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Not having a valid licence may also mean you aren’t insured – even if you have paid the policy premium.

Welcome to this three-part series of Motoring law tips for American drivers in the UK.

In this series, I’ll show you some of the everyday mistakes American drivers in the UK are making which are costing them money, points on their licence, and/or unnecessary criminal convictions.

In my last post, I talked about the situation where your American licence may no longer be valid for driving in the UK.

If your American licence no longer entitles you to drive in the UK, then you run the real risk of not being insured, even if you have a current premium paid policy.

How can it be “no insurance” where there is a policy with your name on it?

All insurance contracts are governed by the principle of, “uberrimae fidei” – which means, “utmost good faith”.

If your insurance company concludes that you are not entitled to drive on your US driving licence, they may consider that your policy is void from the date you were no longer entitled to drive on it.

Your insurance company saying that your bought and paid for policy is void because you did not act with utmost good faith by continuing to drive in the UK when you should not have been, means that you could be found to have been driving with no insurance.

The penalty for driving with no insurance is 6-8 points, plus a fine, plus prosecution costs, plus a government mandated victim surcharge.

The other problem is that the police have the power under s165A of the Road Traffic Act, 1988 to seize vehicles driven without a licence or insurance.

My simple tip

If you are working in the UK and think you may be here over one year, consider taking an intensive driving course and getting a British Driving Licence sorted – before you get stopped by the police or flashed by a speed camera.