How Many Points Can A New Driver Get?

Any new driver who gets six points or more on their licence within the first two years of driving will have their licence revoked. This law, which is laid out in Road Traffic (New Drivers) Act 1995, includes any points accumulated on your provisional licence before passing the practical driving test.

Find out what you need to do if you’re new to driving and have your licence revoked, plus tips on how to avoid getting points on your licence in the first place here.

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Why is there a points limit for new drivers?

driving licence points

The reason new drivers are allowed a maximum of six points – as opposed to the usual 12 points within three years for those who’ve driven for longer – is to account for inexperience.

In the first two years of driving, many motorists are still building up the confidence and experience required to be a safe driver. As such, the law was designed in order to prevent new drivers from being able to accumulate enough points to be disqualified (12) through committing minor offences which warrant fewer points, such as speeding (3-6 points).

Remember: New drivers can still be disqualified if they have committed a minor and major offence which, combined, make 12 points or more. At this point, the Road Traffic (New Drivers) Act doesn’t apply and a standard ban is enforced.

What if I’m exchanging my foreign licence for a UK licence?

If you’re exchanging a foreign driving licence for a UK one, then you’ll have needed to take another practical test in order to obtain it. Even if you’ve been driving for more than two years before moving, your two-year probation under these rules will begin once you’ve passed your practical test in the UK.

The ‘six points within two years’ law doesn’t just apply to new drivers who’ve passed their test in the UK. If you got your licence in the Isle of Man, Gibraltar, EU, EEA and are driving in the UK within the first two years of receiving it, this rule also applies.

What happens if my licence is revoked?

driving licence record

Having your licence revoked is different to being disqualified from driving. In the case of the former, you’ll need to go through the process of learning to drive again, including reapplying for a provisional licence and passing the theory and practical tests.

On the other hand, a disqualification is intended as punishment for more serious/repeated driving offences that warrant a court’s decision to stop you from driving for at least six months.

If you’ve had your licence revoked, here’s four things you need to do in order to get back on the road:

  1. Apply for a provisional licence – you’ll need to have some proof of identity, address details for the past three years and pay £34, with debit and credit card payments accepted.
  2. Learn to drive and study for your theory test – this is especially important if you previously passed your practical driving test before it changed in December 2017.
  3. Book your theory test – once you’ve done enough studying and are close to being ready for your practical test, you should book your theory test. This currently costs £23 and can take a few weeks before a date is available.
  4. Book your practical test – after passing your theory test you will have two years within which you can pass your practical driving test. After two years has passed, you’ll need to reapply and take the theory test again before being able to do the practical test. It currently costs £62 to book the test, plus the cost of using your instructor’s car (if you aren’t using your own).

How many points does each offence carry?

Most motoring offences carry a points penalty, the number of which is dictated by each one’s ‘endorsement code’ (a four-digit letter and number combination which identifies the seriousness of each offence).

Here’s a list of the most common driving offences and the penalty points for committing each one.

Many of these offences can occur on motorways, especially where there are high levels of policing and lots of vehicles. However, we’ve put together a guide on how to drive safely on motorways which can help you remain safe before you next venture onto them.

Checking your licence for points

If you want to check how many points are currently on your licence, you can do so online here.

All you’ll need is your driving licence number, national insurance number and the postcode displayed on your licence.

How long do points last on my licence?

How long penalty points last on your driving licence will depend on the severity of the offence you’ve committed.

Most will be on your driving record for four years, but more serious convictions, such as drink driving or dangerous driving, will stay on there for 11 years. However, the endorsements are only ‘valid’ for the first three years for a four-year offence, or 10 years for an 11-year offence.

Points will automatically expire once this time has passed, before automatically expiring.

Will points on my licence affect my insurance?

Having penalty points on your licence will increase the amount you pay for your premiums, with a higher number of points indicating to insurers that you’re a greater risk to insure.

According to research by insurance comparison website Compare the Market, drivers who are caught speeding and are slapped with three points on their licence pay an extra £101 per year on average.

Do I have to tell my insurer about a conviction mid-policy?

Unless your policy is worded otherwise, you won’t need to tell your insurer about conviction, so long as it isn’t serious enough to have warranted a ban – in this case, your insurance policy will need to be cancelled.

However, you will have to declare any unspent convictions when it comes to renewing your cover, plus convictions of any named drivers if you are sharing a policy with another driver. Not doing so is a criminal offence under the Road Traffic Act 1998, and your insurance will be invalid.

Want more information to help you out on the road? Then check out our other new driver guides.

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