Here you’ll find links to various parts of this site where we have information and useful resources relating to motoring offences
I’ve got motoring convictions – what do I need to know?
It’s important to know that motoring convictions often result in an endorsement on your licence. The changes to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act in 2014 did not affect motoring endorsements, which still take five years to become spent. For more information:
I recently received a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) for speeding. Will this show up on a basic criminal record check?
It’s unlikely. Technically, a FPN for speeding is an offence under Schedule 2 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 and, in line with section 58 of that Act, the endorsement will be treated as having been given in court and is subject to the 5 year rehabilitation period. However, FPN’s are rarely recorded on the Police National Computer as part of ‘convictions and cautions’, which is what is used to determine what is disclosed on a basic check. For more information:
Once my motoring conviction is spent, will it be removed from my driving licence?
Not necessarily. The length of time that motoring offences stay on your licence is governed by road traffic legislation which is entirely separate to the time it takes for it to be spent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act. For more information:
I’ve just received a motoring conviction, where can I get motor insurance?
Mainstream insurers will ask about motoring convictions for motor insurance. That means that until your conviction becomes spent, you may need to use the services of an insurance broker. For more information:
Here you’ll find some of the common advice we give on motoring offences. This is based on what we’ve learnt as a charity, as well as the real-life experiences of people with convictions.
Be clear about when your conviction will become spent. If you receive an endorsement to your licence, you may find that your conviction will take longer to become spent than you might think.
Our list of brokers are generally able to help people with motoring convictions to get motor insurance.
Frequently asked questions
Here you’ll find some questions that we regularly get about motoring offences and the answers we generally provide. More detailed FAQ’s are included in the information pages above.
It’s likely that your DR10 would have resulted in an endorsement on your licence. This means your conviction would be spent in November 2015 as the endorsement has the longest rehabilitation period. You can check this on our disclosure calculator.
Here you’ll find links to useful organisations and websites related to motoring offences that we refer to in our information and advice. Contact details can be found here.
DVLA – The government agency responsible for maintaining a database of drivers in Great Britain and a database of vehicles in the UK.
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Here you’ll find links to various parts of this site where we have information and useful resources relating to leaving prison.
I’m looking for some information specifically about prison issues?
Our work as a charity is generally focused on the issues that people face after release from prison, or just generally because of their criminal record. However, we have a few useful sections of information relating to prison:
I’m worried that I’m going to be sentenced to time in prison. Can you give me some information about dealing with the day to day issues in prison?
Our work focuses on the issues faced by people once they are released from prison, rather than those just going into custody. You may find further information in the ‘Useful Links’ section of this page.
I’m worried about how I’ll go about claiming benefits when I leave prison. Can you help at all?
The GOV.uk site has some specific guides for people leaving prison who need to make a claim for Universal Credit.
Here you’ll find some of the common advice we give on prison. This is based on what we’ve learnt as a charity, as well as the real-life experiences of people with convictions.
Our work as a charity is generally focused on the issues that people face after release from prison, or just generally because of their criminal record.
There are a number of organisations that are focused specifically on prison issues – they will be better placed to deal with specific issues relating to prison. Their details can be found at the bottom of this page.
Frequently asked questions
Here you’ll find some specific questions that we regularly get about prison and the answers we generally provide. More detailed FAQ’s may be included in the information pages above.
Unless you’ve received a prison sentence of over 2 years, you should be able to remain on the list of the GP that you were registered with prior to going into prison. However, if it’s been necessary for you to receive any healthcare whilst in custody then your medical records will have been sent to the prison and you will probably have been removed from your GP’s list.
We are aware of people who have found it difficult to register with a new GP upon release; often because they’re out of the practice area. The latest General Medical Services Contract however states that vulnerable individuals should be allowed to register with a practice prior to release. Your prison healthcare department should contact your preferred practice to arrange this.
If you can’t register with a practice prior to release and you’re refused registration by a GP practice, then you should ask the practice to put in writing to you the reason for their refusal. You will then be able to contact your local Primary Care Trust who have a duty to provide you with access to a local GP practice.
Here you’ll find links to useful organisations and websites related to prison that we refer to in our information and advice.
A national charity working for less crime, safer communities and fewer people in prison. Run a Helpline offering advice on a range of issues affecting young people in custody
They are an independent legal charity providing information and representation to prisoners on their rights as prisons. They cover England and Wales. They do not deal with miscarriages of justice or appeals against conviction/sentence.
PRT run an advice and information service which provides free information about prison life, rules and regulations and prisoner’s rights. They also give advice and assistance (they are unable to give legal advice).
The Prisons and Probation Ombudsman (PPO) carries out independent investigations into deaths and complaints in custody.
Telephone: 020 7633 4100 or lo-call 0845 010 7938
Address: Prisons and Probation Ombudsman, PO Box 70769, London, SE1P 4XY
Provides access to learning opportunities for prisoners to enhance their chances of building a better life after release. They provide a grants programme assisting prisoners to study distance learning courses not available in prison.
Telephone: 020 3752 5680
Address: The Foundry, 17 Oval Way, London, SE11 5RR or FREEPOST PRISONERS’ EDUCATION TRUST
Provide advice around tax issues to prisoners.
Telephone: 01824 704535
Address: Unit 4 Ffordd yr Onnen, Lon Parcwr Business Park, Ruthin, Denbighshire LL15 1NJ
Housing and resettlement
Langley House Trust provides resettlement services for people with convictions.
Doing time will give you the reality of what you are facing as you are processed through the prison system, and will help you deal with day-to-day issues. Information is based on the shared experiences of people who have been in prison and those working within the criminal justice system.
Bent Bars Project is a letter writing project for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual and intersex prisoners in Britain. The project aims to develop stronger connections and build solidarity between LGBTQ communities outside and inside prison.
There are 3 main levels of criminal record check and which one is done by the employer depends on the job role. Make sure you know what level of check an employer is doing and only disclose what you legally need to. Spent convictions are not disclosed on basic DBS checks. Filtered cautions/convictions are not disclosed on standard or enhanced DBS checks.
If an employer wants to know about criminal records, they will normally ask you to disclose in a certain way; this might be at interview or after they’ve made a conditional offer. Some employers ask on their application form. Where possible, we suggest that you disclose your record face-to-face; this tends to be most effective. Prepare a self-disclosure statement; this should help. Address any concerns you think they may have but stay positive and don’t concentrate solely on the negatives of a conviction. The ‘Ban the Box’ campaign encourages employers not to ask about criminal records on application forms but instead leave it until later in the process. See who’s signed up by visiting unlock.devchd.com/banthebox.
Many organisations employ people with convictions. Proactive employers often sign up to initiatives such as the Employers Forum for Reducing Reoffending (EFFRR) and Ban the Box. ‘Good’ employers will deal with criminal records on a case-by-case basis. We regularly hear from people working in a wide-range of careers; from construction, restaurants and hotels, to solicitors, accountants and the NHS. There are personal stories on the-record.org.uk.
Here you’ll find links to various parts of this site where we have information and useful resources relating to looking for (or keeping) employment and volunteering.
What do I need to disclose?
This will depend on the type of criminal record check that an employer will be doing and whether your conviction is spent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act or eligible for filtering from standard and enhanced DBS checks. Useful links include:
Which employers have particularly negative policies towards people with convictions?
There are still some employers who have blanket bans on recruiting people with an unspent criminal record. We’ve put a list together of some of these but if you know of any more, let us know. See the link below.
Irrespective of whether you have a criminal record, you will still have the same general employment rights as anybody else (for example you can’t be discriminated against on the basis of your race, sex, age etc). More specifically with regard a conviction, you will generally have more employment rights once your conviction is spent. See the link below.
Is it possible for me to be a trustee or senior manager of a charity with a criminal record?
In August 2018 the rules in England and Wales as to who could be a trustee or senior manager of a charity changed. People with certain types of offence are now disqualified from holding these positions unless they are granted a waiver from the Charity Commission.
Does my previous employer have to give me a reference? What is he allowed to say about my criminal record?
Generally, your previous employer is under no obligation to give you a reference. Unless you give your previous employer your explicit consent, they are not legally allowed to disclose any information about your criminal record. See the link below.
For general advice on working with recruitment companies and job boards, or to report issues which may arise during your job search, you can visit SAFERjobs, a joint law enforcement and industry non-profit organisation working to promote a safer job search.
Where can I find volunteering opportunities?
Local volunteering centres are often a good place to start or national online databases which can provide you with a list according to your interests. See the link below.
I’m in a resettlement prison and working out – what can I earn?
Whatever job you have whilst in prison, you’re salary should be the same as a person doing the same job who isn’t in prison. However, approximately 40% of your net pay will go towards the victims levy. See the link below.
I have a job and I’m having problems with my employer because of my criminal record
Just because you have a criminal record, you still have the same general employment rights as anybody else (see the link below). There are some instances where it may be appropriate for Unlock to take on your case and provide you with individual help and support.
I’ve been sacked after my employer found out about my spent conviction. Do I have any employment rights?
Generally you’ll need to have been employed for at least two years before you have any employment rights. In certain circumstances, you may be able to make a claim for wrongful dismissal if you have less than two years service.
Is there a way of dealing with the fact that my criminal record details can be read online?
If your convictions are spent, you may be able to try and get the website to remove the details, and/or get links from search results removed. Otherwise, there are ways of trying to counteract negative search results. Useful links include:
Here you’ll find some of the common advice we give on looking for (or keeping) employment and volunteering. This is based on what we’ve learnt as a charity, as well as the real-life experiences of people with convictions.
There are very rarely any hard-and-fast rules about what employers must do in response to criminal records.
Generally, employers respond best when convictions are disclosed face-to-face, when you get a chance to explain the circumstances and try to alleviate any immediate concerns that they may have.
We regularly speak to people with convictions who have managed to find employment in all different sectors and professions. These cases continue to show us that there are many employers out there who are willing to give people a chance. The numbers of these types of employers may not be as high as we’d like, but it shows that you should never give up – if you continue trying, you will eventually find an employer than is willing to look beyond your conviction and employ you because they think that you are the best person for the job.
Frequently asked questions
Here you’ll find some specific questions that we regularly get about looking for (or keeping) employment and volunteering and the answers we generally provide. More detailed FAQ’s may be included in the information pages above.
You should start by putting together a CV. If there are gaps in your employment history (because of the time spent in prison), you may want to consider a skills based CV rather than a traditional chronological one. There are books and plenty of on-line sites which have different CV templates you may want to consider.
You could send speculative CV’s to employers in your local area who you may like to work for but who don’t have vacancies at the present time.
Most employers will ask about criminal convictions and you should start to give some thought to how you would disclose your convictions and what sort of questions you will be asked by an employer.
Many prisons have Jobcentre Plus and Benefit Surgeries and you should make an appointment with one of the advisers to start an application before release for Job Seekers Allowance if you are entitled to it.
You should make contact with your local Jobcentre as soon as you can as they will be aware of employers in the local area who are recruiting. There are a range of organisations that support people who are struggling to find work but these vary depending on the area in which you live. See our ‘support getting into work’ section.
It’s really important that you don’t give an employer the opportunity to judge you before they have met you. Therefore, don’t disclose too much at application stage. If you are completing an application form, you should tick the ‘Yes’ box that asks about criminal convictions but if it asks for details, merely state ‘Willing to discuss at interview’. Hopefully this will encourage an employer to focus on your skills and experience rather than your offence. Once you have secured an interview, you can disclose at that time. See our disclosing criminal records to employers section.
There is some information on our Hub, ‘looking for friendly employers‘, which identifies a number of employers who, either as a result of their recruitment process or company ethics, have a positive attitude to people with convictions.
There are many more employers who are not included on our list who will consider individuals with convictions but who don’t generally publicise the fact – this is often because they’re worried about being inundated with applications.
Yes. The only specific restriction to this is for those individuals who are barred from working with vulnerable groups. In this situation, you would not be able to work in ‘regulated activity’. Otherwise, it is perfectly possible for people with convictions to be employed in working with vulnerable groups. In this situation, during the recruitment process it will be likely that all of your convictions will be disclosed to the employer, and it will be up to them to decide whether to employ you. They may also have a specific policy in place, which may help you understand where you might stand.
It depends on whether you are found to be ‘voluntarily unemployed’.
If you are unemployed, you are normally eligible for Job Seekers Allowance. However, those found to be ‘voluntarily unemployed’ can have their entitlement reduced, or be ineligible completely. The DWP can impose a sanction to disallow you JSA payments if they think you have made yourself ‘voluntarily unemployed’. In some circumstances you can apply for a hardship payment, and you can always appeal against the decision to get the benefit paid sooner.
To be found not to be voluntarily unemployed, you have to prove that you ‘did not leave your job irresponsibly and for no good reason’. If you were dismissed from you job because of your criminal record, you shouldn’t automatically be found to be ‘voluntarily unemployed’. Often, if you do claim JSA you will receive the full amount you are entitled to from the start of your claim as the Job Centre will contact your previous employer to find out the circumstances behind your dismissal and will also ask your side of the story. Only then will they make a decision about sanctioning your benefits. This can sometimes take several months.
If you resigned from your job (for example before the employer had the chance to dismiss you) then you are likely to be seen to be voluntarily unemployed.
The best thing to do would be to contact your Line Manager or HR Department and arrange a time for you to go in and disclose your conviction. Explain the reasons why you did not disclose it previously. This will hopefully reassure them that you did not intentionally hide it from them. If your employer does decide to withdraw the job offer, there is very little that you could do to reverse their decision as you have very few employment rights.
If your probation officer considers that you pose any type of risk to an employer then they will encourage you to disclose your convictions. If they have reason to believe that you are not going to disclose then they are within their rights to do it themselves.
It would certainly be in your best interest to disclose it yourself. Your probation officer will not be able to explain the circumstances surrounding the conviction as well as you and an employer may consider the conviction to be more serious than it is, merely because it is being explained to them by a probation officer.
Discuss the disclosure with your probation officer so that you are very clear about how much or how little they want you to disclose to potential employers.
The National Staff Dismissal Register is something that was set up back in 2008. As far as we’re aware, this is no longer active. Although information remains online, we have yet to be contacted by anybody with convictions who has been affected by this.
Here you’ll find links to useful organisations and websites related to looking for (or keeping) employment and volunteering that will refer to in our information and advice. Contact details for the organisations listed below can be found here.
The Governments main Welfare to Work Programme will be replaced by the Work and Health Programme in the autumn of 2017. The Work and Health Programme will provide specialised support for those unemployed for over two years and, on a voluntary basis, to those with health conditions or disabilities. The Programme will be run by service providers awarded contracts by the government. The Programme will target people who with specialist support are likely to be able to find work within 12 months. It takes the place of two existing welfare-to-work schemes, the Work Programme and Work Choice, although many jobseekers who would previously have been supported by the Work Programme will now receive support directly through Jobcentre Plus rather than the Work and Health Programme.
A national programme which specifically helps people in prison and those in the community that have recently been sentenced or released from prison. You usually need to be referred onto the programme. For details of your local provider contact NOMS-CFO
Shelter works to alleviate the distress caused by homelessness and bad housing by providing advice, information and advocacy to people in housing need and by campaigning for political change to end the housing crisis.
Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRC’s) are private sector suppliers of probation services in England and Wales responsible for supervising low and mediium risk offenders. To find the details of your local CRC visit www.gov.uk.
National Homelessness Advice Service (NHAS) provides free advice, training and support to housing professionals working in local councils, voluntary advice agencies, local Citizens Advice and public authorities in England.
We are unable to give immigration advice as under UK immigration law, organisations can only provide this if they are registered with the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC). Details of specialist immigration organisations can be found below.
Bail for Immigration Detainees is an independent charity that exists to challenge immigration detention in the UK. They provide legal advice and representation to migrants detained in removal centres and prisons to help them secure their release.
Charities and voluntary organisations across the UK are being funded to provide help and information to vulnerable EU, EEA and Swiss citizens applying to the EU Settlement Scheme. The Home Office has information online about the organisations providing this support
Migrants Resource Centre has worked for over 30 years to help migrants, refugees and asylum seekers overcome the barriers that prevent them from fully participating in British society. They assist individuals in regularising their immigration status, learn English and find work.
PRCBC is the only organisation to focus directly on children and young adults and their right to British citizenship. They provide legal advice, aid, assistance and services relating to the registration of children as British citizens, to those people who could not otherwise obtain such provision due to lack of means.
A child protection charity committed to reducing the risk of children being sexually abused. LFF work with adult male and female sexual abusers, young people with inappropriate sexual behaviours, victims of abuse and other family members.
Their Stop It Now Helpline gives confidential advice and support to prevent child sex abuse.
Resettlement Service Finder has now been taken over by Nacro see Housing section above.
Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRC’s) are private sector suppliers of probation services in England and Wales responsible for supervising low and mediium risk offenders. To find the details of your local CRC visit www.gov.uk.
BACP are the largest and broadest body within the sector. It’s work with large and small organisations within the sector ranges from advising schools on how to set up a counselling service, assisting the NHS on service provision, working with voluntary agencies and supporting independent practitioners.
Provide practical up-to-date information on a wide range of topics including benefits and housing, employment rights and discrimination and debt issues. Find your local bureau at www.citizensadvice.org.uk
The UK’s independent authority set up to uphold information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals. Also provide advice on how to protect personal information and how to gain access to official records.
A Big Lottery Funded project which aims to reduce reoffending by improving employability and enhancing life skills. Their annual target is to get 30 ex-offenders a driving licence and in return for being taught to drive, the applicants must commit to 80 hours of voluntary work in the UR4Meals Foodbank.
Assists British citizens who are in prison abroad. They also help families and friends of people who are incarcerated abroad. When British citizens return back to the UK after being imprisoned abroad, they provide a resettlement service to support them.
We exist to help people who have accepted what they have done, and are now wishing to lead a law-abiding life. If you maintain your innocence, we have details below of some organisations that may be able to help you.
MOJO is a charity offering support to those who have suffered wrongful conviction.
Telephone: To get urgent medical help, use the NHS 111 Online Service, or call 111 if you’re unable to get help online. For life threatening emergencies, call 999 for an ambulance.
CEOP help children stay safe online. If anybody acts inappropriately towards you or another child or young person online (such as sexual chat, or being asked to do something that makes you feel uncomfortable) you can report if on the CEOP website.
Our information and advice covers England & Wales only. We get lots of queries from people in other places, and much of our information and advice will be helpful. However, we’re unable to give specific advice as the laws and rules are different outside England & Wales, which is why we have details of organisations that cover different places below.
OARS has been delivering professional services and support to people who have offended and their families for over 130 years. They offer practical help including finding accommodation and clinical and legal support/services as well as advocating for better public policy to reduce the overuse of incarceration.
Outcare is a not for profit organisation providing rehabilitation services, programmes and support for people with convictions in Western Australia. They work with people prior to and after their release from prison and offer practical support such as finding accommodation, helping individuals find work together with financial assistance and support.
VACRO works with individuals and families throughout an individual’s journey through the prison system and as they transition back into the community. They offer a range of courses for individuals as well as downloadable resources.
The Australia Prison Foundation is a non-profit organisation who are interested in providing information and support to prisoners, prisoners families and people working in the corrections field as well as creating a database of organisations and individuals who can support people in prison.
The John Howard Society have numerous offices across Canada and provide a range of services to released prisoners from basic job search skills to finding housing. They also advocate for changes in the criminal justice process and work to educate the public on all matters relating to criminal law and it’s application.
Gevangenenzorg Nederlands is a voluntary organisation which helps people inside and out of the prison system, in becoming self-reliant. They also offer courses and mentoring to people released from prison.
PARS are a charitable trust that provide a range of specialist services to support and empower people to lead positive and productive lives following time spent in prison. They offer mentoring services as well as practical help with accommodation and finance.
Hope for Prisoners is a non-profit organisation that offers mentoring programmes, pre-vocational training workshops and other training to men, women and young adults exiting the criminal justice system.
Kentucky Re-entry are a collection of businesses, local government bodies, faith based organisations, non-profit organisations and individuals who work together to offer support, assistance and resources to those who have been in prison.