Call now for a FREE Consultation

Driving Not In Accordance With A Licence

UK motoring law requires that anyone driving a motor vehicle in a public place should have a valid driving licence that permits them to drive the class of vehicle that they are driving at the time.

Driving not in accordance with a licence, or driving without a licence as it is often more commonly referred to, is a motoring offence that drivers can be convicted of if they are caught driving, or causing others to drive, on UK roads, without the proper documentation that permits them to do so legally.

If you cannot produce a driving licence that shows you are driving a particular vehicle legally when requested by a police officer, or if you permit or cause others to drive a vehicle without having the correct licence, then you could be charged with the offence of driving not in accordance with a licence.

If you are charged with this offence you could expect to receive 3 or 6 penalty points to your licence or a discretionary disqualification.

What Should I Do If I Don’t Have The Right Licence?

Whether it’s a motorbike, family car, mini bus or lorry, you must have a driving licence that shows you have passed the necessary tests and are able to drive this class of vehicle safely and competently on UK roads.

At Caddick Davies Solicitors, we specialise in the representation of motorists who find themselves up against the charge of driving without the right licence. 

If you find yourself in the situation of  being caught driving without the right licence or have received a summons or postal requisition for the offence of driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence, then our team of expert motoring solicitors can answer your questions and help to minimise any penalties, points, disqualifications, and fines made against you in court.


Talk to our expert motor defence solicitors:

call 0333 443 2366 or send an enquiry.


When Can I Be Charged With This Offence?

To be charged with this offence, police must be able to prove that you were driving a vehicle or allowed somebody else to. This may be done by physically seeing you behind the wheel of a vehicle or capturing you driving on video or camera.

At this point it then becomes your obligation as the accused to prove that you were driving in accordance with a valid licence at the time of the alleged offence. If you cannot provide a licence as proof of this when requested then you will be open to fines, penalty points and even disqualification from driving.

What Are The Penalties?

If you can’t produce a driving licence that shows you were driving legally at the time of the alleged offence when requested by the police, then you can be convicted of driving not in accordance with a licence.

If found guilty of this offence, you can expect to receive between 3 and 6 penalty points on your driving licence and a fine from £100 up to £1000 to accompany the points on your licence.

In each case, prosecutors can also impose a disqualification or total driving ban depending on the severity of the incident and any resulting outcomes that occured of a direct result of you or others driving without the correct licence for the vehicle you were driving at the time.

When Might You Be Driving ‘Not In Accordance With A Licence?’

The Road Traffic Act 1988  clearly sets out the requirements that all drivers in the UK need to adhere to in order to drive legally in the UK. To drive legally in the UK, you must have a valid driving licence that is in date and permits you to drive the class of vehicle that you wish to drive on public roads.

You may fall foul of this law either knowingly or accidentally in the following situations: 

If you do not have a valid driving licence that permits you to drive the class of vehicle you are driving, then you could be convicted of driving not in accordance with a licence. Examples of when this is likely to occur include:

  • driving a category of vehicle that your licence doesn’t permit such as a coach, van or bus without having the additional licence category record on your driving licence to enable you to do this,
  • driving unsupervised whilst only holding a provisional driving licence or driving without L plates
  • learner drivers using a moped or car without displaying L plates.
  • driving when disqualified
  • driving when your licence has been revoked
  • driving in the UK on a driving licence that is issued in another country and doesn’t cover you for the class of vehicle you are driving in the UK

If you permit or cause another individual to drive a motor vehicle of any kind on a road when they don’t have the appropriate licence or category on their licence, then you could be convicted of driving not in accordance with a licence. Examples of when this may happen include:

  • supervising a learner driver without complying with the rules for provisional licence holders; and
  • allowing someone to use a/your vehicle when it is known that they do not hold a valid driving licence.

How Can Caddick Davies Help?

As a highly experienced team of specialist motor defence lawyers, we offer advice and representation for individuals facing motoring offences across the UK.

The specialist team of lawyers at Caddick Davies will assess each driving offence presented to us individually and without judgement in order to provide our honest opinion as to whether the charge can successfully be overturned.

In order to give you the best possible chance of overturning the charge or fine against you or minimising the fines and penalties proposed, in the case of driving not in accordance with a licence, our team will;

  1. establish the facts about the incident to build a strong case against the charges or penalty issued
  2. provide a defence counsel that you can rely on in court

Clearly, we can make no guarantees right here as to whether your charge can be overturned as every case is unique. We would need to know and review the specifics of your case, but with over 90% of our defences being successful, we’re confident that we can help you.

From the simplest, to the most complex of cases, we encourage you to give our team a call in the first instance for an informal, confidential discussion.


Talk to Caddick Davies Solicitors today

Use our contact page to send us a message or call us on 0333 443 2366 for a friendly chat.


Related Questions

Is Driving Without A Licence The Same As Driving Whilst Disqualified?

Driving without a licence and driving when disqualified are two different offences and are not the same thing.

If somebody is caught driving when disqualified, this is often considered a more serious offence as the offender will have been told they can no longer drive via a court order. Essentially there is no way they could claim they were unknowingly breaking the law.

In the case of driving without a licence, or driving not in accordance with a licence as the offence would be titled, the defendant will usually hold some form of licence but not the correct one for the vehicle they are using at the time.

Can Driving When Licence Is Revoked Be A Mistake?

As outlined further up in this article, if you have had your driving licence revoked, then you shouldn’t be driving at all. If caught doing so, you will be charged with the offence outlined already. It is however often the case that some drivers find themselves on the roads when their driving licence has been revoked in genuine error.

For example, a driver may have believed that the duration of their driving ban / or time their licence has been revoked for had expired and that there were no steps required on their part to reactivate the licence before driving again. This can be a common belief that some drivers hold when they find themselves accused of driving not in accordance with a licence.

Driving licences can be revoked for a variety of reasons, including medical grounds or even for a driving ban. In these cases, individuals should not be driving again until their licence has been reinstated which will only happen when they have met the terms imposed at the time of having the licence removed.

In the case of a medical condition being the reason that a driving licence is revoked, then a medical certificate declaring you fit to drive may be needed before you can legally get behind the wheel again – not just when you feel better. Drivers may also be required to retake their driving test as a condition of getting back behind the wheel.

In both examples outlined here, it’s common for drivers to commit the offence of driving not in accordance with a licence without realising it, especially if there has been a delay in the driver being notified that their licence has been revoked due to postal delays for example.

If you find yourself accused of driving when your licence has been revoked, please discuss this with a motor defence lawyer as they will be able to pinpoint any specific evidence that can help your case.

How Can You Defend Driving Not In Accordance With A Licence?

If you are prosecuted for driving without the correct licence then it is up to you, or preferably your defence lawyer to defend the claims made against you in court in order to prove that you are innocent.

In the case of proving that you are innocent of driving not in accordance with a licence, then you must be able to demonstrate that:

  • you (or the other person you allowed to drive) did in fact hold a valid licence,
  • the vehicle was not being driven on a road,
  • The vehicle was not being driven at all at the time of the alleged offence.

In some cases, you may also be able to draw upon valid extenuating circumstances that led you to believe you were in fact in possession of a valid licence at the time of the offence, or that you had an acceptable reason which caused you or somebody else to drive without a licence, such as a genuine emergency.

Defence teams may also be able to utilise other factors such as the distance driven and circumstances surrounding the act which could significantly reduce the penalties imposed.

Caddick Davies understand motoring law inside out, including in-depth knowledge of what vehicles are required to hold licences, classes of vehicles and what is covered by each type of licence.

Combine this with our experience of providing defence in court and being able to identify and present the factual or technical defence that is available for your case, you’re giving yourself the best chance possible of a positive outcome.

The best outcome of a strong and successful defence is that you will be acquitted and no punishment will be imposed and in all cases, by using a qualified lawyer, you would expect a reduction in points, penalties and fines.

Your motor defence lawyer will build your defence case by:

  • Reviewing all the evidence and establish the facts of your case
  • Build a strong defence based on the facts and evidence available
  • Represent you in court
  • Provide trusted legal advice throughout the process
  • Seek to recover the cost of your legal representation for you via a defendant cost order
Motoring Lawyer at Caddick Davies Solicitors
Caddick Davies is recognised as one of England and Wales’ leading motoring law firms, offering specialist Speeding Solicitors, Drink Driving Solicitors & Dangerous Driving Solicitors.We provide advice and representation on all motoring offences including speeding, the avoidance of disqualification on penalty points or “totting up” (exceptional hardship), driving without due care and attention (careless driving), dangerous driving, drink driving, as well as a range of services related to medical revocation of a driving licence.
Neil Davies
Latest posts by Neil Davies (see all)

Make an Enquiry

Call Us on 03334 432 366 or enter your details below:

    Your data is secure

    Why Choose Us

    • Ranked in the top 20 law firms by Trustpilot
    • Nationwide Legal Coverage
    • Free Consultation
    • Fixed Fee Terms
    • Competitive Rates
    • Flexible Payment Plans
    • Trusted Legal Care
    • UK’s Leading Motoring Solicitors

    We have been successfully representing clients in motoring courts nationwide

    Contact us for a free consultation, our expert solicitors will be able to discuss your case and advise on legal options.


    Request free consultation
    UK Map