The purpose of a driving ban is to enhance traffic safety and safeguard the life and health of the driver and other road users.
The aim of a driving ban is to prevent a person guilty of a traffic offence or minor traffic offence or a person who has violated against the obligation related to the driving licence or a person with insufficient state of health from participating in traffic.
The driving bans are divided into crime-based driving bans and other driving bans. In the following, crime-based driving bans also include repeated traffic violations even though, instead of criminal offences, they can be based on administrative summary penal fees.
Crime-based driving bans
A crime-based driving ban is imposed on a person based on the following grounds:
- repeated traffic violations,
- operation of a vehicle without a licence,
- causing a traffic hazard in a manner indicating gross negligence,
- causing a serious traffic hazard,
- driving while intoxicated,
- driving while seriously intoxicated,
- offence involving the transport of hazardous materials, or
- driving while intoxicated abroad.
If you have committed an offence warranting a driving ban, the police may impose a temporary driving ban on you. As a rule, the temporary driving ban will continue until the criminal matter has been resolved and the police has issued a driving ban decision. By its driving ban decision the police may impose a fixed-term driving ban on you.
The police may waive imposing a driving ban only in exceptional cases. Imposing a driving ban may be waived if you are not sentenced to a punishment for driving while intoxicated, driving while seriously intoxicated, causing a serious traffic hazard or offence involving the transport of hazardous materials.
Under certain conditions, instead of imposing a driving ban, the police may also issue a warning, or impose a suspended driving ban or an alcohol interlock-controlled right to drive.
For most people, a driving ban has major consequences that make their everyday life more difficult. By submitting a written statement, you can explain what kind of impacts a driving ban would have on your livelihood and essential mobility.
If you have committed the offence of driving while intoxicated or while seriously intoxicated, you may request for the alcohol interlock-controlled right to drive. The police will provide you with more detailed instructions on how to submit the statement when the temporary driving ban is imposed or later. You can be heard orally if a written procedure causes you undue difficulties.
You will receive the driving ban decision by post. The driving ban decision states the expiry date of the driving ban.
Other driving bans
The police shall impose a driving ban on you in the following cases:
- you do not meet the requirements for being issued with a driving licence permit, for example, due to insufficient state of health,
- you have not submitted a required medical certificate within the period specified by law, or
- you have not submitted a required medical certificate from a physician or an optician or a certificate of a new, acceptably completed driver’s examination, driving test or driving demonstration within the period specified by the police.
Before issuing the driving ban decision, under certain circumstances, the police may impose an interim driving ban on you due to insufficient state of health.
Before issuing the driving ban decision, the police requests you to submit a written statement. You can be heard orally if a written procedure causes you undue difficulties.
By its driving ban decision the police may impose a driving ban on you to continue until further notice.
Your right to drive can be reinstated if you prove that you meet the requirements for being issued a driving licence permit or you have submitted the required documentation. Your right to drive will expire if it has not been reinstated within five years from the date when the driving ban decision was issued.
Duration of a driving ban
The duration of a driving ban depends on such issues as the severity of the offence warranting a driving ban, previous such offences and the impact of the driving ban on your livelihood and essential mobility.
The tables below showing driving ban durations are based on the Driving Licence Act and the guideline issued by the National Police Board. Note that the duration of a driving ban cannot be directly read in the table in all cases.
Kuva poliisiauton kyljestä oikeaan palstaan en
Luovuta ajokorttisi poliisille, jos sinut määrätään ajokieltoon en
Hand over your driving licence to the police if a driving ban is imposed on you
After the end of the driving ban or temporary driving ban, your right to drive will recommence after you have visited the police department at your place of residence where your driving licence will be returned to you, or a temporary driving licence issued. Please note that you must visit a police station that provides licence services. Your nearest police station does not necessarily provide licence services. Your representative can also collect the driving licence by power of attorney.
If you drive without the right to drive, you commit the offence of operating a vehicle without a licence, for which the sanction may be a fine or imprisonment, and the driving ban will be extended.