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What is the New Drivers Act?

Passing your driving test is an extremely exciting achievement and as soon you get hold of that license, you can legally get on the roads and start driving independently. 

If you are not already aware however, as a new driver you are subject to the Road Traffic (New Drivers) Act 1995, which has several restrictions and penalties to comply with. Here at Nationwide Vehicle Contracts, we want to ensure all new drivers are fully aware of these regulations so we've put together a helpful guide with everything you need to know about the legislation. 

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What is the Road Traffic (New Drivers) Act 1995?

The Road Traffic (New Drivers) Act 1995 is a probationary period on new drivers for the first two years after the test is passed. During this time, a new driver will be subject to immediate revocation of their licence, if they reach six or more penalty points. 

Under the act:

  • New drivers are given one chance of accepting one Fixed Penalty and receiving three points.
  • If two Fixed Penalties are accepted, or a more serious offence resulting in six points being awarded, the licence would then be revoked.

The New Driver Rules do not distinguish whether the points are accumulated in one go or are as a result of two minor offences. It is whether six points are accrued on the licence before the two-year probationary period is up that matters. 

Who does the Road Traffic (New Drivers) Act 1995 apply to?

It applies to all new drivers for the first two years of having their licence. Every motorist who passed their first full test after 1 June 1997 must comply with the act.

What happens if my driving licence is revoked as a new driver?

Once you are awarded six penalty points, your license is immediately revoked. It will remain revoked until a new application for a driving license is made. 

If you apply for a new license you will only receive a provisional license. This means you will have to retake both the theory and practical test again. 

Once you have successfully passed the theory and practical test, a full licence will be reissued however the points will remain valid for three years from the date of the offence.

Can I appeal if my licence has been revoked?

Once you have accepted any fixed penalties and been awarded six points on your licence there is no appeal process via the Driver Vehicle License Agency (DVLA). 

This means you the only way to resume driving is by applying and passing your driving test again, both theory and practical.

If your licence has been revoked as a result of a court hearing, you may be able to appeal that decision to a higher court. You will have 21 days to lodge a copy of appeal with the DVLA. Once this is lodged, revocation would be suspended depending on the outcome of the appeal.

Can the DVLA revoke my licence without pre-warning?

As the process is automatic, the Drivers Vehicle License Agency (DVLA) can revoke your license without prewarning. 

If you have accumulated six penalty points on your licence within your first two years of driving, then your licence will be automatically revoked without warning or a court appearance. 

The DVLA, Police and the courts DO NOT have any obligation to notify you in advance, as a new driver you should be familiar with the provisions of the Road Traffic (New Drivers) Act 1995.

Will I be notified that my license has been revoked if I have received six points as a new driver?

The DVLA will write to you and give you five days’ notice of revocation of your licence.

Sometimes letters can be lost or delayed in the post, therefore if you believe your license may have been revoked, you can check with the DVLA and establish the status of your licence in the DVLA website

If your license has been revoked and you continue to drive, you may be liable for further offences, as without valid insurance you are driving illegally. We advise you always check the status of your license if in doubt.

If I retake my test, will I be subject to the New Drivers Act again?

No, if your license if revoked under the act and then you re-pass your test, you are not subject under the Road Traffic (New Drivers) Act 1995. 

Any penalty points you may have will remain valid for three years from the date of the offence. Legally, if you then reach 12 points within a three-year period, you will be subject to being disqualified from driving for six months. 

Should I seek legal advice?

We always advise drivers to seek legal advice from a specialist motoring solicitor as soon as you receive a charge sheet or summons for any driving offence. 

It is best to seek advice as soon as possible in order put a defence forward or to keep any disqualification to the shortest possible period.

For further information on the Road Traffic (New Drivers) Act 1995, visit the UK Government website

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