Drivers warned over potential £1,000 fine for driving licence mistake – how to avoid

5 mins read


It can be a common thing to forget valuable items at home before you leave, with wallets and keys often left at home. If drivers are pulled over and are unable to identify themselves with an ID, such as a driving licence, this could lead to a £1,000 and even disqualification from driving.

Moreover, if drivers are sent a letter due to being caught breaking the law behind the wheel, and do not respond with the driver’s details, the owner of the vehicle can also face the same penalties.

Under the Road Traffic Act 1998, it is an offence to drive a vehicle without a licence that is appropriate to a vehicle of that particular class.

Likewise, it is not permitted to drive a vehicle on a provisional licence unless the driver is accompanied in the car by a full licence holder aged 21 or over who has held their licence for at least three years.

If drivers have passed their practical test, they will only be allowed to drive certain types of vehicles that are covered by the licence.

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To operate other vehicles, such as passenger carrying vehicles, buses, heavy goods vehicles or motorbikes, road users will be required to pass further driving tests in order to obtain the correct licence.

If motorists are found to be driving such a vehicle and only hold a normal driving licence for a car, they could face a penalty for driving without a licence.

Joe Kempson, Car Insurance Expert at Uswitch, warned drivers about the punishments for forgetting their documents.

He said: “When you think of penalty points and careless or dangerous driving, you might think of causing accidents, excessive speeding, and driving uninsured, but it isn’t always as clear as that.

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“Drivers can face points, and even harsher penalties, for anything that can be deemed to be taking your attention away from the road, plus failing to identify yourself when asked.”

The police can stop a vehicle for any reason.

If asked to stop, drivers should always pull over when it is safe to do so, as failing to stop is breaking the law.

When stopped, the police can ask for a driving licence, an insurance certificate or an MOT certificate.

If those documents are not present, drivers have seven days to take them to a police station.

It is also breaking the law if the requested documents are not presented within the allotted time frame.

Uswitch are also reminding drivers the year motorists passed their test affects what vehicles they can drive.

If they passed their test before January 1, 1997, drivers are allowed to drive a vehicle and trailer combination of up to 8,250kg MAM (maximum authorised mass) and a minibus with a trailer over 750kg.

For insured younger drivers who passed their test on or after January 1, 1997, however, the rules are slightly different.

They can drive vehicles with up to 3,500kg MAM and up to eight passenger seats, and are also permitted to tow a trailer that weighs up to 750kg.

Drivers are also permitted to tow heavier trailers, so long as the total MAM of the vehicle and the trailer isn’t heavier than 3,500kg.

To drive anything else, drivers will need to take and pass additional tests.



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