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Royal Arms Road Traffic Act 1988 (c.52)

1988 c. 52
Road Traffic Act 1988 (c. 52)

1988 Chapter c. 52


Part 3
Licensing of Drivers of Vehicles Requirement to hold licence

Tests Physical fitnessGranting of licences, their form and durationAppeals Disqualification (otherwise than on conviction) Miscellaneous
ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS Part 1 - Road Safety Provisions Part 4 - Heavy Goods VehiclesPart 2 - Use of Vehicles and EquipmentPart 5 -Driving InstructionPart 3 - Licensing of Drivers of VehiclesPart 6 - Third-Party Liabilities


Requirement to hold licence

Drivers of motor vehicles to have driving licences.


87.—(1) It is an offence for a person to drive on a road a motor vehicle of any class if he is not the holder of a licence authorising him to drive a motor vehicle of that class.

(2) It is an offence for a person to cause or permit another person to drive on a road a motor vehicle of any class if that other person is not the holder of a licence authorising him to drive a motor vehicle of that class.



88.—(1) Notwithstanding section 87 of this Act, a person may drive or cause or permit another person to drive a vehicle of any class if—
(2) The benefit of subsection (1) above does not extend— (3) The Secretary of State may by regulations provide that subsection (1) above shall also apply (where the requirements of that subsection are otherwise met) in the case of a person who has not previously held a licence to drive vehicles of the relevant class.

(4) Regulations made by virtue of subsection (3) above shall, if not previously revoked, expire at the end of the period of one year beginning with the day on which they came into operation.

(5) Regulations may provide that a person who becomes resident in Great Britain shall, during the prescribed period after he becomes so resident, be treated for the purposes of section 87 of this Act as the holder of a licence authorising him to drive motor vehicles of the prescribed classes if—
(6) Regulations made by virtue of subsection (5) above may provide for the application of any enactment relating to licences or licence holders, with or without modifications, in relation to any such permit and its holder respectively.

(7) Notwithstanding section 87 of this Act—



Tests

Tests of competence to drive.


89.—(1) A licence authorising the driving of motor vehicles of any class shall not be granted to any person unless he satisfies the Secretary of State—
(2) For the purposes of subsection (1) (d) above "relevant external law" means the law for the time being in force in Northern Ireland, that for the time being in force in the Isle of Man or that for the time being in force in any of the Channel Islands that corresponds to this Part of this Act.

(3) Regulations may make provision with respect to—
and generally with respect to such tests.

(4) In particular, regulations may, without prejudice to the generality of subsection (3) above, provide—
and different regulations may be made with respect to tests of competence to drive different classes of vehicles.

(5) If regulations make provision for a test of competence to drive to consist of separate parts, they may make for each part—
(6) For the purposes of subsection (1) (a) above, a test of competence shall be sufficient for the granting of a licence authorising the driving of— (7) If vehicles of any classes are designated by regulations as a group for the purposes of subsection (1) (b) above, a licence authorising the driving of vehicles of a class included in the group shall be deemed for the purposes of subsection (1) (b) to authorise the driving of vehicles of all classes included in the group.

(8) For the purposes of this section and section 88(1) of this Act, an exchangeable licence issued in respect of a member State, country or territory shall not be treated as authorising a person to drive a vehicle of any category if—
(9) Where an exchangeable licence authorises the driving of vehicles of any category and any vehicle falling within that category falls also within any of the classes designated as a group for the purposes of subsection (1) (a) above—

Review of conduct of test.


90.—(1) On the application of a person who has submitted himself for a test of competence to drive—
may determine whether the test was properly conducted in accordance with regulations.

(2) The court or, as the case may be, sheriff may, if it appears that the test was not so conducted—
(3) If regulations make provision for a test of competence to drive to consist of separate parts, this section applies in relation to each part as well as in relation to the whole of the test.

Repayment of test fees.


91.A fee paid in pursuance of regulations made by virtue of section 89(4) of this Act on application for an appointment for a test may be repaid in the following cases and not otherwise—



Physical fitness

Requirements as to physical fitness of drivers.


92.—(1) An application for the grant of a licence must include a declaration by the applicant, in such form as the Secretary of State may require, stating whether he is suffering or has at any time (or, if a period is prescribed for the purposes of this subsection, has during that period) suffered from any relevant disability or any prospective disability.

(2) In this Part of this Act—
(3) If it appears from the applicant's declaration, or if on inquiry the Secretary of State is satisfied from other information, that the applicant is suffering from a relevant disability, the Secretary of State must, subject to the following provisions of this section, refuse to grant the licence.

(4) The Secretary of State must not by virtue of subsection (3) above refuse to grant a licence—
(5) Where as a result of a test of competence to drive the Secretary of State is satisfied that the person who took the test is suffering from a disability such that there is likely to be a danger to the public— the Secretary of State must serve notice in writing to that effect on that person and must include in the notice a description of the disability.

(6) Where a notice is served in pursuance of subsection (5) (a) above, then—
(7) Where a notice is served in pursuance of subsection (5) (b) above, any licence granted to the person who took the test shall be limited to vehicles of the particular construction or design specified in the notice.

(8) In this section "relevant test" , in relation to an application for a licence, means any such test of competence as is mentioned in section 89 of this Act or a test as to fitness or ability in pursuance of section 100 of the [1960 c.16.] Road Traffic Act 1960 as originally enacted, being a test authorising the grant of a licence in respect of vehicles of the classes to which the application relates.

(9) Without prejudice to subsection (8) above, for the purposes of subsection (4) (a) above—
In this subsection "relevant external law" has the meaning given by section 89(2) of this Act.

Revocation of licence because of disability or prospective disability.


93.—(1) If the Secretary of State is at any time satisfied on inquiry—
the Secretary of State may serve notice in writing on the licence holder revoking the licence with effect from such date as may be specified in the notice, not being earlier than the date of service of the notice.

(2) If the Secretary of State is at any time satisfied on inquiry that a licence holder is suffering from a prospective disability, the Secretary of State may—
(3) A person whose licence is revoked under subsection (1) or (2) above must deliver up the licence to the Secretary of State forthwith after the revocation.

(4) Where a person whose licence is revoked under subsection (1) or (2) above—
he is not in breach of the duty under subsection (3) above.

Provision of information, etc. relating to disabilities.


94.—(1) If at any time during the period for which his licence remains in force, a licence holder becomes aware—
the licence holder must forthwith notify the Secretary of State in writing of the nature and extent of his disability.

(2) The licence holder is not required to notify the Secretary of State under subsection (1) above if—
(3) A person who fails without reasonable excuse to notify the Secretary of State as required by subsection (1) above is guilty of an offence.

(4) If the Secretary of State has reasonable grounds for believing that a person who is an applicant for, or the holder of, a licence may be suffering from a relevant or prospective disability, subsection (5) below applies for the purpose of enabling the Secretary of State to satisfy himself whether or not that is the case.

(5) The Secretary of State may by notice in writing served on the applicant or holder—
(6) The authorisation referred to in subsection (5) (a) above— (7) If he considers it appropriate to do so in the case of any applicant or licence holder, the Secretary of State— (8) If any person on whom a notice is served under subsection (5) above— the Secretary of State may exercise his powers under sections 92 and 93 of this Act as if he were satisfied that the applicant or licence holder concerned is suffering from a relevant disability which is not prescribed for the purposes of any paragraph of section 92(4) of this Act or, if the Secretary of State so determines, as if he were satisfied that the applicant or licence holder concerned is suffering from a prospective disability.

(9) The Secretary of State must defray any fees or other reasonable expenses of a registered medical practitioner in connection with—

Notification of refusal of insurance on grounds of health.


95.—(1) If an authorised insurer refuses to issue to any person such a policy of insurance as complies with the requirements of Part VI of this Act on the ground that the state of health of that person is not satisfactory, or on grounds which include that ground, the insurer shall as soon as practicable notify the Secretary of State of that refusal and of the full name, address, sex and date of birth of that person as disclosed by him to the insurer.

(2) In subsection (1) above "authorised insurer" means a person or body of persons carrying on insurance business within Group 2 in Part II of Schedule 2 to the [1982 c.50.] Insurance Companies Act 1982 and being a member of the Motor Insurers' Bureau (a company limited by guarantee and incorporated under the [1929 c.23.] Companies Act 1929 on 14th June 1946) .

Driving with uncorrected defective eyesight.


96.—(1) If a person drives a motor vehicle on a road while his eyesight is such (whether through a defect which cannot be or one which is not for the time being sufficiently corrected) that he cannot comply with any requirement as to eyesight prescribed under this Part of this Act for the purposes of tests of competence to drive, he is guilty of an offence.

(2) A constable having reason to suspect that a person driving a motor vehicle may be guilty of an offence under subsection (1) above may require him to submit to a test for the purpose of ascertaining whether, using no other means of correction than he used at the time of driving, he can comply with the requirement concerned.

(3) If that person refuses to submit to the test he is guilty of an offence.



Granting of licences, their form and duration

Grant of licences.


97.—(1) Subject to subsection (2) below and section 92 of this Act, the Secretary of State must, on payment of such fee (if any) as may be prescribed, grant a licence to a person who—
(2) If the application for the licence states that it is made for the purpose of enabling the applicant to drive a motor vehicle with a view to passing a test of competence to drive, any licence granted in pursuance of the application shall be a provisional licence for that purpose, and nothing in section 89 of this Act shall apply to such a licence.

(3) A provisional licence—
(4) Regulations may authorise or require the Secretary of State to refuse a provisional licence authorising the driving of a motor cycle of a prescribed class if the applicant has held such a provisional licence and the licence applied for would come into force within the prescribed period— (5) A learner motor cycle is a motor cycle which either is propelled by electric power or has the following characteristics— (6) The weight referred to in subsection (5) above is the weight of the motor cycle with a full supply of fuel in its tank, an adequate supply of other liquids needed for its propulsion and no load other than its normal equipment, including loose tools.

(7) A person who fails to comply with any condition applicable to him by virtue of subsection (3) above is guilty of an offence.

Form of licence.


98.—(1) A licence shall be in such form as the Secretary of State may determine and shall—
(2) Subject to subsections (3) and (4) below, a licence which, apart from this subsection, authorises its holder to drive motor vehicles of certain classes only (not being— shall also authorise him to drive motor vehicles of all other classes subject to the same conditions as if he were authorised by a provisional licence to drive motor vehicles of those other classes.

(3) A licence shall not by virtue of subsection (2) above authorise a person to drive—
(4) In such cases as the Secretary of State may prescribe, the provisions of subsections (2) and (3) above shall not apply or shall apply subject to such limitations as he may prescribe.

(5) A person who fails to comply with any condition applicable to him by virtue of subsection (2) above is guilty of an offence.

Duration of licences.


99.—(1) A licence shall, unless previously revoked or surrendered, remain in force, subject to subsection (2) below—
and any such period shall begin with the date on which the licence in question is expressed to come into force.

(2) To the extent that a provisional licence authorises the driving of a motor cycle of a prescribed class it shall, unless previously surrendered or revoked, remain in force—
(3) Where it appears to the Secretary of State— the Secretary of State may serve notice in writing on that person revoking the licence and requiring him to surrender the licence forthwith to the Secretary of State.

(4) Where the name or address of the licence holder as specified in a licence ceases to be correct, its holder must forthwith surrender the licence to the Secretary of State and provide him with particulars of the alterations falling to be made in the name or address and, in the case of a provisional licence as respects which the prescribed conditions are satisfied, with a statement of his sex and date of birth.

(5) A person who fails to comply with the duty under subsection (4) above is guilty of an offence.

(6) Where a person who has a duty under this section to surrender his licence is not in possession of the licence in consequence of the fact that he has surrendered it to a constable or authorised person (within the meaning of Part III of the [.] Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988) on receiving a fixed penalty notice given to him under section 54 of that Act, he does not fail to comply with the duty if he surrenders the licence to the Secretary of State immediately on its return.

(7) On the surrender of a licence by any person in pursuance of subsection (3) or (4) above, the Secretary of State—
grant to that person free of charge a new licence for such period (subject to subsection (8) below) that it expires on the date on which the surrendered licence would have expired had it not been surrendered.

(8) Where the period for which the surrendered licence was granted was based on an error with respect to the licence holder's date of birth such that, if that error had not been made, that licence would have been expressed to expire on a different date, the period of the new licence shall be such that it expires on that different date.



Appeals

Appeals relating to licences.


100.—(1) A person who is aggrieved by the Secretary of State's—
or by a notice served on him in pursuance of section 92(5) of this Act may, after giving to the Secretary of State notice of his intention to do so, appeal to a magistrates' court acting for the petty sessions area in which he resides or, in Scotland, to the sheriff within whose jurisdiction he resides.

(2) On any such appeal the court or sheriff may make such order as it or he thinks fit and the order shall be binding on the Secretary of State.

(3) It is hereby declared that, without prejudice to section 90 of this Act, in any proceedings under this section the court or sheriff is not entitled to entertain any question as to whether the appellant passed a test of competence to drive if he was declared by the person who conducted it to have failed it.



Disqualification (otherwise than on conviction)

Disqualification of persons under age.


101.—(1) A person is disqualified for holding or obtaining a licence to drive a motor vehicle of a class specified in the following Table if he is under the age specified in relation to it in the second column of the Table.
TABLE
Class of motor vehicle Age (in years)
1. Invalid carriage 16
2. Motor cycle 16
3. Small passenger vehicle or small goods vehicle 17
4. Agricultural tractor 17
5. Medium-sized goods vehicle 18
6. Other motor vehicles 21


(2) The Secretary of State may by regulations provide that subsection (1) above shall have effect as if for the classes of vehicles and the ages specified in the Table in that subsection there were substituted different classes of vehicles and ages or different classes of vehicles or different ages.

(3) Subject to subsection (4) below, the regulations may—
(4) For the purpose of defining the class of persons to whom, the class of vehicles to which, the circumstances in which or the conditions subject to which regulations made by virtue of subsection (2) above are to apply where an approved training scheme for drivers is in force, it is sufficient for the regulations to refer to a document which embodies the terms (or any of the terms) of the scheme or to a document which is in force in pursuance of the scheme.

(5) In subsection (4) above—
but no approved training scheme for drivers shall be amended without the approval of the Secretary of State.

Disqualification to prevent duplication of licences.


102.A person is disqualified for obtaining a licence authorising him to drive a motor vehicle of any class so long as he is the holder of another licence authorising him to drive a motor vehicle of that class, whether the licence is suspended or not.

Obtaining licence, or driving, while disqualified.


103.—(1) If a person disqualified for holding or obtaining a licence—
he is guilty of an offence.

(2) A licence obtained by any person who is disqualified is of no effect.

(3) A constable in uniform may arrest without warrant any person driving or attempting to drive a motor vehicle on a road whom he has reasonable cause to suspect of being disqualified.



Miscellaneous

Conduct of proceedings in certain courts by or against the Secretary of State.


104.—(1) Any proceedings by or against the Secretary of State in a magistrates' court or before the registrar of a county court under this Part of this Act or Part II of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 may be conducted on behalf of the Secretary of State by a person authorised by him for the purposes of this subsection.

(2) Any proceedings in any court in Scotland, other than the High Court of Justiciary or the Court of Session, against the Secretary of State under this Part of this Act or Part II of the [.] Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 may be conducted on behalf of the Secretary of State by any person authorised by him for the purposes of this subsection.

105.—(1) The Secretary of State may make regulations for any purpose for which regulations may be made under the provisions of this Part of this Act and the relevant provisions of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 and for prescribing anything which may be prescribed under any of those provisions, and otherwise for the purpose of carrying any of those provisions into effect.

(2) In particular, but without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1) above, the regulations may make provision with respect to—
and different regulations may be made as respects different classes of vehicles or as respects the same class of vehicles in different circumstances.

(3) The regulations may—
and nothing in the other provisions of this Part of this Act shall be construed as prejudicing the generality of the preceding provisions of this subsection.

(4) Any fee prescribed under this Part of this Act shall be of an amount approved by the Treasury, and different fees may be prescribed for different circumstances.

(5) In subsection (1) above "the relevant provisions of the [.] Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988" means the following provisions of that Act: sections 2, 7, 8, 23 to 26, 27, 31 and 34 to 48.

Destination of fees for licences, etc.


106.—(1) All fees received by the Secretary of State for licences under this Part of this Act shall be paid into the Consolidated Fund.

(2) Fees in respect of tests of competence to drive payable by virtue of regulations made by virtue of section 89(4) of this Act shall be paid to such person as may be prescribed by the regulations, and any such fees received by a person so prescribed (other than any as to which the regulations provide that they are to be paid to the person conducting the test and retained by him as remuneration) shall be paid into the Consolidated Fund.

Service of notices.


107.A notice authorised to be served on any person by section 92, 93 or 99(3) of this Act may be served on him by delivering it to him or by leaving it at his proper address or by sending it to him by post; and for the purposes of this section and section 7 of the [1978 c.30.] Interpretation Act 1978 in its application to this section the proper address of any person shall be his latest address as known to the person serving the notice.

Interpretation.


108.—(1) In this Part of this Act—
(2) If the Secretary of State is satisfied that satisfactory provision for the granting of licences to drive motor vehicles is made by the law of a country or territory which neither is nor forms part of a member State, he may by order made by statutory instrument designate that country or territory as a country or territory within paragraph (b) of the definition of exchangeable licence in subsection (1) above.

(3) Before making any order under subsection (2) above, the Secretary of State shall consult with such representative organisations as he thinks fit.

Provisions as to Northern Ireland drivers' licences.


109.—(1) The holder of a licence to drive a motor vehicle granted under the law of Northern Ireland may drive, and a person may cause or permit the holder of such a licence to drive, in Great Britain, a motor vehicle of any class which he is authorised by that licence to drive, and which he is not disqualified from driving under this Part of this Act, notwithstanding that he is not the holder of a licence under this Part of this Act.

(2) Any driver holding a licence so granted shall be under the like obligation to produce such a licence as if it had been a licence granted under this Part of this Act, and the provisions—
as to the production of licences granted under this Part of this Act shall apply accordingly.

(3) The holder of any such licence who by an order of the court is disqualified for holding or obtaining a licence under this Part of this Act must produce the licence so held by him to the court within such time as the court may determine, and the court must, on production of the licence, forward it to the Secretary of State.

(4) If the holder fails to produce the licence within that time, he is guilty of an offence.

(5) If the holder of any such licence is convicted of an offence and the court orders particulars of the conviction to be endorsed in accordance with section 44 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988, the court shall send those particulars to the Secretary of State.




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