Driving Ban FAQs

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Frequently Asked Questions

Driving bans can completely change your way of life and leave you with many unanswered questions about what to do next. Though guilty verdicts for various types of dangerous driving were on the decline between 2017 and 2019, many people are still facing the consequences of a driving ban today.

If you have been banned from driving, or are concerned you may receive a ban following a recent driving conviction, we recommend reading our list of frequently asked questions and answers below.

Insurance After a Driving Ban

At Keith Michaels we specialise in providing car insurance to convicted drivers and have various schemes in place to get you back on the road once your ban is up

If you’re looking to get insured following a driving ban, find out more about our banned driver car insurance today.

Speeding Offences and Instant Driving Ban

Generally, the higher the speed, the greater your chance of being given a speeding ban. Instant bans tend to be issued if you have been caught exceeding the speed limit by 45%:

Speed limit (Speed Alleged)
30 mph (In excess of 50 mph)
40 mph (In excess of 66 mph)
50 mph (In excess of 76 mph)
60 mph (In excess of 86 mph)
70 mph (In excess of 96 mph)

The information provided in this table is not 100% accurate as it is also possible to be banned for speeding at lower speeds. This is usually the result of totting up several penalty points over a specific period. Read more on the Totting Up Ban FAQ page.
At excessive speeds of this nature (or of more than 30mph over the speed limit), a court appearance and instant driving ban is highly likely. The punishment in this circumstance typically starts at disqualification and penalty points rather than just penalty points, but this decision is at the discretion of the Court, and it could be possible to avoid a disqualification.
In most cases, an instant driving ban can last between seven and 56 days – depending on the nature of the speeding offence. For more serious speeding offences, an instant ban can last up to 120 days. Penalty points will typically range between 3 and 6, but the court may decide to issue an immediate ban with no penalty points.

If you’ve been caught speeding at an allegedly high speed, and already have 6 or more points on your licence, it is very likely the court will impose 6 more points, which would take your total to 12 or more. This will result in a totting up ban of 6 months.
Unless you were driving an emergency vehicle or have genuine proof that there was no other alternative but to speed, you will not be exempt from getting a speeding offence, nor an instant driving ban.
The court will consider all issues that are raised during a hearing, including factors beyond your control which may have affected your ability to drive sensibly (mitigating circumstances) as well as factors that could increase your accountability (aggravating circumstances). There’s a possibility the court could decide not to issue an instant driving ban.
Driving conviction codes and penalty points (endorsements) must stay on your driving licence for 4 or 11 years depending on the offence. More serious offences, such as causing death by careless driving, or driving while over the limit of drugs or alcohol carry 11-year penalties.
Driving conviction codes and penalty points (endorsements) must stay on your driving licence for 4 or 11 years depending on the offence. More serious offences, such as causing death by careless driving, or driving while over the limit of drugs or alcohol carry 11-year penalties.
It’s unlikely, but yes, you could. This would probably be for one of two reasons. The first being refusal, or non-payment, of the fine in question. The final one would be for ‘dangerous driving’, ‘careless and inconsiderate driving’ or ‘driving without due care or attention.’ While speeding wouldn’t be the primary factor here, it would play part of the decision to prosecute someone. If speeding is the cause of death, manslaughter, or severe bodily harm, then it is more likely you will end up in prison.

Avoiding a Driving Ban

Although in most cases a ban is considered mandatory under the totting up system, it is possible to avoid a driving ban. For fairly minor offences, disqualification is discretionary, but only if you present a successful submission of exceptional hardship to the courts. This is what you, the defendant, must submit as an argument that a driving ban would be too harsh a punishment, considering the circumstances.
Simply requiring a licence to continue working is not sufficient justification in court to avoid getting a driving ban. Although the courts will consider the impact a driving ban could have on your employment, your mitigation will not be strong enough if you base it solely on this factor.
The court is obliged to consider all of your circumstances during your hearing for a driving offence – including your previous record – but a clean driving licence is not a strong enough argument to avoid a driving ban on its own merit.
There are several ways in which a defendant can argue against an allegation and attempt to avoid a driving ban in court, but this will depend on the nature of the offence. Exceptional hardship is one such way in which a defendant can make a plea to lessen or avoid punishment. Other options include:

Plea of Mitigation – If you have been found guilty, or pleaded guilty, you will have the opportunity to put forward a plea of mitigation before the court imposes any punishment. The aim of a plea of mitigation is to persuade the court to impose a more lenient punishment.

Special Reasons – These occur when a court decides there are certain circumstances that relate to the offence (not those involved in exceptional hardship) that justify a more lenient punishment – i.e. no disqualification. The defendant could admit to the offence, but argue that special reasons mean there should be no disqualification or endorsement of penalty points.

Appealing a Driving Ban

If you have been convicted for a driving offence in a Magistrates’ Court which has resulted in a driving ban, you can immediately lodge an appeal to the Crown Court. This can be done on the basis that you have been wrongly convicted or that the sentencing was too harsh. Making an appeal just because you want to drive is not a legitimate reason.

The sooner you make an appeal, the better, as you only have 21 days to do so following your sentencing. If you have not already contacted your solicitor or lawyer, it is advisable to do so when making an appeal.

You can access the documents to appeal to the crown court here.
Once you lodge an appeal, a hearing will be scheduled with the Crown Court where a Judge will review the case and make a decision on how it should be dealt with. He or she can either uphold the original decision, abolish it, or send the case back to the Magistrates’ Court for another hearing.

In terms of cost, making an appeal involves spending public money, but this will be dealt with at the end of the hearing depending on the outcome. If your appeal is successful, the other party must pay for the costs. If you are unsuccessful, then you will have to pay up and refund the public purse.
There’s a possibility you can have your driving disqualification suspended while you wait for your Crown Court hearing. However, only the Crown Court can validate this, so you must immediately apply for suspension as soon as the original case has been concluded. Ideally you should do this via your legal representative who can make sure all the correct information is covered. If the Crown Court does not agree to a suspension, you will not be able to drive.

Banned From Driving

This means that a court has decided that you must not be able to hold a driving licence or obtain one, and cannot drive any motor vehicle on the road for the period of time set out by the court.
As soon as a court imposes a driving ban, you are immediately disqualified. Your licence will be sent to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) confirming your disqualification period. You must immediately tell your insurance company of your disqualification. Otherwise your policy will become invalid and will leave you vulnerable.
A driving ban covers all motor vehicles so you cannot drive a car, motorbike or moped during your disqualification period. If you need to travel, consider buying a bus pass or train travel card. You could also use your driving ban as an excuse to ride a bike more.
Only convictions for serious offences qualify for a criminal offence, such as death by dangerous driving. Driving bans as a result of totting up points or speeding are typically dealt with in a Magistrates Court and do not count as criminal offences. Therefore, your criminal record will remain unaffected.
No. You can only drive abroad if you have a full driving licence, and when you are banned from driving your licence is automatically sent to the DVLA. If you are banned from driving in Northern Ireland or the Isle of Man, then the law on mutual disqualification applies in the UK and vice versa.
No. You can only supervise a learner driver if you hold a full driving licence.
If you were represented by a legal professional in court, they will be able to provide information on your driving ban. You can also request a Certification of Conviction from the court that imposed your ban. Alternatively, you can contact the Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVLA).
If your disqualification was less than 56 days, the DVLA will return your driving licence as soon as your ban comes to an end. If your ban was longer 56 days, your driving licence will have been automatically revoked, which means you’ll need to apply for it to be reinstated.

If you are not required to retake your theory and practical driving test, you can resume driving as soon as your disqualification period comes to an end and you get back your licence.
If you have been banned from driving under the totting up system, your accumulated points will be automatically wiped as soon as your disqualification period ends and you get your licence back. However, if you received an instant ban, your previous penalty points will still be intact when your disqualification period ends.
If you have been ordered by the courts to retake your theory and practical driving test following a driving ban, you will need to make a formal application to reinstate your driving licence. This includes applying for a provisional licence and sitting the theory test once again.
As it is illegal to drive while banned, police often ensure that those driving on our roads are allowed to.

Police will use a combination of intelligence from cameras and tip offs, ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) technology, and sometimes, luck, to catch banned drivers.