Driving Ban


Driving whilst on a driving ban

You can be disqualified from driving/receive a driving ban as a result of building up 12 or more penalty points within a period of 3 years (also known as totting up) or if you are convicted of a driving offence.

How long could my driving ban last?

If you receive 12 penalty points or more, you could receive a driving ban for:

  • 6 months if you get 12 penalty points or more within 3 years
  • 12 months if you get a 2nd disqualification within 3 years
  • 2 years if you get a 3rd disqualification

If you are receive a driving ban for 56 days or more you must apply for a new licence before you can drive again. In some circumstances you may also be required to retake a driving theory and practical test. This is usually decided by the Court upon conviction of a driving offence; particularly if it is part of the conditions to get your driving licence back.

Short period driving ban – less than a 56 day ban

If you are convicted of a driving ban that is less than 56 days your driving licence or counterpart document will be stamped by the court and given back to you. You do not need to renew or obtain a new driving licence. The stamp will show the disqualification period and you can use the same licence again once the banned period has elasped.

Driving whilst disqualified/on a driving ban

You are committing an offence under section 103(b) of the Road Traffic Act 1988. If you are stopped by Police and found to be driving whilst disqualified you will be arrested and taken to a Police station for questioning. This will result in you attending a Magistrates Court again, and on a more serious motoring offence charge.
If you are driving while on a ban you also need to remember that you are driving without insurance and should consider the consequences of your actions as a result of a potential accident. The vehicle you are driving will not be insured if you have a collision with a third party, therefore this also means that the third party is unable to make an insurance claim. More serious circumstances could result in fatalities 
Considering these facts, the Court system views driving whilst disqualified a very serious matter. It is in direct contravention of a previous Court order made against the driver. The court is highly unlikely to accept any defence for driving whilst disqualified. You, as the driver will have previously attended Court when the disqualification order was made and therefore be fully aware of your disqualification from driving.
Even if you did not personally attend Court yet still received the disqualification/ban, the Court would not normally accept this as your defence, or an excuse for driving while you were disqualified.
The Courts can impose a prison sentence of up to 6 months and can lengthen any period of disqualification for 12 to 18 months beyond the expiry of the existing ban. If you avoid a prison sentence, you could instead receive a community service order.  
Should I notify my insurance company if disqualified/banned from driving

Yes. In any instance of receiving a driving disqualification/ban you should notify your insurance company immediately.

Can I reduce the driving disqualification/ban period?

You can make an application to the court that disqualified you to reduce the disqualification/ban period if you have been disqualified for:

  • 2 years – if the disqualification was for more than 2 but fewer than 4 years
  • half the disqualification period – if it was for between 4 and 10 years
  • 5 years – if the disqualification was for 10 years or more

You should only make an application to reduce the disqualification period if you have exceptional circumstances. For instance, if you feel the court did not take into account all your reasons for committing the offence.
However, this procedure will rarely apply to drink driving offences. It is therefore worth remembering that in relation to drink driving/alcohol offences you may be over the limit the morning after the night you consumed alcohol. The fact that you consumed alcohol the night before and failed a breath test the following morning (even though numerous hours have passed) will not prevent a driving conviction/ban.
If you do feel you have a case to reduce your ban, you will need to make the application in writing to the court, highlighting the date of offence, date of conviction and any other information that may help substantiate your case. The court will then consider the grounds of your request and if it decides to reduce your disqualification/ban period, the Court will advise the DVLA.
If the court refuses your request you will have to wait 3 months before you can make another application.
If you are successful and the Court reduces your disqualification period you will need to apply to the DVLA for a new licence.

When does my driving disqualification/ban period end?

You can find out when your disqualification/ban period ends by:

  • viewing your driving licence details online if you previously applied for your licence over the internet 
  • check the date on the reminder form D27 DVLA sends you 56 days before your disqualification ends
  • check the date on the D811 letter issued 90 days before certain alcohol-related / drink driving disqualifications end
  • check the date stamped on your paper licence or counterpart document if you are disqualified for less than 56 days
  • phone DVLA customer enquiries

DVLA customer enquiries:
Telephone: 0300 790 6801
Textphone: 0300 123 1278

Disqualified for drink driving/alcohol-related offences

If your driving licence was revoked because you were disqualified for a drink driving/alcohol related offence, you will need to apply to the DVLA for a new driving licence before you can start driving again. Prior to issuing a new driving licence, the DVLA will need to make medical enquiries to determine whether you are classed as a high risk or non high risk offender.

High risk offenders

You are classed as a High risk offender if you were disqualified:

  • with an alcohol level of over 200 milligrams (mg) in 100 millilitres (ml) of blood, 87.5mg in 100ml of breath, or 267.5mg in 100ml of urine
  • twice in 10 years for being above the legal limit, or being unfit to drive because of drink 
  • for failing to supply a breath, blood or urine sample for testing

DVLA will send you a D1 or D2 form (application for a new driving licence) 90 working days before your disqualification period ends.
A D1 form is for car and motorbike licence and a D2 form is for bus, coach and lorry licence.
You should advise DVLA if you do not receive either form.

DVLA medical examination
Prior to obtaining a new licence DVLA will arrange for you to attend a medical examination with an appointed DVLA doctors to establish whether you are fit and able to drive. This examination includes:

  • a questionnaire about your medical history and use of alcohol
  • a physical examination
  • a urine test
  • blood tests

You will be responsible for paying for the medical examination.

Non-high risk offenders

If you do not fall into the above category then you are classed as non-high risk.
DVLA will send a D27 form to you 56 days before your disqualification period ends. Once completed return the form to DVLA and include a new passport-style photo with your application along with any information that may have changed since disqualification such as name and address details.

For further information on applying for a licence following a drink driving offence see the DVLA.

Driving tests after a driving ban

If you have a driving ban and have been advised that you need to complete a driving test before you are allowed to drive again, you will need to apply for a new provisional driving licence.

Applying for a Provisional Driving Licence

DVLA will send you a reminder 56 days before your disqualification period ends, you will need to use this reminder to apply for a provisional driving licence. Alternatively contact DVLA for a provisional driving licence.

Theory Driving Test

Once you receive your provisional driving licence you will need to complete the theory and practical driving test for a motor vehicle or a compulsory basic training (CBT) and motorcycle practical test for a motorcycle.
If you are not successful and need to re take the theory driving test, you will have to pay the full amount again.
After completing and passing the theory driving test you will be required to complete one of two types of practical driving test. This will depend on the severity of the driving disqualification/ban you received.

Practical Driving Tests

Driving Test – This is the driving test that all provisional drivers complete prior to obtaining a full driving licence. It usually lasts for approximately 40 minutes. More guidance on what to expect in the driving test can be obtained from the DVLA.

Extended Driving Test – this is essentially the same as a normal driving test but lasts for approximately 70 minutes. During the extended driving test the examiner will be paying particular attention to third party awareness such as safe passing distances of parked vehicles, cyclists and motor bikes. The examiner will monitor your observations, use of vehicle signalling and your awareness of speed limits.
You will also be required to perform one or more of the following maneuvers:

  • reversing around a corner
  • three point turn
  • parallel parking

You will also have to perform a controlled (emergency) stop.
If you are not successful and need to re take the practical driving test, you will have to pay the full amount again
Once you have passed the practical driving test you are legally allowed to drive and can apply for a new driving licence.

Driving test Costs


Test type Weekday Evening, weekend and bank holiday
Theory Test £31 £31
Practical Test £62 £75


Test type Weekday Evening, weekend and bank holiday
Theory Test £31 £31
Practical Module 1 (off road) test £15.50 £15.50
Practical Module 2 (on road) test £75 £88.50

Applying for a new driving licence

A replacement driving licence can be obtained by contacting the DVLA

Change of personal details whilst disqualified

Whilst disqualified from driving you should inform DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1AB of any changes to any personal details such as your name and/or address. You should also include your date of birth and your driving licence number (if known).

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