Road Traffic (Driver Licensing and Information Systems) Act 1989

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1989 c. 22


Road Traffic (DriverLicensing and InformationSystems) Act 1989

1989 CHAPTER 22

An Act to amend the law relating to driving licences and to regulate the operation of systems providing drivers of motor vehicles with guidance and information derived from automatically processed data or collecting, storing and processing the data.

[21st July 1989]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

I Driving Licences

Part I

Driving Licences

S-1 Abolition of special licences for driving HGVs and PSVs.

1 Abolition of special licences for driving HGVs and PSVs.

(1) On the appointed day Part IV of the Road Traffic Act 1988 and section 22 of the Public Passenger Vehicles Act 1981 (which require special driving licences to be held for driving heavy goods vehicles and public service vehicles) shall cease to have effect but the repeal of those provisions does not imply that it is lawful for a person to drive a heavy goods vehicle or a public service vehicle of any class on or after that day on the authority of an existing licence under Part III of the 1988 Act (ordinary licences) and, for the purposes of section 87 of that Act (offence of driving without Part III licence), his licence shall not be taken to authorise him to drive vehicles of those classes.

(2) Subsection (1) above shall not, however, invalidate existing licences for driving heavy goods vehicles or public service vehicles and the holder of such a licence may, during the currency of that licence and his existing licence under Part III of the 1988 Act, continue to drive any heavy goods vehicle or public service vehicle which the first-mentioned licence authorises him to drive or a goods vehicle of any class or, as the case may be, a passenger-carrying vehicle of any class prescribed for the purposes of this subsection without obtaining a new licence under the said Part III.

(3) Any of the following proceedings pending at the appointed day, that is to say—

(a) any application questioning the conduct of a test of competence to drive under section 115 of the 1988 Act, and

(b) any reconsideration by, or appeal from, a licensing authority under section 116 of the 1988 Act or section 23 of the 1981 Act,

may be continued and, as the case may be, any order relative to the test (or fees) made or licence issued notwithstanding the repeals made by this Act and any order of eligibility to take a test so made shall be treated as relating to a corresponding test and any heavy goods vehicle or public service vehicle driver's licence so issued shall be treated as an existing licence.

(4) Where, during the currency of a person's existing licence for driving heavy goods vehicles or public service vehicles, his existing licence under Part III of the 1988 Act is revoked or surrendered, it shall be his duty to surrender his first-mentioned licence to the traffic commissioner for the traffic area in which he resides.

(5) A person who without reasonable excuse fails to comply with the duty under subsection (4) above is guilty of an offence.

(6) The provisions of Part I of Schedule 1 to this Act have effect for the purpose of re-enacting with modifications and assimilating the provisions of Part IV of the 1988 Act and the 1981 Act for the purposes of licences under those Acts continued in force by subsection (2) above and the transitory provisions of Part II of that Schedule shall also have effect.

(7) In this Part of this Act—

‘the appointed day’ means the day appointed for the coming into force of this section;

‘existing’, in relation to a licence, means in force immediately before the appointed day;

‘traffic area’ means a traffic area constituted for the purposes of the 1981 Act;

‘traffic commissioner’ means a traffic commissioner appointed for the purposes of the 1981 Act;

‘the 1981 Act’ means the Public Passenger Vehicles Act 1981 ;

‘the 1988 Act’ means the Road Traffic Act 1988 ;

and in subsection (2) above the reference to the vehicles which the holder of a heavy goods vehicle driver's licence is authorised to drive includes a reference to the vehicles which he is authorised to drive by virtue of regulations under paragraph 8(2)(a) of Schedule 1 to this Act and the reference to prescribed classes of goods vehicles or passenger-carrying vehicles is a reference to classes of goods vehicles or passenger-carrying vehicles (within the meaning of the 1988 Act) prescribed under that paragraph.

S-2 Special provisions relating to licensing of drivers of LGVs and PCVs.

2 Special provisions relating to licensing of drivers of LGVs and PCVs.

(1) There shall be inserted as Part IV of the 1988 Act the provisions set out in Schedule 2 to this Act which—

(a) apply both to the licensing of the drivers of large goods vehicles and to the licensing of the drivers of passenger-carrying vehicles (as there defined); and

(b) re-enact and assimilate certain of the provisions of Part IV of the 1988 Act (as originally enacted) and of section 22 of the 1981 Act to take account of the abolition by section 1 above of special licences to drive heavy goods vehicles and public service vehicles and the granting after the appointed day of licences to drive such vehicles under Part III of the 1988 Act.

(2) After section 99(1) of the 1988 Act (duration of licences) there shall be inserted the following subsection—

(1A) In so far as a licence authorises its holder to drive any prescribed class of goods vehicle or passenger-carrying vehicle, it shall, unless previously revoked, suspended or surrendered, remain in force—

(a) except in a case falling within paragraph (c) or (d) of this subsection—

(i) for the period ending on the forty-fifth anniversary of the applicant's date of birth or for a period of five years, whichever is the longer, or

(ii)where the applicant's age at the date on which the licence is to come into force will exceed forty-five but not sixty-five years, for the period ending on the sixty-sixth anniversary of the applicant's date of birth or for a period of five years, whichever is the shorter,

(b) except in a case falling within paragraph (d) of this subsection, where the applicant's age at that date will exceed sixty-five years, for a period of one year,

(c) except in a case falling within paragraph (b) or (d) of this subsection, if the Secretary of State so determines in the case of a licence to be granted to a person appearing to him to be suffering from a relevant or prospective disability, for such period of not more than three years and not less than one year as the Secretary of State may determine, and

(d) in the case of a licence granted in exchange for a subsisting licence and in pursuance of an application requesting a licence for the period authorised by this paragraph, for a period equal to the remainder of that for which the subsisting licence was granted,

and any such period shall begin with the date on which the licence in question is expressed to come into force.’

S-3 Exceptions to prohibition on driving without a licence.

3 Exceptions to prohibition on driving without a licence.

(1) Section 88 of the 1988 Act (exceptions to prohibition on driving without a licence) shall be amended as follows.

(2) In subsection (1) (conditions of the exception), for paragraphs (a) and (b) there shall be substituted the following paragraphs—

‘(a) the driver has held—

(i) a licence under this Part of this Act to drive vehicles of that or a corresponding class, or

(ii) a Northern Ireland licence to drive vehicles of that or a corresponding class, or

(iii) a British external licence or British Forces licence to drive vehicles of that or a corresponding class, or

(iv) an exchangeable licence to drive vehicles of that or a corresponding class, and

(b) either—

(i) a qualifying application by the driver for the grant of a licence to drive vehicles of that class for a period which includes that time has been received by the Secretary of State, or

(ii) a licence to drive vehicles of that class granted to him has been revoked or surrendered in pursuance of section 99(3) or (4) of this Act otherwise than by reason of a current disqualification or of its having been granted in error, and’.

(3) After subsection (1) there shall be inserted the following subsections—

(1A) An application for the grant of a licence to drive vehicles of any class is a qualifying application for the purposes of subsection (1)(b)(i) above if—

(a) the requirements of paragraphs (a), (b) so far as it relates to initial evidence and (c) of section 97(1) of this Act have been satisfied;

(b) the applicant—

(i) is not subject to a current disqualification which is relevant to the licence he applies for, and

(ii) is not prevented from obtaining it by section 89 of this Act; and

(c) the declaration made in pursuance of section 92(1) of this Act indicates that he is not suffering from a relevant disability.

(1B) A disqualification is relevant to a licence for which a person makes an application if—

(a) in the case of an application made by virtue of any provision of subsection (1)(a) above, the disqualification subsists under or by virtue of any provision of the Road Traffic Acts and relates to vehicles of the class to which his application relates;

(b) in the case of an application made by virtue of subsection (1)(a)(ii) above, the disqualification subsists under or by virtue of any provision of the law of Northern Ireland and relates to vehicles of the class, or of a class corresponding to the class, to which his application relates;

(c) in the case of...

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