Newly Qualified Drivers

As the academic year begins there will be a steady increase in the amount of drivers on our roads, the majority of these will be keen 17 year olds whom are eager to get started with their, ever so slightly, expensive driving lessons.  But do you know the rules surrounding your child’s driving status for their first 2 years of driving?

A driver who has obtained a full UK driving licence but has less than 2 years driving experience is regarded as a “newly qualified driver”.  A driver who holds a provisional licence is known as a “provisional driver”.

Newly qualified driver & licence revocation

If a newly qualified driver accumulates 6 penalty points on their licence, their licence will be revoked.  A revocation is not the same as a disqualification.  A disqualification is to deprive a driver of their qualification and ability to drive for a period of days, weeks or months.  Once a period of disqualification has passed a driver is able to get back onto the road immediately.

A revocation differs in that it is a cancellation/annulment of your right to drive (e.g. your driving licence), your privilege to drive is removed and can only be replaced by re applying for your driving licence again.  If your licence is revoked you must take your practical driving test and theory test again, there is no time restriction imposed in which the tests cannot be taken but it is widely known that the availability of driving tests are limited, this is in addition to the high costs involved.

If a revocation takes place, your driving licence is not wiped clean.  The penalty points in which you have obtained will be placed on your provisional licence and as such will be transferred back to your full UK driving licence once you have passed your driving tests again.  The points will remain active on either licence for a period of 3 years.  If 12 penalty points are obtained within a 3 year period, you will be disqualified from driving for a period of time (at the courts discretion).

Provisional licence holder

A provisional licence holder is a driver who has not yet obtained a full UK driving licence.  However, a provisional licence holder can still receive penalty points.  Any penalty points placed onto a provisional licence, that are active at the time of securing a full UK driving licence, will be transferred to your full licence when you pass the appropriate driving tests.  Provisional licence holders should be extremely cautious as their 2 years as a “newly qualified driver” will not begin until a full licence has been obtained.

How easy is it to receive penalty points?

You do not have to be a reckless driver to receive penalty points, here is a brief list of driving offences which carry penalty points:

  • Failing to ID: 6 points
  • No insurance: 6 points
  • Driving whilst using a mobile phone: 3 points (currently)
  • Speeding: 3-6 points
  • Careless driving: 3-9 points
  • Red light offence: 3 points
  • Wrong way on a motorway: 3 points
  • No licence: 3-6 points
  • Defective tyre: 3 points
  • Failing to stop: 5-10 points
  • Driving whilst disqualified: 6 points

As you can see it is easy to accumulate penalty points and any driver can make a mistake or have a momentary lapse of concentration but unfortunately this will not be enough to prevent a revocation for new drivers.  The only way to avoid penalty points is to avoid a conviction, our overriding objective is to help drivers pursue this outcome.  If you would like further advice regarding any of the above, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our team.

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