Driving whilst disqualified and obtaining a licence whilst disqualified
Produced in partnership with 18 Red Lion Court
Driving whilst disqualified and obtaining a licence whilst disqualified

The following Corporate Crime guidance note Produced in partnership with 18 Red Lion Court provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Driving whilst disqualified and obtaining a licence whilst disqualified
  • The offences
  • Driving whilst disqualified—causation
  • Driving whilst disqualified—defences
  • Sentencing for the offences of driving whilst disqualified and obtaining a licence whilst disqualified

The offences

The Road Traffic Act 1988 (RTA 1988) creates two offences:

  1. obtaining a driving licence whilst disqualified, and

  2. driving a motor vehicle on the road whilst disqualified

What the prosecution has to prove

In order for the offences to be made out the prosecution must prove the accused either:

  1. obtained a licence

  2. whilst disqualified from holding or obtaining a licence

or:

  1. drove a motor vehicle on a road

  2. whilst disqualified from holding or obtaining a licence

A licence obtained by a person who is disqualified is not a valid licence. Therefore, an accused could also be prosecuted for the offence of driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence.

These offences can only be tried in the magistrates’ court. However, by virtue of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 (CJA 1988), s 40, an offence of driving whilst disqualified can also be tried in the Crown Court if the offence is linked to an indictable offence.

The Criminal Attempts Act 1981 (CAA 1981) does not apply to offences of driving whilst disqualified or obtaining a licence whilst disqualified because these are summary-only offences.

It is not possible to an attempt to commit a summary-only offence unless the particular statute expressly makes it an offence.

See Practice Note: Attempt.

Driving whilst disqualified—causation

The prosecution must demonstrate that the defendant was, at the time of the offence,