Top tips to get back on the road after a driving ban

If you commit a serious driving offence or build up a number of points on your licence by committing several offences, you could be banned from driving for a certain number of months or years.

This handy guide on driving bans contains advice on everything from reapplying for your driving licence, to shortening your disqualification and finding competitively-priced convicted driver insurance.

How a driving ban works

As we mentioned, you can receive a driving disqualification if you’ve been convicted of a driving offence, or if you build up 12 or more penalty points (also known as endorsements) on your driving licence within three years.

Gov.UK explains that the court dealing with your case will decide on how long your ban will last, depending on how serious they think your offence is. Your ban may last:
  • Six months if you build up 12 or more points over three years.
  • 12 months if you receive a second disqualification within three years.
  • Two years if you receive a third disqualification within three years.

If your ban lasts for more than 56 days you’ll need to apply for a new licence (which we’ll get to in a minute).

The court will tell you whether you need to retake your driving test or an extended test before you get your full licence back.

For disqualifications lasting less than 56 days, you can check the ban by viewing your driving licence online. You won’t need to apply for a new licence before getting back on the road.
An electronic breathalyser on a table next to a pair of car keys and a pint of beer

Reducing your disqualification period

Sometimes it may be hard to predict when you will be disqualified from driving but it may be a good idea to see what you can be banned for. It's possible to ask the court to reduce the length of your driving ban after you’ve been disqualified for:
  • Two years – if the ban was for fewer than four years.
  • Half the disqualification period – if the ban was between four and 10 years.
  • Five years – if the ban was 10 or more years.

As the Gov.UK website states, you need to have a good reason for your ban to be reduced. For example, if you believe the court made a legal mistake, or didn’t take into account some of the reasons why you committed the driving offence.

You’ll need to write to the court responsible for dealing with your case with the date of the offence and conviction, and send any supporting information.

The court will then make a decision and tell the DVLA if it agrees to reduce your ban. If it does, you’ll have to apply for a new licence; if not, you have to wait at least three months before asking again. 

Re-applying for your driving licence

You’re able to re-apply for your driving licence before your disqualification period ends.

If you’ve been banned from driving due to a drink or drug driving offence, the DVLA will send you a renewal form (D27) either 56 days before your ban ends, or 90 days if you’re classed as a high-risk offender.

You’ll need to complete the form and send it back to the DVLA along with payment of the fee. This form will tell you whether or not you need to send a new passport photo.

If the DVLA doesn’t send you the form then it’s possible to request one from your local Post Office, or order an application form online.

Drivers who had their licences revoked within two years of passing their test are required to apply for a new provisional licence and retake both parts of the test.

The same goes if your provisional licence is cancelled after you pass your test, but you haven’t yet sent off for your full driver’s licence.

Remember: if your address or title has changed since the driving ban, you’ll need to update these details when applying for your new licence.
A young driver sitting in a car being passed the keys

Useful tips for getting back on the road

Now you’ve got all driving licence stuff sorted, here are some other things you’ll need to do to get back on the road following a ban.

Tax, MOT and insure your car

Chances are you would have declared your car as SORN during your driving ban (unless someone else drives it and is insured to do so).

If this is the case, you’ll need to apply for road tax with your log book (V5C). Your SORN will automatically expire when you do this – then, you’ll need to arrange the MOT and car insurance.

If you’re getting back on the road following a conviction or ban, you can find the most competitive policies by opting for specialist convicted driver insurance.

At the Insurance Factory, we understand that the past is the past and are committed to getting you back in the driving seat with as little hassle possible.

As well as being affordable, the convicted driver insurance policies we arrange are packed with all the same benefits as standard car insurance, so you don’t lose out.

Book in for a good service

Has your car been sitting in your garage or on your driveway for years? If so, then you’ll want to book it in for a thorough service before you drive it.

That is, unless you can carry out basic checks and make adjustments yourself. 

Consider a refresher course

If you’ve been off the road for a long period of time, you might want to sharpen up your driving skills on a refresher course. Depending on the provider, courses can be tailored exactly to your specific needs.

Don’t slip back into bad habits

This is a really important one. You’ve waited ages to get back on the road – don’t ruin it all by making the same mistakes that got you banned in the first place!

Make an extra effort to be a safe and considerate driver and hopefully, you won’t get convicted of an offence ever again.

Convicted driver insurance from the Insurance Factory

When you’ve got your driving licence again and you’re ready to get back on the road, trust in the Insurance Factory to find you a convicted driver insurance policy that suits your needs and budget. Get a free, no-obligation quote today!