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DVLA Section 88 – A Complete Guide

Applying for a new driving licence can take time. This was particularly the case during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, when it could take up to two months for a new licence application to be processed. This delay left many drivers with an expired licence whilst they waited for their new licence to be processed.

This is where DVLA Section 88 comes in. Section 88 of the Road Traffic Act lists certain circumstances in which a driver is legally able to drive without a valid driving licence. This is most often the case where a driver has applied for a replacement driving licence and is waiting for the licence to be processed and delivered.

In this article, we will explain exactly what DVLA Section 88 covers, and in which circumstances you are able to legally drive before your new driving licence arrives.

Can You Drive While Waiting For A Replacement Licence UK?

Let’s face it – renewing your driving licence is a hassle that we could all do without. Whether your existing driving licence has expired, or you have moved house and need to update your address, updating your driving licence feels like a chore.

When you apply for a new driving licence, you will be asked to cut up your existing licence and post it back to the DVLA. So, what do you do whilst you are waiting for your new licence to arrive? Are you able to continue driving without a licence or do you need to wait for your new licence to arrive before you can drive? Read on to find out.


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What Is Section 88 Of The Road Traffic Act?

The DVLA is aware of how inconvenient it can be to apply for a new driving licence, and how much motorists rely on their licence to go about their everyday lives. Delays are common when applying for a driving licence, so Section 88 was created to try and reduce the impact that applying for a new driving licence has on motorists.

Section 88 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 permits drivers to continue driving after their licence has expired, providing certain conditions are met. One of the key conditions that must be met is that an application for a replacement licence has been received by the DVLA.

When you apply for a new driving licence, the DVLA will send acknowledgement of the application through email or SMS, providing these details are provided within the application. If an email address or mobile phone number is not provided, the acknowledge of receipt of the application will be done by post.

Providing all other Section 88 criteria are met, the motorist is able to continue driving on their expired licence as soon as the acknowledgement from the DVLA has been received. That means that you are able to continue driving whilst the DVLA process your application and post out your new driving licence.

Section 88 criteria

Section 88 Criteria

In the previous section, we discussed what Section 88 of the Road Traffic Act sets out. This act permits drivers to continue driving on an expired driving licence, providing acknowledgement has been received from the DVLA of an application for a new driving licence.

However, there are some other criteria that also need to be met before you can drive under Section 88. The criteria that must be met include:

  • You have previously held a valid driving licence.
  • You only drive vehicles that you have applied for within your application and that you were previously entitled to drive.
  • You are confident that your licence application will not be refused as a result of any medical condition and your doctor has told you that you are fit to drive.
  • You meet any conditions that were specified on your previous driving licence.
  • You have received acknowledgement from the DVLA that your driving licence application has been received within the last 12 months.
  • Your previous driving licence was not revoked or refused as a result of any medical condition.
  • You are not currently disqualified from driving.
  • You have not previously been disqualified from driving as a high-risk offender.

If these conditions are met, you will be able to continue driving under Section 88 whilst your licence application is processed by the DVLA. However, if you are unsure, it’s always best to check with the DVLA to ensure that you are driving legally.


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How Long Does Section 88 Apply For?

You now know that you can continue driving after applying for a new driving licence under Section 88, providing you meet the qualifying criteria. This includes receiving an acknowledgement of your application from the DVLA and having no medical problem that may prevent you from driving. But how long can you continue to drive under Section 88?

Motorists can drive under Section 88 of the Road Traffic Act until any of the following conditions apply:

  • The new driving licence arrives.
  • Your driving licence application is refused by the DVLA.
  • Your driving licence is revoked by the DVLA.
  • Your application is more than one year old.
  • You are disqualified from driving.

If any of these conditions become applicable to your case, you must stop driving immediately. Continuing to drive after Section 88 is no longer applicable could leave you open to being charged with driving without a valid licence, so it’s vital that you regularly ensure that you are still eligible to drive under Section 88.

When Do You Have To Renew Your Driving Licence?

It’s easy to assume that once you have passed your driving test and earned your driving licence, it’s yours to keep. However, many motorists are unaware that photocard driving licences need to be renewed every ten years. In fact, the DVLA estimates that approximately two million driving licences are currently out of date.

The reason that your driving licence needs to be renewed every ten years is that it contains a photograph of the named driver. As we age, our faces naturally change, so this image needs to be updated to ensure that it gives a true representation of your face.

If you are licenced to drive a bus or lorry, you will need to renew your licence every five years. Additionally, if you are driving on a short-term medical licence, you may need to renew your licence more frequently. In any situation, you should check the expiry date of your driving licence. You can find this expiration date on the front of your driving licence, in section 4b.

If you fail to renew your driving licence when it expires, you could be landed with a fine of up to £1,000. That’s why it’s so important to ensure that you driving licence is in date, and to remember to renew your licence before it expires.

You will also need to update your driving licence if you move house, or if you change your name or gender.

The DVLA will send a letter to the address on your driving licence before this expiration date, reminding you to renew your driving licence. However, even if you don’t receive a reminder, the responsibility to renew your driving licence before the expiry still falls with you, the motorist, so it’s important that you check this date and set a reminder to renew your licence when required.


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How To Renew Driving Licence

How To Renew A Driving Licence

If the time has come to renew your driving licence, you might be wondering how exactly to go about doing so. Whether you are replacing a driving licence that is lost or stolen or renewing your licence, there are two ways that you can apply: online or by post.

For those who have access to the internet, the quickest way to apply for a new driving licence is through the DVLA website. However, you will need a valid UK passport to use this method. If you choose to apply for a driving licence online, you will receive an email to acknowledge your application almost immediately.

If you do not have access to the internet, or if you do not hold a valid UK passport, you can also apply for your new driving licence by post. To do this, you will need to pick up forms known as the “D1 pack” from your local Post Office. You can choose to pay an additional fee for the Post Office to check your application, take your photo and post the forms to the DVLA. Alternatively, you can post the form directly to the DVLA yourself. You will then receive written acknowledgement of your application from the DVLA through the post.

Are You Insured Under Section 88?

One of the conditions of car insurance is that you have a valid UK driving licence, so there’s no wonder that many motorists worry that driving under Section 88 could invalidate their insurance policy. So, are you insured if you’re driving on an expired licence under Section 88 rules?

Providing that you have applied for a new driving licence and you meet the criteria of DVLA Section 88, your car insurance will still cover you for driving in the UK. You do not need to inform your insurer of this, as you are driving legally.

However, if you attempt to take out car insurance whilst your licence is expired, you may find it more difficult to find a company that will cover you. This is because many car insurance companies will insist on seeing proof of a valid UK driving licence before providing cover. So, it’s a good idea to ensure that you apply for your new driving licence in plenty of time if your insurance is due for renewal in the near future.


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Send us a message or call us on 0333 443 2366 for friendly advice


Does Section 88 Apply For Driving Abroad?

If you’re planning to travel abroad in the coming months, you might be wondering whether you will be covered under Section 88 legislation in other countries.

Unfortunately, Section 88 rules will not apply in most foreign countries. This is because Section 88 is UK legislation, meaning that it may not be accepted in other countries around the world. For this reason, we’d always recommend that you check with the relevant licencing authority in the country in which you plan to travel, before you begin your journey.

Of course, the best thing to do is to ensure that you apply for your replacement licence in plenty of time, to ensure that it arrives before you existing licence expires. This will help you to avoid any potential problems that could arise from driving on an expired licence.

Applying for driving licence after medical revocation

Applying For Licence After Medical Revocation – Does Section 88 Apply?

Being diagnosed with a new medical condition is always stressful. However, this may also cause inconvenience if your medical condition results in the revocation of your driving licence. As your symptoms begin to subside, you may see light at the end of the tunnel in terms of regaining your driving licence. But can you start driving again as soon as your application is made, or do you need to wait for your new licence to be granted?

After medical revocation of your driving licence, you will need to wait until your doctor informs you that you meet the medical standards for driving before you can apply to the DVLA for a new driving licence. This may include waiting for a set period of time before reapplication. Your doctor will complete a form with you, which you will send off along with your application and evidence of your fitness to drive.

It is illegal to drive after a medical revocation until a new licence is granted. Unfortunately, this means that you will not be permitted to drive whilst your application for a new licence is being considered by the DVLA.

If you are caught driving before you are sent a new driving licence by the DVLA, you may find yourself disqualified from driving, given penalty points and fined up to £1,000.

The only exception to this is if you voluntarily surrendered your driving licence as a result of a medical condition. In this case, you may be able to drive before your receive your new driving licence, providing the following criteria are met:

  • Your doctor says that you are fit to drive.
  • You held a valid UK driving licence prior to surrendering it.
  • You have applied for a new licence within the past 12 months.
  • Your licence was not revoked or refused for medical reasons.
  • You have not been disqualified from driving.
  • You drive only under the conditions of your previous licence.

Contact Caddick Davies Solicitors today
Send us a message or call us on 0333 443 2366 for friendly advice


Related Questions

Is There A Section 88 Form?

You do not need to complete a form to drive under Section 88 of the Road Traffic Act. Providing you have applied for a new driving licence and you meet the other qualifying criteria for Section 88, you are able to continue driving whilst you wait for your new licence.

Can You Drive Home After Passing Your Test?

If you have just passed your driving test – congratulations! Providing your car has valid road tax, MOT and insurance, you can drive straight away. There is no need to wait for your full driving licence to arrive before driving.

In Summary

DVLA Section 88 enables motorists to continue driving their vehicles whilst waiting for a new driving licence, providing they have applied for the new licence within the past 12 months, and they meet the other qualifying criteria for Section 88. This helps to minimise the inconvenience of renewing a driving licence.

If you need advice on Section 88 or any other aspect of motoring law, our expert legal team are on hand to help. Give us a call today for specialist legal advice, whatever your needs.


Contact Caddick Davies Solicitors today
Send us a message or call us on 0333 443 2366 for friendly advice


 

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

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