What should I do with a Notice of Proposed Disqualification from Driving?

A Magistrates' Court will often send a Notice of Proposed Driving Disqualification to a defendant if they are considering whether to ban him/her from driving. Most frequently they are sent out to people who are about to reach (or have already reached) the 12 penalty point 'totting up' threshold. The Notice warns that unless the defendant requests a court hearing, they may face disqualification on a particular date. 

If you have received one and feel that there are reasons why you should not be disqualified, you must request a court hearing. It is best to email the court stating that you require a court hearing so that you have a record of your request. 

If you do not request a court hearing, you must not drive after the proposed date of disqualification given in the Notice. When the court orders disqualification, it can take some time for DVLA records to be updated. This means that you should not drive even if your licence is showing as valid online at the 'View my driving licence' website until you are certain you have not been disqualified.

Generally if you do not respond to the notice, you will be disqualified from driving.

Notices of Proposed Driving Disqualifications are most commonly sent if you have recently accepted (or been found guilty) of a speeding offence. However, they can also be sent following a conviction for other offences such as driving while using a mobile phone, careless driving, driving without insurance and red light offences. 

This is the only way to avoid disqualification if you have received one of these letters. If you request a court hearing, it gives you the opportunity to explain to the court why you should not be disqualified from driving.

You may find the prospect of a court hearing extremely daunting, so you should consider getting legal advice before you attend. It is important to understand what factors the court may and may not take into account when considering whether to disqualify you. 

No. You must either accept the disqualification or request a court hearing and attend court.

If you are facing a 'totting up' disqualification for reaching 12 or more penalty points, you may have to argue that it would cause you or others exceptional hardship. There is more information about this on our exceptional hardship page. 

You should not drive until you are certain you have not been disqualified. You should contact the court urgently and find out whether your case has been dealt with. It is possible that the court has not yet disqualified you and you may still be able to request a court hearing. 

If the court informs you that you have been disqualified, then you will need to take legal advice on whether to appeal to the Crown Court. 

If you did not receive the notice and were unaware of the court proceedings, it is possible that the court will allow you to reopen it. This would allow you to put forward your arguments to avoid disqualification.

The decision will be made by a Single Magistrate (a justice) sitting with a legal adviser in a private room. There will be no court hearing and therefore you will not be able to attend. However, you can request a full court hearing at which you will be able to attend.

The court will write to you to inform you of the disqualification. If you have been disqualified for 56 days or more, the DVLA will also write to you asking you to return your driving licence to them. You will then have to fill in the paperwork to request a new driving licence. If you have been disqualified for less than 56 days, you will not have to reapply for a driving licence.

It depends what offence you have been disqualified for. More serious offences such as dangerous driving will not be dealt with by way of a Notice of Proposed Disqualification. These offences will require a full court hearing. Usually the court will only order a retest for more serious offences but theoretically has the discretion in any case. If you have received a notice of proposed disqualification, then it is highly unlikely you will be required to undertake a retest. If the court is considering this, it should make that decision after a full hearing. 

Our motoring solicitors can advise you if you've received a Notice of Proposed Driving Disqualification. Just give us a call on 0330 1330 081 or fill in our contact form.