Driving without a licence or insurance may seem like minor offences compared with other motoring offences, however, the effects can be far-reaching. You could receive hefty fines, your insurance premiums are likely to increase, and you could even be disqualified from driving in certain circumstances. Therefore, it’s absolutely essential that you seek the services of an expert motoring offences solicitor to guide you through the criminal justice process.
At Gepp, we provide bespoke criminal law services, designed to preserve your rights and ensure you receive the highest standards of legal advice and defence possible.
If you need advice because you have been caught driving without a licence or insurance cover, get in touch with our specialist motoring law solicitors by calling 01206 369889 or by filling in our enquiry form.
Driving without a licence
If you want to drive a motor vehicle then you are required by law to hold a full, valid driving licence. The only exception to this is if you are a learner holding a provisional licence, accompanied by a full licence holder (who has had their licence for at least three years), and the car is insured and displaying L plates.
Many people are unaware that the police have technology which can assess whether your car is insured, MOT’d, and whether you hold a valid licence. Therefore, it is never worth driving without a licence thinking that the police will only find out by chance if they happen to stop you.
There are a number of licence offences, including:
- Driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence
- Driving after falsely declaring your fitness to drive when applying for a licence
- Driving after failing to notify the DVLA of a disability
- Driving after your licence has been cancelled or refused on medical grounds
If you are caught by the police driving without a valid licence, you may incur serious penalties, including fines and points on your licence. You may even be taken to court and could be disqualified from driving.
Driving without insurance
Under motoring law, anyone using a vehicle on the road or another public place must have valid insurance against third party risks. This includes vehicles which are merely parked on public roads and not being driven.
Furthermore, if you are the driver, you must be named on the insurance. It is not enough that the car you are driving is insured. If the insurance is in someone else’s name, you will be committing an offence.
Driving without insurance is risky because the presence of Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras means you’re very likely to get caught by the police.
If you are caught driving without insurance, penalties include receiving a fine and points on your licence, and you could be taken to court, convicted of an offence, and banned from driving.
What we can do for you
At Gepp Solicitors, we have an in-depth understanding of the law and practice surrounding all motoring offences, including driving without a licence or insurance and know the courts well.
We can advise in relation to all aspects of the offences, including:
- Advising you in relation to encounters with the police and Fixed Penalty Notices
- Building you a robust defence, including exploring any ‘special reasons’ for the offence
- Providing professional representation in court if necessary
We will always tailor our advice to your individual situation and we will never advise you to plead guilty to an offence just because it’s ‘easier’. Our goal is to try and achieve the best possible outcome for you in the circumstances.
Driving Without a Licence or Insurance FAQs
Is driving without a licence an arrestable offence?
No, but probably will receive a fine and points on your licence and you could also be required to attend court at a later date.
Is driving without insurance an arrestable offence?
No, but as above,if you are caught driving without insurance, you will likely incur other penalties, such as points or fines, and you may have to attend court at a later date.
What happens if you get caught driving without a licence or insurance?
When the police stop you, they will ask you present your licence, up-to-date insurance documents, and MOT certificate. If you cannot produce these documents, the police will give you seven days to bring these documents to the police station.
If you do not provide the required documents within seven days, you will likely be summonsed to court.
Does driving without a licence affect insurance?
If you are convicted of driving without a licence or insurance or receive a driving licence endorsement (points on your licence), insurers will see you as a higher risk and your insurance premium could dramatically increase.
You will probably have to disclose your convictions to your insurer and we can provide advice on how to do this and when it is necessary.
Can you go to prison for driving without a licence and insurance?
No, but the penalties associated with these offences are still extremely serious and should be avoided wherever possible.
What happens if you get caught drink driving without a licence?
Drink driving in itself is a serious offence, however, driving without a licence while also being under the influence of drink is extremely serious because the lack of a valid licence is seen as an ‘aggravating factor’, and a court will be more likely to give you a harsh sentence.
If you are caught drink driving without a licence, you will be disqualified from driving for at least a year and could receive an unlimited fine and a jail sentence.
Can you legally drive without insurance?
The only times you can legally drive without insurance is when driving on completely private property. However, you will need to make a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) and you cannot take the car on any road to which the public have access.
We can provide advice on SORNs and the narrow circumstances in which insurance is not needed.
What are the penalties for driving without a licence?
If you are stopped by the police for driving without a licence, they may offer you a Fixed Penalty Notice (also known as conditional offer of fixed penalty) of £100 and 3-6 points on your licence as an alternative to going to court.
You don’t have to accept the Fixed Penalty Notice (for example, if you do not accept guilt for the offence), but you will likely have to attend court where you could receive a fine of up to £1,000 (or up to £5,000 if you also lack insurance).
If you are caught driving on a provisional licence with no fully licenced adult with you, you could also be prevented from obtaining a full licence for a certain period of time.
If you get more than 12 points on your licence within 3 years, you could be disqualified from driving for at least 6 months and you will need to reapply for your licence once your disqualification expires.
What are the penalties for driving without insurance?
If you are stopped by the police for driving without insurance, you may be offered a Fixed Penalty Notice of £300 and 6 penalty points on your licence.
If you do not accept the Fixed Penalty Notice and are required to go to court, the potential penalties are:
- An unlimited fine
- Points on your licences and disqualification from driving if you get more than 12 points within 3 years
The police could also seize and potentially destroy the uninsured vehicle.
What are ‘special reasons’?
'Special reasons' is a very complex and discrete area of law, which while not being a defence to a charge may allow a court to avoid an otherwise obligatory endorsement and/or disqualification. It must however relate to how the offence was committed. Expert advice must be obtained with regard to this.
We always ensure we get to grips with every aspect of our clients’ cases, including looking for and flagging special reasons wherever possible.
Why instruct us?
Gepp Solicitors is a traditional law firm with a modern approach. With offices in Chelmsford and Colchester, we are proud to serve our local communities and extremely skilled businesses across Essex using our in-depth knowledge and wide-ranging experience of the courts.
We have been recognised for our expertise in advising and representing clients in criminal motoring law cases with the Law Society Criminal Litigation Accreditation.
We are also accredited in Lexcel for our reliable advice, efficient case management, and our all-round excellent approach to client care.
Gepp Solicitors is independently regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).
Make contact with our motoring law solicitors in Essex today
If you need advice because you have been caught driving without a licence or insurance cover, get in touch with our specialist motoring law solicitors in Chelmsford and Colchester by calling 01206 369889 or by filling in our enquiry form.