Driving Recap 011 Legal

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Driver is responsible! Who ever is driving a car (vehicle) is responsible for the legal requirements of that car / vehicle while they are in charge of it.

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Legal responsibilities

As a driver, it’s your responsibility to know how the law relates to both yourself and your vehicle, so make sure that you’re up to date with the rules and regulations.


You’ll be asked about legal responsibilities during your theory test. You’ll need to show the relevant papers and pass the eyesight check before starting your practical test.


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health certain medical conditions must be reported to DVLA

eyesight – can you read a number plate as shown on page 10? If you need glasses to read it clearly then you must always wear them when you’re driving

drink don’t drink and drive. There’s a legal limit but it’s safer not to drink at all if you’re going to drive

drugs never take drugs before driving; the effect can be more severe than alcohol. Even some prescription drugs can make you drowsy

tiredness if you’re tired you’re more likely to have a collision. On a long journey have a break every two hours or so

mobile phones – it’s illegal to use a hand-held phone while driving and even hands-free can distract you from your driving.

Even hands-free phones distract you from your driving so it’s safer not to use one at all. Switch your phone off otherwise you might be tempted to answer it if it rings. Stop safely to retrieve any messages.

Before you can legally drive on a public road, you must have a valid tax disc displayed on your vehicle. The vehicle registration documents must be correct and up to date

Cars must first have an MOT test when they’re three years old (four in Northern Ireland).

Trailers and caravans don’t need an MOT, but they do need to be kept in good order.

MOT certificates are valid for one year.

You can drive your car without an MOT certificate when driving to an appointment at an MOT centre.

If your vehicle needs an MOT certificate and you don’t have one

  • you won’t be able to renew your road tax
  • it could invalidate your insurance.

You must have at least third party insurance cover before driving on public roads. This covers

  • injury to another person
  • damage to someone else’s property
  • damage to other vehicles.

Driving without insurance is criminal offence and can lead to a maximum fine of £5000.

You’ll need to show your insurance certificate when you’re taxing your vehicle or if a police officer asks you for it. You may be issued with a temporary cover note until you receive your insurance certificate.

Before you drive anyone else’s vehicle, make sure that the vehicle is insured for your use. The cost of your insurance depends on many factors, but is generally less if you

  • are over 25 years old
  • complete the Pass Plus scheme (this is not available in Northern Ireland).

Your insurance policy may have an excess of a certain amount, say £100. This means that you’ll have to pay the first £100 of any claim.

The Pass Plus scheme will help newly qualified drivers widen their driving experience and improve basic skills. It may also help to reduce insurance costs.

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L plates should be clearly displayed on the front and back of the vehicle you’re driving (D plates can be used in Wales).

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Remember, you need to know the traffic rules and regulations – these can be found in The Highway Code.

find it on your dashboard.

Make sure you know the regulations as

ignorance is no defence.

By passing your “Theory Test” you are stating you know the highway code!




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