Driving without a licence can be incredibly dangerous. Whether you’re a learner without a designated driving instructor or have no intention of getting a licence, it can cause serious accidents that could lead to injury or death. It’s essential to report someone driving without a licence to mitigate these risks and keep dangerous drivers off the road.
Here are the different ways you can report someone driving without a licence in the UK:
- Call the police on 101.
- Contact Crimestoppers UK.
- Message the police via 18001 101.
In the rest of this article, I’ll discuss the steps you can take to report someone driving without a licence in greater detail. I’ll also cover whether you can report it anonymously and the penalties associated with driving without a licence in the UK. Let’s get into it.
Call the Police on 101
Talking to the police is the best way to report someone driving without a licence in the UK. The key here is to make sure you call 101 and not 999.
101 is the police’s non-emergency line, while 999 is strictly for emergencies and should never be dialled for anything less. Driving without a licence may be a crime, but it doesn’t amount to an emergency unless someone is already injured as a result of it.
Dialling the non-emergency number helps keep the emergency line available for those who really need it. So by choosing the right communication channel, you might help save someone from immediate danger by allowing their emergency call to go through.
If you’d rather not call, you can fill out this online form. It’ll narrow the report down to local police agencies that can directly handle the query.
When you establish contact, the police will ask you to provide the following information:
- In-depth information about the driver. This includes licence plate number and specifics about the vehicle, such as make and model.
- The location of the offence. This means telling them which motorway you saw them driving on or letting them know their address if the person lives near you.
- Any other information you think will help their investigation. You may need to disclose your relationship to the driver and how you know they are driving without a licence.
You can ask for your call to be anonymous, meaning they won’t let the driver know you contacted them. However, they will likely keep your details on record for the purposes of the investigation, and that includes your name and contact number in case they need to get in touch with you (source: NI Direct Government Services).
Contact Crimestoppers UK
Crimestoppers is a charity in the UK that is dedicated to ending crime. They are entirely independent of the police, but they often work together to end all sorts of crimes, from minor offences to serious felonies (source: Crimestoppers UK).
Reporting to Crimestoppers is a relatively simple process. You can call their hotline and discuss the issue with complete anonymity, meaning your contact details and identity will not be tracked or kept in their records.
Everything you tell Crimestoppers is completely confidential, so rest assured that if you decide to contact them, the driver in question won’t know it was you who reported them (source: Crimestoppers UK).
Additionally, they often reward people for giving information about criminals. However, this is usually only if the crime is substantial, such as fraud or violence.
If you would like to report someone driving without a licence to Crimestoppers, fill out their anonymous form online or call 0800 555 111 to speak to one of their reps.
Caveat: Unless the driver is driving very dangerously without a licence, they may advise you to speak to the police. In this instance, you can ask them to pass on the information on your behalf to keep you out of the loop.
Generally speaking, it’s advisable to contact the police instead of Crimestoppers because:
- The police can handle the report directly, and the process will likely be much faster.
- Crimestoppers usually take on more significant matters, so your local police department is usually the better choice to report someone driving without a licence.
Message the Police Via 18001 101
The 18001 101 is the equivalent of 101, except it involves texting instead of calling. This non-emergency SMS service is primarily geared toward individuals with speech and hearing impairments. It works across all mobile networks and can be used to report crimes such as:
- Driving without a licence.
- Car theft.
- Minor traffic accidents.
- Property damage or theft, and more (Source: Durham Police).
Why Is It Important To Report Someone Driving Without a Licence in the UK?
Driving in the UK is usually a safe experience since numerous regulations prevent poor driving and prescribe multiple penalties for breaking the rules. Still, encountering an individual driving without a licence isn’t uncommon. While you’re under no legal obligation to report such individuals, doing so goes a long way to make our roads safer.
It’s important to report someone driving without a licence in the UK because it prevents accidents from occurring. It is a serious offence to drive without a licence, and it could end badly for pedestrians and other drivers. Reporting the driver will help keep the roads safe for everyone.
Before being able to drive in the UK, you must have acquired the correct licence for the type of vehicle you drive. This means that you can’t drive a lorry or bus if you only have a car licence, and you shouldn’t drive a car if you only have a motorcycle licence. It’s even worse if you have no licence at all (source: Greater Manchester Police).
Once you have reported them, the police will conduct an investigation to get the driver off the road. If the culprit cannot produce a valid driver’s licence for their vehicle, along with credible insurance and a recent MOT, the police will act accordingly (source: Gov.uk).
What Are the Penalties for Driving Without a Licence in the UK?
The penalties for driving without a licence in the UK include a hefty fine, points on your future licence, and possible jail time. You could even get banned from driving for up to a year. The Road Traffic Act stipulates that it is illegal to drive without a registered licence.
You could end up with up to 6 points on your licence once you acquire one, which means you’re halfway to being banned from driving in the UK altogether (source: Gov.uk).
And if you kill someone driving without a licence, you will inevitably go to jail. You may also incur a more severe sentence since you shouldn’t have been operating a car in the first place.
Even if you are a learner, you cannot drive alone in a car without a registered instructor who has had their licence for a few years. Driving alone on a provisional licence is likely to lead to a fine of up to £1,000 (source: JMW).
Considering all this, it’s not worth it to drive without a licence in the UK. If you know someone who is, you are within your rights to report them, and doing so keeps Britain’s roads safer overall. Get in touch with Crimestoppers to ask about the process, or get in touch with the police for the formal procedure.