Driving whilst disqualified

A person may be disqualified following a conviction or by being under the minimum age for that type of vehicle. For minimum ages see section 101 of the RTA 1988, (Wilkinson’s A18.257). Driving whilst under age does not constitute an offence of driving whilst disqualified (by reason of age) under section 103 RTA 1988 by virtue of section 103(4). A person who drives a vehicle on a road while disqualified by reason of age, commits an offence under section 87 RTA 1988, which prohibits a person driving a vehicle on a road otherwise than in accordance with a licence authorising him to do so.

There is a duty on a person who chooses to drive to ensure that he or she is entitled to do so. It is no defence for that person to say that he or she thought the disqualification had expired. It is no defence for a person disqualified in their absence to claim that they did not know that they had been disqualified. However, courts should be reluctant to disqualify offenders in their absence because of this problem.

A person disqualified under section 36 RTOA 1988 until a driving test is passed commits an offence under section 103 RTA 1988 if he or she drives whilst disqualified otherwise than in accordance with any provisional licence issued.

Sentencing Guidelines

Triable only summarily
Maximum: Unlimited fine and/or 6 months
Offence range: Band C fine – 26 weeks’ custody

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