am waiting for the police letter in my house am worried about what will be in the letter what will be my punishment pls?
Thess - 3-Oct-18 @ 2:53 AM
I was driving on provisional licence and bumped the car in front will my ins still cover it
Tilly - 21-Sep-18 @ 7:31 PM
I drove a car at 36 miles speed on 30miles zone. Police send me a NIP for speeding. I had a qualified driver with me but had no L plate on rear side, i am on provisional license and has valid insurance for this car. My question is will be charged for speeding or will they punish me for the L plate as well.
bips - 14-Sep-18 @ 10:50 PM
Can I move my car from one parking space to another without being supervised in case of an emergency?
anito - 23-Aug-18 @ 12:26 PM
Tee - Your Question:
My Question:I drove our car with my provisional licence with my wife beside me who has a full licence without an L place to an unknown area. The police sent section 172 notice to our house stating that I crosses the yellow box while the light turned yellow. I have asked her to fill the form with my name as the driver on that day. What advice have you for me?

Our Response:
Having identified yourself, you will probably be penalised for the yellow box/traffic light offence and also for driving (as a provisional driver) without L plates.
NoPenaltyPoints - 10-Aug-18 @ 2:16 PM
My Question: I drove our car with my provisional licence with my wife beside me who has a full licence without an L place to an unknown area. The police sent section 172 notice to our housestating that I crosses the yellow box while the light turned yellow. I have asked her to fill the form with my name as the driver on that day. What advice have you for me?
Tee - 9-Aug-18 @ 2:46 PM
I was pulled over last night in a sting operation for not having L plates on my 125 cc , I have previously been banned for 22 months for drink driving and driving within accordance of my lisence , thay said I will receive a letter telling me what happens next , what sort of penalty will it get ? I’m really worried about it
Cowboy - 28-Jul-18 @ 10:54 AM
My partner was caught speeding whilst driving his children home. He is not insured or have a license. I was at work at the time and got the letter in the mail and when I checked the picture it was clear it was him. He already admitted this to me. What would the penalty be?
Kez - 20-Jul-18 @ 10:00 PM
Hi, would be grateful for some advice. Had an accident 2 years ago, driving on a provisional licence without supervision but insured as a provisional driver. She came into my pathway. I risked it to go to the shop, didn't again after that. I then got my licence a year ago. She is now taking me to court, which I'm fighting but I don't know if I will.receive a penalty? Any advice would be brilliant
Momma - 5-Jul-18 @ 10:21 PM
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