You must do several things before you drive a vehicle. These include registering your vehicle and making sure it’s insured, paying vehicle tax, getting an MOT and getting the correct licence for the type of vehicle you are driving.
How to report someone driving without the correct licence or a disqualified driver
If you know someone who is driving a vehicle without the correct licence, or someone who has been banned from driving, please report this to us by using our Live Chat facility, which can be accessed by clicking the button on the right of the screen. You can see our chat opening hours here. If Live Chat is unavailable call us on 101.
If life is in danger please dial 999 immediately.
Punishment for driving without the correct licence
If you are caught driving without the correct licence you could face a fine of up to £1,000, up to six points on your licence or you could be disqualified from driving.
If you are caught driving while disqualified you will face court action. The court could decide to extend your ban, fine you, or in some cases send you to prison.
If you are also found to be driving without insurance you will also face further action for this offence.
Learning to drive and Provisional Licences
You must have a provisional driving licence for Great Britain or Northern Ireland when you’re learning to drive or ride.
When you have your provisional licence you can drive on all roads. You can only drive on a motorway if:
- you’re driving in England, Scotland or Wales
- you’re with an approved driving instructor
- the car is fitted with dual control
Your car must display ‘L’ plates and you must be supervised when you’re learning to drive a car by a driving instructor or someone else suitable.
You can apply for a provisional driving licence when you’re 15 years and 9 months old. When you have your provisional driving licence you can ride a moped or light quad bike when you’re 16 and drive a car when you’re 17. Find out more about applying for a licence.
Applying for a full driving licence
You can apply for your full driving licence as soon as you’ve passed your practical driving test.
If you have a photocard provisional driving licence, and you haven’t changed your name, your examiner will send your driving test pass certificate to the DVLA.
You’ll receive your full driving licence within 3 weeks.
Renewing your driving licence
You must renew a photocard licence every 10 years - you’ll receive a reminder before your current licence ends. Read more about renewing your licence.
Lost, stolen, or damaged driving licences
If your details change
If you need to change the address, name or gender on your driving licence you will need to contact the DVLA.
When you will have to show your licence
If a police officer asks you to, you must be able to show:
- your driving licence
- a valid insurance certificate
- a valid MOT certificate (if your vehicle needs one)
If you don’t have the documents with you at the time, you may be asked to take them to a police station within 7 days.
- Learn more about the rules you must follow while learning to drive.
- Find out how to apply for a provisional driving licence.
- If you need to renew a photocard driving licence, please visit this page.
- Find out how to report your driving licence as lost, damaged or destroyed.
- If you need to change the address, name or gender on your driving licence, please visit this page.