Clause 28 - Granting of full licence

Road Safety Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:15 am on 1st February 2005.

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Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill. 

Photo of Greg Knight Greg Knight Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

I want to ask a constituency question, which I hope the Minister will answer on this clause or the next one. A constituent who is going overseas has a licence that is valid but registered to him at his old address. He has just moved house. He has asked me whether he should send his licence off now or wait until he comes back from holiday.

Can the Minister tell us, for the record, what the average turnaround time is for someone submitting a licence merely to register a change of address? In other words, how long will my constituent be without his licence if he posts it off to register the new address? Will it be a couple of weeks or longer?

Photo of Christopher Chope Christopher Chope Conservative, Christchurch

Paragraph 88 of the notes on clauses says:

''The power to impose conditions on licences would be used, for example, in relation to a driver who had previously been disqualified from driving for a drink driving offence, but had agreed to a court order allowing him to participate in an alcohol ignition interlock programme (as provided for by Clause 14). The condition would require the driver to drive only in accordance with the alcohol ignition interlock programme.''

That is an example, but the clause seems to grant much wider powers. Unless I am corrected by the Minister, I believe that one of those powers would be to force learner drivers off the road if they had not passed their test by a specified time. We have introduced similar powers in relation to motor cyclists. Can she confirm that the power in the clause could be used to force a person with L-plates to take a test, for which they could have their driving licence removed if they failed?

Photo of Charlotte Atkins Charlotte Atkins Assistant Whip, Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Transport

I do not believe that is the case. A learner driver who had passed their test would certainly have to apply for their full licence within a two-year period, but there is no provision or intention that we should require a learner driver to pass their test within two years. The issue is that the driver must apply for the full licence once they have passed their test.

I am informed that the turnaround time for the new licence is 10 to 15 days. I am sure that the constituent of the right hon. Member for East Yorkshire will make a decision based on his period of time away. Presumably, if he is changing address, he will not be required to pay a fee for his new licence.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 28 ordered to stand part of the Bill.