When could your driving licence be revoked?

Every year thousands of motorists have their driving licences revoked by the Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). If you’re unlucky enough to be one of them then you can look forward to having many areas of your life completely turned upside down by the decision. For example, gone are the days of simply being able to pop out to the shops on a whim, and some drivers even end up losing their jobs because of the difficulties revocation causes.

Many of us take our ability to drive for granted, but if the thought of losing your licence fills you with horror, then take a look at our must-read guide to licence revocation.

From those suffering from health conditions that may affect their ability to drive safely to young drivers who’ve already accrued too many penalty points there are a number of circumstances where revocation can happen. We give you the lowdown on these situations and how you can go about getting your licence back.

But however inconvenient it is, be warned that if you continue to drive after your licence has been revoked, your car can be seized by police.

Similarly, if you drive without informing your insurance company of certain matters, this may invalidate your insurance and again, your vehicle will be at risk of being seized. If that happens, you’ll need insurance for impounded cars in order to get the car released.

By searching our panel of insurers here at Insurance Factory, we can help you find the best policy that’s right for you and your individual circumstances. So, what are you waiting for? Quick and easy impounded car insurance cover is just a phone call away.

Licence revoked due to medical grounds

According to research by online used-car marketplace Motorway more than 360,000 UK drivers had their driving licences revoked for medical reasons between 2014 and 2019. As well as car drivers this also includes many motorcyclists, lorry and bus drivers. That’s a lot of people taken off the UK roads, but potentially many accidents avoided.

In order to maintain safety on the public roads the DVLA requires that you must be in good health and fit enough to drive. If you’re not then the DVLA has the power to revoke your licence entitlements.

If you have any health condition at all then it’s well worth checking the government’s list of over 200 health conditions to see if yours is on the list. From alcohol problems to vertigo, there are a surprising number of common (and not so common) health conditions here.

Experienced senior drivers will be pleased to hear that old age is not considered a ‘health condition’. But you do have to apply for your driving licence again at 70 and then every three years after that.

Even if your health condition is listed, then there’s still no need to panic! It doesn’t mean that your licence is going to be revoked, it just means you need to notify the DVLA. But be warned, if you’re thinking of not disclosing your condition then reconsider now. If you fail to disclose a relevant health condition, you could be fined up to £1,000.

You may also be prosecuted if you’re involved in an accident as a result. And it isn’t just the law you could end up on the wrong side of. If you make a claim on your car insurance, and it turns out you have an undisclosed medical condition, this can potentially invalidate your policy.

To be clear, it’s really not worth trying to hide your health condition. Particularly as your doctor, a police officer or anyone else could also tell DVLA about your condition, and you could end up in hot water.

Below are just some of the most common reasons why the DVLA has revoked driving licences on medical grounds in recent years:
  • Alcohol problems
  • Seizures
  • Eyesight
  • Memory problems (severe)
  • Mental health problems
  • Neurological problems
  • Cardiac problems
  • Drug misuse
  • Blackouts
  • Diabetes

For further information from the knowledgeable team at Insurance Factory read this guide to what health conditions can affect your driving.

After you’ve disclosed your condition to the DVLA they might ask you for more information to determine whether you should continue to hold your licence. They might want more details from your doctor or other healthcare professional, ask you to have a medical examination or take a driving assessment.

Depending on the information provided, you could keep your licence, it could be revoked, or you could be issued with a licence for a shorter length of time, say one, two, three or five years. This means your health can be monitored at regular intervals for signs or improvement or deterioration.

It’s important to remember your situation will be looked at by the DVLA on an individual basis. Just because you have a particular condition, or take a particular medication, that doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be stopped from driving.
An elderly person driving a car

What to do if your licence is revoked due to medical grounds

If the DVLA decides you have to stop driving, it must:
  • Explain its reasons for the decision.
  • Tell you when you can reapply for a driving licence and how.
  • Inform you of your right to appeal against the decision.

If you disagree with the DVLA’s decision you can ask them to reconsider by writing to them at: DM Business Support, D7, DVLA, SA99 1ZZ.

They’ll be looking for relevant information that wasn’t included in the original assessment. You must also include:
  • Proof that you meet the required standards for driving (these are explained in the decision letter DVLA sent you).
  • The reference number from your decision letter.

But it doesn’t just stop there. If the DVLA stands by its decision then you can also appeal by making a written application to your local Magistrates Court within six months.

You will need medical evidence to support the argument that the DVLA decision is wrong and you are fit to drive. A useful document that might be worth referring to is the ‘Assessing fitness to drive: a guide for medical professionals’ produced by the DVLA.

If you do decide to appeal then you must inform the DVLA in writing at: Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, Drivers Medical Group, Swansea, SA99 1DF.

As Mind the mental health charity notes there is no legal aid available to appeal the DVLA’s decision through the courts. This means you will need to pay for any legal assistance out of your own pocket. Be aware that if you lose you might even have to pay the DVLA's legal costs, too. So, the process can soon get expensive.

If you’re looking for a solicitor then the Law Society’s Find a Solicitor is a free service for anyone looking for legal help.

New driver’s licence revoked for points on licence

While there’s often a lot of celebration when someone has passed their driving test, this isn’t the end of the matter when it comes to learning to drive. Under motoring legislation, a new driver must then serve a further probationary period of two years.

During this time, if they accumulate six or more penalty points, they will have their licence automatically revoked by the DVLA. Every year thousands of new drivers end up losing their driving entitlement in this way.

Any penalty points incurred before the successful test will also be taken into account by the DVLA for the purposes of revocation. While points you get after the two-year period will also count if you committed the driving offence before probation ended.

Unfortunately, there’s no appeal process to challenge the revocation itself. The only thing you can appeal against is the original conviction that led to the penalty points in the first place. If you do appeal against conviction then the DVLA will be notified and your licence will not be revoked until the outcome of the appeal. Be aware that if you accept a fixed penalty notice you cannot appeal.

This is why it’s so important to get the right advice at the outset of court proceedings or before you even accept a fixed penalty. By avoiding the imposition of points, or accepting a short period of disqualification, you can often avoid revocation.

To get your full licence back following revocation, you must:
  • Apply again for a provisional licence and drive as a learner.
  • Pass the theory and practical tests again.

Passing the theory and practical tests won’t remove the penalty points from your record. So, if the total reaches 12 within three years you may end up disqualified from driving. What a waste of all that hard work!

Licence revocation for failing to hand over licence

There are many reasons for the DVLA to ask you to send in your driving licence. It might be to have penalty points endorsed on your licence or for some other reason. If you don’t respond then the DVLA will revoke your licence.

Often, these problems can be sorted out pretty quickly. However, sometimes things can get more complicated. For example, you might not have been aware of a court case against you when penalty points were issued.

To avoid this kind of headache developing do these three things:
  • If you move house, make sure you change the address on your driving licence as part of your moving to-do list.
  • Also change the address on your car’s V5C logbook.
  • Carefully read all letters from the police, courts and DVLA.

If your licence has been revoked then you’ll need to reapply for a new one. To do this, get form D1 (for cars or motorcycles) or D2 (for lorries or buses) from the Post Office. Then send it with the appropriate fee to the address on the form. You can’t currently do this online.

Sorting out a new licence can be a real headache. Just like having your car impounded, it can really put your life on hold while it gets sorted. Call the Insurance Factory about impounded car insurance and we’ll get you back behind the wheel in no time.
A driver sitting in his car with his hands on his head

Licence revocation for licence issued in error

Sometimes driving licences have been granted to an individual in error. When this happens the DVLA will inform the individual of revocation and order them to surrender it. Licences granted in error also include licences granted on the basis of a fraudulent application.

Licence revocation for someone unlawfully in the UK

Finally, the DVLA also has power to revoke a driving licence where the holder is subject to immigration control and has no leave to be in the UK. This usually happens following a referral by the Home Office’s Interventions and Sanctions Directorate (ISD) to DVLA.

Before making the referral, the ISD will write to the individual to tell them:
  • They are at risk of having their UK driving licence revoked.
  • Who to contact in ISD if they believe their licence should not be revoked.

If the driver successfully appeals against the revocation or it comes to light that the driving licence should not have been revoked, then ISD will ask DVLA to reinstate the licence.

Impounded car insurance from the Insurance Factory

Losing your licence or getting your car impounded can cause a lot of stress to a driver whatever your age. Always make sure to check whether you licence is in date and not expired. 

But there are always people who are only too pleased to lend you a helping hand in your time of need. If you’re looking for help with impounded car insurance fast then call the Insurance Factory first. We can make even the most complicated situation as simple and straightforward as possible.

We’re able to arrange temporary cover for 30 days, giving you plenty of time to get your car back from the pound and back on the road. Having this policy is vital, because if you don’t have proof of insurance you won’t get your car back.

Take out a policy with the Insurance Factory, and you’ll receive documents to use as proof when you visit the pound.

Get a free, no-obligation quote for impounded car insurance today.

Policy benefits, features and discounts offered may very between insurance schemes or cover selected and are subject to underwriting criteria. Information contained within this article is accurate at the time of publishing but may be subject to change.