New Drivers and Bans: What You Need to Know

For the safety and wellbeing of all road users, the UK government introduced the Road Traffic (New Drivers) Act back in 1995. The new legislation meant that all motorists passing their driving tests after June 1997 would be subject to an introductory two-year probationary period. During which, only six penalty points would be required for a driver to face a driving ban.

The new legislation was implemented to give new motorists something of a ‘one chance’ introductory period to driving safely on public roads. One driving offence with a three-point penalty would be tolerated – a second offence would result in them losing their licence.

But what’s interesting is the extent to which the policy is still largely misunderstood or misinterpreted. Not only this, but there are thousands of newly qualified drivers across the UK who don’t even realise they are subject to a two-year probationary period.

What Happens if My Driving Licence is Revoked?

If you lose your driving licence during this probationary period, it will be withheld indefinitely. You will not be able to legally drive on public roads without first applying for a new licence and going through the formal testing process once again. This means additional driving lessons, along with a driving theory and hazard perception test and practical test when ready. Specialised driving lessons for banned drivers provide the opportunity to focus on specific areas of weakness and issues with safe driving.

Will I Receive a Warning That My Licence Has Been Revoked?

No. These days, the whole process is automated and takes place with no specific warning or notification. You will of course know you have been issued a Fixed Penalty Notice and have six points on your licence, but the actual revocation of your licence is something that happens behind the scenes.

Can I Appeal Against My Disqualification?

There is no specific formal appeals process where fixed penalty notices are concerned. If for any reason you feel the revocation of your licence was unfair, you would need to speak to a solicitor to determine whether or not you have a case. The matter would have to be brought before the courts at your own expense, though in almost all instances the decision to disqualify a driver is final.

How Can I Avoid Disqualification?

Accidents happen and oversights are commonplace on the roads, but there is very little excuse for ending up with six points on your licence so quickly after passing your test. Realistically, the only way to avoid disqualification is to spend the first two years after passing your test driving with the same care and attention as during your test. Learning to drive safely isn’t something that comes to an end the moment you are handed your licence. It’s an ongoing process – one of particular importance during those first two years, which lays a strong foundation for maintaining the standard of your future driving skills and safety.


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