New Drivers Act...

The Road Traffic (New Drivers) Act 1995.

The New Drivers Act 1995 applies to all drivers who pass their first UK driving test (car or bike) on, or after, 1 June 1997. This Act puts New Drivers on a 'licence probation' for a period of 2 years after the driving test is passed. If 6 points, or more, are accummulated on the licence, due to driving offences being committed within this period, then the licence will be revoked.

The date of offence is the important date, not the date of conviction. Therefore, if the offence occurred within the two year period, but the licence was endorsed with points after the two year period, the New Drivers Act would still apply and the licence would be revoked.

Revocation of the driving licence means that the driver will, with immediate effect, lose their licence altogether. The only way to regain the licence is to re-sit both the driving theory test and the practical driving test. If both tests are re-passed the licence will be returned, but the penalty points will remain on the licence until the required term has been served.

Points that were already endorsed on an individual's provisional licence will carry forward to the new, full driving licence. If the provisional driving licence had as much as 6 points on it, the individual would not initially lose the licence on passing their driving test but would still receive, and be able to drive on, a full driving licence when it is exchanged for the provisional licence after the driving test.

However, no matter how many or how few penalty points there are on the provisional licence, simply having points on it makes it highly likely that just one traffic offence would result in the licence being revoked. Passing the driving test with no previous penalty points would mean obtaining a first, clean, full, driving licence, and may require two driving offences to be committed before the licence is revoked.

After revocation, in order to re-sit the UK driving tests (theory and practical) application for a driving licence would again have to be made. A new provisional licence, endorsed with the relevant penalty points, would be issued. This places the same limitations on the driver as their original provisional licence did, i.e.:

  • 'L' plates must be displayed on the vehicle.
  • Cannot drive unless supervised by someone over the age of 21 who has held a licence for 3 years or more or a Approved Driving Instructor.
  • Will not be allowed to drive on the motorway.
  • Will be restricted to driving motorbikes with less powerful engines, if it was a motorcycle licence that was revoked.

  • Passing both the theory test and the practical test would enable the re-issue of a full UK driving licence, endorsed with the relevant penalty points, and the New Drivers Act would no longer apply. The Road Traffic (New Drivers) Act only applies further to the first full UK driving test, not subsequent tests.

    It is possible, in some cases to avoid the licence being revoked by attending at court and appealing 'good reason' for the action that led to the conviction. In this way it may be possible to avoid the endorsement of the licence with penalty points, in exchange for a fine, or an alternative punishment. Legal advice is best sought in these circumstances.

    We hope this page has been of help to you, and puts the New Drivers Act into perspective.

    Antonine Driving School , for a DSA Approved Driving Instructor.

    Please click on the DSA logo below to see the DSA's advice on 'choosing a driving instructor'.

    choosing a driving instructor

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