Driving While Disqualified

About Driving While Disqualified Offences

Driving whilst disqualified is a very serious road traffic offence for which you can go to prison. If you are convicted, your driving ban will usually be extended or, you will receive penalty points.

Driving whilst disqualified is not the same as driving without a licence. Driving otherwise in accordance with a licence is a much less serious offence and you cannot go to prison.

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What do the police need to prove?

The police must prove that:

  • you drove a vehicle on a road;
  • at a time that you were disqualified for holding or obtaining a licence.

They do not need to prove that you had knowledge of your disqualification.

If you would like to know more please contact us today.


The fact that you did not know you were committing the offence will not provide you with a defence. Depending on the circumstances, you may have special reasons to avoid disqualification or points.

For more information please see our FAQs on driving while disqualified below.

Driving While Disqualified Summary


Maximum Penalties

Driving Penalties: 6 penalty points or an extension of your existing driving ban.

Fine: Unlimited.



Magistrates’ Court only (unless an appeal).

Imprisonable? Yes – up to 6 months’ imprisonment in the Magistrates’ Court.

Have you been charged with a Driving While Disqualified offence?

Contact us today to find out how we can help.

Relevant Cases

Driving While Disqualified FAQs

What do the police have to prove for careless driving?

To obtain a conviction, the prosecution must show that the standard of your driving dropped below that of a careful and competent driver. This gives the prosecution a very low hurdle to get over. Most people will probably admit that at some point their standard of driving will drop below that of a competent and careful driver. Fortunately for them, if they are not seen and/or lucky enough not to be involved in an incident, there will be no criminal consequences.

Often a prosecution for careless driving will be reliant upon witness testimony and sometimes it can be one driver’s word against another’s. On other occasions, there may be a collision report or even a mechanical report.

Are there any defences?

If the police cannot prove the ingredients of the offence, then, of course, you will have a defence.

You may also have a defence if you were driving under duress or serious emergency. This is known as a defence of necessity. However, the decision to drive must be proportionate and reasonable to avoid the threat in question.

Are there any examples of dangerous driving?

Examples of dangerous driving include:

  • Aggressive driving (such as sudden lane changes or cutting into a line of vehicles) or racing or competitive driving or speed that is highly inappropriate for the prevailing road or traffic conditions
  • Disregard of traffic lights and other road signs which, on an objective analysis, would appear to be deliberate
  • Driving a vehicle knowing it has a dangerous defect or with a load which presents a danger to other road users
  • Using a hand-held mobile phone or other handheld electronic equipment when the driver was avoidably and dangerously distracted by that use
  • Driving when too tired to stay awake or where the driver is suffering from impaired ability such as having an arm or leg in plaster, or impaired eyesight.

Not all displays of driving will fall clearly the category of dangerous or careless driving, so you must seek advice well before entering your plea. You do not have to use the same solicitor who represented you at the police station, and in cases involving serious offences, it is often best to seek specialist motoring advice.

Can I drive abroad if I am disqualified?

If you are disqualified in Great Britain, you cannot drive here. You may be able to drive outside Great Britain unless also prohibited by the laws of the foreign country.

The converse is also true, so if you are disqualified in another country, you are not automatically disqualified in Great Britain. Therefore you would not commit the offence of driving while disqualified if you drive in Great Britain.

You cannot drive in Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man if you’ve been banned from driving on your Great Britain driving licence because there is ‘mutual recognition of disqualification’. Disqualified drivers from Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man are also banned from driving in Great Britain.

For further information on specific countries, please see the government website.

You may commit the offence of driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence. The position will depend on the effect of the disqualification according to the law of the country issuing the driving licence.


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A Google User
A Google User
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What can I say about pragma law and Lucy whitaker, 1st class absolutely brilliant!!!. I had my licence revoked last... October due to vasovagal syncope (faint) from the word go Lucy was brilliant, and I only dealt with her, she explained everything, in every stage extremely professional in everything she does, and had my licence back. What a result!!! thank you so much Lucy.read more
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