Driving whilst disqualified in Scotland

If you are disqualified from driving you may be tempted to carry on regardless if you have important things to do. This would be a big mistake. Driving whilst disqualified can result in a much lengthier driving ban than the original ban.

Disqualified from driving FAQ

A: When you are disqualified from driving, you are banned from driving a vehicle.

What is a driving disqualification?

There are two ways in which you can lose your driving licence:

  1. A court imposes a driving disqualification (a ban).
  2. The DVLA revokes your licence, usually for medical reasons and for failing to surrender your licence for endorsement.

Both leave you without a driving licence and continuing to drive under either of these circumstances is a criminal offence.

Here we look at driving disqualification and the penalties for breaching a ban.

There are three types of driving disqualification:

Totting Up Bans:  This is the most common reason for being disqualified from driving. If someone gets 12 or more points on their licence, the court must disqualify the driver.

Discretionary Driving Disqualifications:  A court has the option of banning a driver for a serious offence. Such offences might include careless driving and speeding.  

Obligatory Driving Disqualifications:  This is for the most severe offences such as drink driving or dangerous driving.

How long does a driving disqualification last?

Totting up ban: The disqualification will be six months for the first time someone is totted up to 12 points. If there is a second totting up ban within three years, then the disqualification extends to 12 months. A ban ‘uses up’ the points accrued, so a disqualified driver has a ‘clean slate’ once the ban is over.

Although a totting up ban means obligatory disqualification, the court may consider extreme hardship when deciding the ban’s length or whether to impose a ban at all.  

A driving disqualification is expected and indeed intended, to cause some hardship.  

However, if a ban would cause you exceptional hardship, you should speak to an experienced motoring lawyer well in advance of a court date.  

The distinction between hardship and extreme hardship is significant. You will need expert advice to plead an extreme hardship case to a court successfully.

Obligatory Driving Disqualifications: The court will impose a ban of 12 months or more depending on the offence’s seriousness and give a fine.  

There is no consideration of the personal impact a lengthy driving ban will have with an obligatory driving disqualification.

Driving Whilst Disqualified

Driving whilst disqualified is taken extremely seriously by courts in Scotland.  

If you are disqualified from driving and are caught driving a vehicle, the penalties can be more severe than the original ban.  

Suppose you are caught driving whilst disqualified or obtaining a driving licence having been banned from driving. In that case, it can put you at risk of a lengthier ban, financial penalties, and even imprisonment.

Penalties for driving while disqualified

● Up to 12 months imprisonment if you are charged with an offence and required to face trial

● Up to 6 months imprisonment if the complaint is brought against you by the Procurator Fiscal.

● A financial penalty of up to £5,000

● An additional discretionary period of disqualification

● Up to six points on your licence

Driving whilst disqualified road traffic lawyers

You must contact our expert motoring lawyers as soon as possible if you face a driving ban or charged with driving whilst disqualified. We understand that every case is unique. You must discuss your specific personal circumstances with one of our motoring lawyers so we can assess the impact a disqualification may have on your family and livelihood. We can explore the options available to you and discuss how best to proceed.