I've been banned from driving. What next?

I have been banned from driving. What happens next?

As soon as the Court imposes a ban, you are disqualified with immediate effect. The Court will retain your driving licence and send it to the DVLA with confirmation of the period of disqualification. You must notify your insurers of the disqualification as if they are unaware of a ban, they could refuse to indemnify if any claim is made for your vehicle during the period of the ban, even though you are not using the vehicle.

When the ban expires, if the disqualification was less than 56 days, the DVLA will return your driving licence. For bans of 56 days or more, you will need to make a formal application and pay a small fee to the DVLA for the licence to be reinstated. This is because the licence will have been automatically revoked and thus will no longer be valid, even once the ban has been served. Details of the disqualification will be endorsed on the licence. If you have not been specifically ordered to retake your driving test, you may resume driving as soon as the disqualification is completed, and your licence reissued.

You must not drive or take control or supervise the driving of any motor vehicle of any description on a road or public place whilst disqualified.

I have been banned, can I appeal?

Yes. Please see our How do I appeal a ban ban? page, for furhter information.

Appeal a Driving Ban

Will I now have a criminal record? / Is a driving ban a criminal offence?

A criminal record is triggered by the offence, not the punishment. If you are banned under the totting up procedure, or receive an instant ban for say, speeding, you will not receive a criminal record as these are not arrestable offences. However, the more serious arrestable offences, such as drink driving, death by dangerous driving etc will result in a criminal record.

Can I ride a moped or motorbike when banned?

No. If you are disqualified from driving, you are banned from using any motorised vehicle for which you previously held a licence.

I was banned for speeding on my motorbike. Can I still drive my car?

No. A ban covers all categories of motor vehicle.

Can I drive abroad?

If you are disqualified from driving in the UK, your licence will be retained by the DVLA. Whilst a UK Court only has jurisdiction in the UK, you will not be able to drive abroad as you will not be able to produce a licence to establish your entitlement to drive.

Can I apply for a foreign driving licence?

Yes. If you follow the appropriate procedure to obtain a licence in another country, and pass the relevant tests, you can obtain a non UK licence. However, you would still not be entitled to drive in the UK for the period of any disqualification imposed and will not be able to exchange your UK licence for a non-UK licence.

Can I supervise a learner driver?

No. To act as a supervising driver, you must hold a full driving licence.

I am already banned but cannot recall the period of disqualification. How can I find out how much longer I need to serve?

You can search all your driving licence information via the DVLA link:


How do I get my licence back after a ban?

For bans of less than 56 days, the DVLA should return the licence to you automatically when the ban has expired. If you do not receive the licence, contact the DVLA direct.

If the disqualification is for more than 56 days, your licence will automatically be revoked. As a result, you must formally apply for a new licence, which requires making an application and paying a fee. If you fail to make a formal application, the licence will still be invalid, although the disqualification has been served.


I was banned but why have my previous penalty points not been removed from my driving licence?

Penalty points are only removed from your driving licence when you are disqualified under the totting up process, which would normally result in a ban of 6 months. This would then have the effect of "wiping the slate clean" and removing all points taken into account when the totting up ban was imposed. An instant ban, which is not subject to the totting up process, has no effect on other penalty points.

Can I apply for my licence to be returned before I have served the full ban?

Yes. For bans of 2 years or more, you can apply for your licence to be reinstated once you have served either 2 years or 50% of the ban, whichever is the longer.

I was ordered to retake my driving test. Do I need to apply for a provisional licence?

If your driving licence has been retained by the Court until you pass a driving test, you have to make a formal application for your licence to be reinstated. This means applying for a provisional licence and taking the theory/practical test.

In most cases, the Court will order that you take the extended test and full details as to how this can be progressed are available from the DVLA: