"This is an undoubtedly serious and disturbing case.”
Inderjeet Kaur, aged 29, of Swansea, was jailed for eight months after she sat 150 driving tests for other people.
Swansea Crown Court heard that she sat theory and practical tests across the UK, including in Swansea, Birmingham and London.
Kaur carried out the fraud for women of Asian descent who could not speak or read English and most of whom had previously failed their driving tests at least once.
The mother-of-one was paid up to £800 a time in exchange.
It is believed Kaur sat driving tests for 150 people but only 63 cases could be proven.
Prosecutor James Hartson said: “Driving tests are only to be taken in English, Welsh or sign language and an interpreter cannot accompany the person taking their test.
“The defendant admitted taking practical and theory tests on 150 occasions, but investigations only established 63 offences.
“On September 14, 2020, a DVSA examiner at a test centre in Carmarthen reported to the police his concerns of a woman taking driving tests on behalf of others.
“The defendant took a practical driving test for a woman and provided the examiner with identification in the correct driver’s name – but the ID did not match the defendant’s appearance.”
Mr Hartson explained that two candidates from Yorkshire had asked to sit their tests in Llanelli.
Another occasion saw Kaur turn up at 9:15 am unstressed for her test at 9:19 am and comfortably passed.
An investigation was subsequently launched by Tarian, the regional organised crime team for South Wales.
The DVSA found that the BMW reported to them was owned by Kaur.
Her home was searched in January 2021 and £21,000 was seized. A bundle of £18,000 was later linked to the fraud, although she told police that she spent all of the money she gained from the impersonations on food.
Kaur was arrested in May 2021 and she admitted to impersonating 150 people, telling police she had been tempted by the money.
In a prepared statement, Kaur said she charged £700 for theory tests and £800 for practical tests.
Kaur pleaded guilty to fraud.
For Kaur, David Singh said: “Having got away with it once it seems this fuelled her desire to continue.
“But the person we’re hearing about is very different from Mrs Kaur. The letter Mrs Kaur has written contains acceptance and she has taken responsibility for what happened.
“She had no previous convictions and she has been a hardworking woman with an exemplary character up to the time of the offending.
“It seems others may have used her good character to facilitate this.”
Mr Singh added that Kaur’s five-month-old child could end up in care if she was imprisoned. He also thought there was a realistic prospect of rehabilitation with a low risk of reoffending.
Judge Huw Rees said Kaur could have likely made £120,000 from her crimes.
He said: “In my judgement, this case has three strands.
“The first is the number of occasions you impersonated people between October 2019 and September 2020.
“Another is the extensive locations across Wales and England that you did this.
“And third is the many applicants you impersonated who had a poor grasp of English and had previously failed their driving tests.
“The result is that your offending means there are a large number of unqualified drivers on roads in this country.”
“This is an undoubtedly serious and disturbing case.”
Kaur was sentenced to eight months, four of which she will serve behind bars. She was also ordered to pay a statutory surcharge.
The DVSA said that drivers who secured licences fraudulently through Kaur are expected to have them revoked.
Detective Chief Inspector Steven Maloney, of Tarian, said:
“The crimes Kaur committed circumvent the driving test process and in turn puts innocent road users at risk, by allowing unskilled and dangerous motorists to have seemingly legitimate licences.
“Safety on our roads has always been a priority and arresting those that flaunt the law ensures that we can keep unqualified drivers off the road.
“By working with the DVSA, this complex criminal investigation highlighted the extent of Kaur’s offending which was purely out of greed.
“Kaur’s offending has now been halted, and she has now been brought to justice, and we today welcome the sentence imposed by the courts.
“Frauds such as these pose significant risks to the general public and I urge any members of the public with information on such crimes to report them to the police or even anonymously via crime stoppers.”
Caroline Hicks, DVSA’s Head of Regulatory Services and Transformation said:
“DVSA’s priority is to protect everyone from unsafe drivers and vehicles.
“Driving and theory tests exist to help ensure people have the correct knowledge, skills and attitude to drive on our roads.
“Circumventing the tests puts lives in danger, we have methods in place to detect test fraud and will come down hard on the people involved.
“This includes cancelling test passes that have been gained fraudulently.”