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As a professional driver, your licence is your livelihood. For that reason, you should be extremely careful not to jeopardise it whether on or off duty. So it’s important to know what sort of behaviour can get your disqualified from driving either for a short time or permanently, and what – if anything – you can do to remedy it.

The basics of disqualification

The essential things that could see you lose your licence are being convicted of a driving-related offence or getting at least 12 penalty points on your licence within a three year period. If either of these things should happen, you’ll be summoned to court and will need to face a judge or magistrate who will decide whether or not you should be disqualified. There are several potential outcomes from this process, depending on the severity of your case, and you may be banned from driving for up to two years. The length of time you could be banned for also depends on the number of points already on your licence. For 12 or more points within three years, you could be banned for 6 months. For the second disqualification within three years you could be banned for 12 months, and if you’re disqualified a third time within three years you could be banned for two years.

What to do if you’re disqualified

If you’re disqualified for at least 56 days, you’ll need to start all over again and apply for a new licence before you can start driving after this ban is up. It’s possible you may need to retake your driving test, or take an extended test in order to get your licence back, depending on the court’s advice at the time of your ban.

However, if your disqualification is for less than 56 days, you don’t need to apply for a new licence at the end of it. However, you need to check your licence record online to make sure you’re good to get back on the road again.

What if you’re disqualified abroad?

Any ban you get in Great Britain also applies to Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man, under something called a mutual recognition of disqualification. This means that each of the regions upholds and supports the disqualification, no matter which one you received the ban in.

How can I check whether my disqualification has ended?

If you’re not sure your ban has ended, don’t get out on the road. If the disqualification is still in place and you’re caught driving, this becomes a further offence. You can go online to check the status of your driving licence instantly, or you will receive a D27 or D27PH form from the DVLA either 56 or 90 days before the end of your disqualification to remind you of the date it finishes.

Can I reduce my ban?

There’s no guarantee that you can reduce the length of time you’re banned from driving for, but there is a process for trying to do so. You’ll need to ask the court, and set out good reasons why you think the ban should be reduced, and set it out in writing. Reasons you might ask for a reduction could be because of some legal aspect of the case or for a mitigating reason you committed the offence in the first place.

If the court agrees, you could have your ban reduced by two years if it was for four years or more, by half if it was for between 4 and 10 years, or by 5 years if it was for 10 years or more.

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