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

Penalties of Driving Without a Full Licence

By: Garry Crystal - Updated: 16 May 2018 | 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 there i was cough driving with no licecen or insurance for my first time i took all charges will i still need to go to court ? The police officers said i would get a letter but never said anything about court
Ltho26 - 16-May-18 @ 11:17 AM
Hi, a friend of mine and her husband have been in the UK for 2years. They can both drive in their own country but time has expired to drive on the licence of their country so they both have a UK provisional licence. They have just bought a car taxed it and are both insured on it. Can you tell me,so that I can pass the information on, if they can drive alone without L plates on the car , and if not, and one of them does what the consequences would be if anything were to happen or if they were to be caught by the police. Thank you for your help.
emm - 7-May-18 @ 11:47 PM
Gaz - Your Question:
I veered of the road and crashed my car into a retaining wall.I was not speeding,have a witness.I had my granddaughter in the car.We were not injured.I am a provisional holder.No L plates I was not accompanied.I had Insurance?She is the most precious thing in my life.I will never get over,how I could have badly injured her.Its my first driving offence.No penalty point.Can you give me a roughguide, as to what my punishment might be.Kind Regards

Our Response:
Because you crashed, you may be penalised for careless driving or driving withour due care and attention. You say you had insurance, but any insurance you had would be rendered invalid because you were driving unaccompanied and this is not allowed while on a provisional licence. There is also a penalty for driving without L plates. Here is a summary:
Driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence - £1,000 fine / Discretionary disqualification 3 to 6 points
Driving without insurance - Unlimited fine / Discretionary disqualification- 6 to 8 points
Careless and inconsiderate driving - Unlimited fine / Discretionary disqualification 3 to 9 points
or Dangerous driving - 2 years’ imprisonment / Unlimited fine / Obligatory disqualification 3 to 11 (if exceptionally not disqualified)
Driving without L Plates £100 fine plus 3 points
NoPenaltyPoints - 4-Apr-18 @ 3:15 PM
I veered of the road and crashed my car into a retaining wall.I was not speeding,have a witness.I had my granddaughter in the car.We were not injured.I am a provisional holder.No L plates I was not accompanied.I had Insurance?She is the most precious thing in my life.I will never get over,how I could have badly injured her.Its my first driving offence.No penalty point.Can you give me a rough guide, as to what my punishment might be.Kind Regards
Gaz - 2-Apr-18 @ 3:03 PM
Hi I got flashed at night by speed camera on 30 road did 36, but i do not hold full UK driving license and i wasn’t insured on the car but it was my friend car she got a letter and she filled a form out saying me was the driver at the time of driving and she book a speed awareness course on my name. What do i do now??
Sam_KS - 1-Apr-18 @ 9:14 PM
I was banned from driving due to being over the limit, the ban was up and i drove a car for a carer. It was an open insurance policy that had been changed. I was involved in a crash, the other driver was at fault. The police checked and said i had no license and wasnt on the insurance. What could be outcome?
Ben - 1-Apr-18 @ 2:14 PM
I was caught driving with no insurance and and only a provisonal licence at the time i have not recieved my summons to court yet but i have recently passed my driving test what will be the outcome in court if i was to get 6 points would i lose my licence after ive only just passed it ??
Gilbert - 25-Mar-18 @ 9:22 PM
Tom - Your Question:
Hi I have just been pulled for speeding over 100mph I have bin passed 14 months he said I will get 6 points and a big fine but dont think they will take my licence ? Is he just saying that ? Or is it ever possible ?

Our Response:
If you only passed your test 14 months ago, the new drivers act applies - your licence is revoked if you incur 6 or more points. If you were travelling at 100mph or more you will get a court summons.
NoPenaltyPoints - 19-Mar-18 @ 10:12 AM
Hi I have just been pulled for speeding over 100mph I have bin passed 14 months he said I will get 6 points and a big fine butdont think they will take my licence ? Is he just saying that ? Or is it ever possible ?
Tom - 16-Mar-18 @ 3:56 AM
i drive a car with provisionally licensed and without insuranceand i hat anaccident what can happen to me?
bad lok - 14-Mar-18 @ 8:50 AM
Adriana - Your Question:
Hi.im a provisional driver.what will happen if I get caught driving unaccompanied? Thanks

Our Response:
You can be fined up to £1,000 and get up to 6 penalty points on your provisional licence if you drive without the right supervision. Also note that any penalty points on your provisional licence that haven’t expired will be carried over to your full licence when you pass your test. However, your licence will be cancelled if you get any further penalty points that take you up to a total of 6 or more within 2 years of passing your driving test. This means you'll have to apply and pay for a new provisional licence and pass both theory and practical parts of the driving or riding test again to get a full licence.
NoPenaltyPoints - 6-Mar-18 @ 2:57 PM
Hiya! Cought by police Nov 2017 with no license and insurance but have shown my papers stating that's my own car,provisional license and L plates on car. Told me to wait for a month but its march 2018. Help me out what will be the outcome?
Dave - 6-Mar-18 @ 2:25 PM
Hi.im a provisional driver .what will happen if i get caught drivingunaccompanied? Thanks
Adriana - 4-Mar-18 @ 3:51 PM
I was driving my friend's car with out full provisionallicence and also I am not insure. Policecaught me and they took all my detail. What would be the penalty.thank you
Awta - 1-Mar-18 @ 5:14 AM
Mosa- Your Question:
Hi,Just been caught by the police driving without driving license, the car was decaraled SORN and no insurance. What will happen next?

Our Response:
You will receive a court summons. The courts will decide what penalty will be suitable.
NoPenaltyPoints - 27-Feb-18 @ 11:45 AM
Hi, Just been caught by the police driving without driving license, the car was decaraled SORN and no insurance. What will happen next?
Mosa - 24-Feb-18 @ 1:42 PM
Good morning . I was arrested for driving a vechile I was not insured on. Breathe test 68 ( over the limit ) No headlights on & only provisional licence. I have court on the 14th march . Any rough ideas of outcome I may receive ? Many thanks- laura
Laurz - 23-Feb-18 @ 11:43 AM
Valvini - Your Question:
Hi. Can you explain for me what the consequences if I drive the car with a non GB drive license after 12 months. I have a EU drive license but I drive only to move at the city. Is not for work or business. Thank you

Our Response:
The penalty for driving without the correct licence is to 3-6 points plus a fine of up to £1000.
NoPenaltyPoints - 23-Jan-18 @ 3:08 PM
Hi. Can you explain for me what the consequences if I drive the car with a non GB drive license after 12 months. I have a EU drive license but I drive only to move at the city. Is not for work or business. Thank you
Valvini - 20-Jan-18 @ 3:53 PM
Hi there, I was driving my wife car a Ford ison11.01.18 01:40 on my way to work because it's an old car, my car was at home it's a newer one that's way I left it to my wife, I have full comprehensive insurance on my car and I thought I was able to drive others car, but apparently not. The issue is that I'm a lorry driver and this it's gonna affect my work, because with 6 penalty points it's getting hard to any company to give you work. I accept that I'm guilty but I'm asking what options I have not to receive less or any penalty points. Thanka
Dragos - 18-Jan-18 @ 3:07 PM
I was driving with my provisional licence and no l plates and no body with me .also my two sons with me . the plice stop me and took the car what will happen to me please?
L.s - 21-Dec-17 @ 12:17 PM
Bear - Your Question:
I was driving to a local restaurant last night and got stoped by an unmarked car I’m a provisional driver I had a person with me car is tax test and correct insurance Car was seized for no l plates can this be dun and what would be the penalty for this

Our Response:
Yes You must put an L plate on the front and back of your vehicle so they can be seen easily. You can get up to 6 penalty points if you don’t display an L plate or if it isn’t the right size.
NoPenaltyPoints - 11-Dec-17 @ 11:23 AM
I was driving to a local restaurant last night and got stoped by an unmarked car I’m a provisional driver I had a person with me car is tax test and correct insurance Car was seized for no l plates can this be dun and what would be the penalty for this
Bear - 10-Dec-17 @ 6:51 AM
I have been driving with an EU licence issued in Portugal in 1998 but when I went to exchange it for a UK one I was informed that the licence was not genuine.I was very shocked to hear this as to the best of my knowledge I was driving with a normal licencefor 20 years and all of sudden that was not the case.Throughout all these years I never received any driving penalties and as such have not committed any driving offences.The Police have contacted me to arrange an interview which is booked in but I wanted to know what the consequences might be.Will I be given a ban, points and fine?Any insight on similar cases would be much appreciated as I feel very lost.
Eddie T - 6-Dec-17 @ 1:21 PM
My hubby is a provisional driver ,we have been experiencing problems with our neighbour and she was videoing me in my car about a week ago ,then coming back home from hospital I was followed by an unmarked police car ,this car followed me for about 5 miles but never attempted to stop me till I was 10 yards from my home .when the officer cam to the window he said this isn't your car (twice) he also wouldn't believe I had insurance till I showed him it in an email on the phone .I asked why he'd stopped me and he said he thought I had been drinking .( I don't drink) .He then said he was seizing the car ,I asked if I had been reported ,he replied no I've been watching you drive ..Why would he let me drive 5 miles before stopping me (seems strange) I think he expected my son driving and not me and that's why he was saying it wasn't my car ,what would I expect to get as only got paperwork for the car taken from me and nothing else yet
Mely - 15-Oct-17 @ 11:13 PM
Hi my hubby holds a provisional license and was driving the car home from hospital with myself at the side of him ,he had no L plates but was taxed insured and m.o.t we was pulled over by an unmarked car just yards from our house ,the officer repeatedly said the car wasn't my hubby's ,but it was and didn't believe he had insurance so I showed him it on my eMail. He also said he looked like he'd been drinking ,but never asked him to get out of the car or brethalize him,he then said I'm gonna seize your car .This officer had followed us for at least 4 miles but have no indication to stop him .We was given paper for our viechle but none for the offence .What would be the outcome for my husbby do you think ,as he thinks he will go to court
Mely - 15-Oct-17 @ 11:01 PM
Lyndylou - Your Question:
Hi just a reply to your question.Hope it helps or at least gives you an idea.10 days before I took my driving test I took my car out with no qualified driver and no L plates so I could get my prescription as I was unwell and couldnt get anyone to go with me (yes totally stupid I know and yes I have now learned my lesson) when I went to court I got 6 points and £110. Fine.Ended up with an Lc20 for no l platesIn10 for no insurance These stay on your license for 4 years although expire after 3 years.My insurance went to £2800.00 in the first year for a little 1.2 sxi corsa 53 plate. However 3 years down the line on an astra 1.8 its now at £2200.00 a year and has been for the past 2 years.Wouldnt matter what car I had it is still this price.Hope this helps a little

Our Response:
Thanks for sharing your experiences LyndyLoo
NoPenaltyPoints - 11-Oct-17 @ 2:58 PM
Hi just a reply to your question. Hope it helps or at least gives you an idea. 10 days before i took my driving test i took my car out with no qualified driver and no L plates so i could get my prescription as i was unwell and couldnt get anyone to go with me (yes totally stupid i know and yes i have now learned my lesson) when i went to court i got 6 points and £110. Fine. Ended up with an Lc20 for no l plates In10 for no insurance These stay on your license for 4 years although expire after 3 years. My insurance went to £2800.00 in the first year for a little 1.2 sxi corsa 53 plate. However 3 years down the line on an astra 1.8 its now at £2200.00 a year and has been for the past 2 years. Wouldnt matter what car i had it is still this price. Hope this helps a little
Lyndylou - 10-Oct-17 @ 3:14 PM
My sister was insured on provisional but then she had accident Noone with her who was fully licensed it wasn't her fault but still what can happen
Maarya - 9-Oct-17 @ 7:37 AM
My brother crashed into another car. He does not have a full licence. No insurance, or l plates. Had his young son in the car. Police seized car...... What kind of points hefty fine or ban is he looking at ??? I would jail the toe-rag
Ron - 21-Sep-17 @ 10:47 PM
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