Operation Tutelage is a national policing initiative to reduce uninsured driving on our roads.

Letters are sent to the registered keepers of vehicles seen on the road where the current insurance status of the vehicle is unclear. The letter encourages the owner to check if there's a problem with the insurance, and to put things right.

Because this is a national scheme, uninsured vehicles may be identified in other parts of the country, not just this force area.

Operation Tutelage aims to address the estimated one million vehicles using UK roads each day without insurance.

As well as the impact of uninsured driving itself, there are links between uninsured driving and other types of criminality, many linked to the safety of others. It also pushes up the costs of insurance for all drivers.

But the vast majority of people appear as uninsured for unintentional reasons. It's not in anyone’s interest (public, police, Criminal Justice System or insurance industry) to treat them as offenders. The scheme aims to fix the situation with a 'just remind' approach. 

The police can stop any vehicle in use on a road for any reason. Routine checks include confirming the insurance status of the vehicle and driver.

It's illegal to drive a vehicle on a road or in a public place without at least third party insurance. Even if the vehicle itself is insured, if you’re not correctly insured to drive it you could be considered to be driving without insurance and get penalised.

If there's no valid insurance in place, the vehicle is liable to be seized and the driver prosecuted. The penalty for the offence of driving a vehicle without insurance is a fixed penalty of £300 and 6 penalty points or, if the case goes to court, you could get an unlimited fine and be disqualified from driving.

If the vehicle is kept on public land the law requires that it is continuously insured. If you do not use your car and it is kept on private ground, you can declare it off the road with a Statutory Off Road Notice (SORN).

Many insurance policies allow you to drive other vehicles, but they may also require the other vehicle to be insured in its own right.

To avoid any doubt you should make sure the other vehicle you are driving is also insured.

If you believe you should not have received a letter from us, check with your insurer that a policy is in place, or check your vehicle details online.

If your insurers have asked for additional documentation and you haven't provided it, they may have cancelled the policy without telling you.

Not all insurance policies renew automatically. Check with your insurer, especially if you pay your premium annually and not by Direct Debit.

If your enquiries show that you're insured, there's no need to send us proof - we'll check the Motor Insurance Database to confirm that insurance cover has been provided since we sent you the letter.

If you're received a letter but you no longer own the car, check the process for selling a vehicle to see if you provided the right information to any buyer and to the DVLA.

If you've recently changed to a personalised number plate, please make sure you've told your insurer.

How to carry out a personalised number plate change.

More information

GOV.UK: vehicle insurance

Citizen's Advice: vehicle insurance

If you're still not sure how to check if your vehicle is insured, please email us.