28 July 2015
28 July 2015, Comments: Comments Off on INCORRECT PENALTY POINTS

The police are handing out penalty points to drivers under the wrong law, which could have been avoided.

After recent publicity showing that some police officers have been making obvious mistakes in punishing administrative errors on driving licenses, we’ve taken a look at what you need to know about protecting yourself from the same situation.

As a driving license holder, you (the driver) are obliged to update your personal details if an when they change AND you are obliged to update your photograph every ten years. Naturally, drivers often overlook these requirements, because we simply forget and after a decade of being on the road, it’s not something near the front of many people’s minds.

Recently, however, it has been revealed that a large number of drivers may have been wrongly prosecuted for “driving otherwise than in accordance with a license” due to the photograph being out of date. When checking your details, Police Officers have been known to check section ‘4b’ on your license. This section relates to the date when your photograph (not your license) expires. Officers have taken the wording on the back of your license literally (it reads “license valid until”), concluding that the license is not valid and have prosecuted drivers for “driving otherwise than in accordance with a license”. This offence is a relatively serious one which invariably will land you before a court and you will be facing 3-6 points on your license together with a fine.

In reality, although it is still an offence not to update your photograph, it is dealt with as an administrative error and punishable by way of a financial penalty alone. This is done to serve as a reminder that it remains your responsibility to ensure details are correct.

Even if your photograph is out of date you driving license remains valid up to the point where a court or the DVLA have disqualified or revoked your license.

What can you do now to protect yourself?

1. Take a minute to dig out your license and check the expiry date of the photograph and update if necessary

2. Remember this advice if an Officer makes the mistake outline above and draw it to his/her attention (polite discussions only please!)

3. If you feel that you have been wrongly prosecuted or wrongly charged then pick up the phone and give us a call on 0800 3 10 11 12 or drop us an email to  motoring@lawforlife.org

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