Declaring offences to the Traffic Commissioner

One question on the application form for a goods vehicle operator licence, which causes applicants problems related to declaring offences to the Traffic Commissioner. The introduction of recent legislation has made significant changes to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, so that criminal sentences become spent much sooner that in the past.

Applicants should take care and time over completing this part of the application form, as not only as it states on the application form is it a criminal offence to supply false information, but also an incorrect answer can affect whether the applicant is considered by the Traffic Commissioner to be of good repute or fit to hold a licence. The amendments are to be found in the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012. For example, the period of rehabilitation for a fine, for an adult offender, has now been reduced down from five years to 12 months from the date of conviction. If you are at all in doubt as to whether a conviction needs to be specified on the application form, please contact me for advice.

However, there has been no alteration to the requirement to notify the Traffic Commissioner’s office of any relevant convictions between the time of submitting the application and it being determined or any subsequent relevant convictions following the grant of the licence.

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