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What Happens if I Get 6 Points Within 2 Years of Driving?

Police officers surrounding a vehicle

After passing your driving test, there’s a lifetime of freedom and enjoyment awaiting you. But with great power comes great responsibility, and drivers who break the rules risk punishment. Depending on the offence, you may receive points—known as endorsements—on your licence. And, since the New Drivers Act of 1995 came into force, accumulating 6 points within your first 2 years of driving will cause your licence to be revoked.


What does a revoked licence mean?

Having your driving licence revoked effectively means that it has been cancelled. You won’t be allowed to drive again until you’ve got a new provisional licence—when you’ll be subject to the same rules as any other learner driver. You can only drive with a full licence again when you’ve proven you can drive safely—by resitting both the theory and practical tests.

Revocation isn’t the same as a driving disqualification, which is often reserved for more serious offences, such as drink—or drug—driving. Getting disqualified from driving means that you are banned from getting behind the wheel for a certain period of time, although you will not usually have to resit your test.


What actions will result in points on my licence?

Driving while talking on the phone

Most driving offences can earn you endorsements on your driving licence. Speeding, following another vehicle too closely, or not having insurance can all result in points on your licence—as can other, less obvious, offences, like failing to tell the DVLA when you move house.

The punishment is proportionate to the severity of the offence, with some offences, like driving while on the phone, earning you 6 points. As a new driver, that means your driving licence will be revoked immediately if you’re caught texting behind the wheel. Even the least serious endorsable offences carry penalties of 3 points—blow your second chance, and you’ll be back to square one. Want to know more about this? Head on over to the top 10 most common driving offences in 2018.


Why is there a 6 point limit in the first 2 years of driving?

The 24 month probationary period isn’t a punishment for new drivers; it’s in place to protect all road users against inexperience. Sure, you’ve nailed your practical test, but driving solo is a whole other venture. It takes time—and a lot of journeying—to build experience.

The limit is also there to emphasise the importance of following the rules of the road. It’s amazing how quickly bad habits can form when there’s no longer anyone there to remind you to watch your speed, or check your mirrors. Having your licence revoked for 2 relatively minor offences—which, combined, make 6 points—might seem harsh, but taking a step back and reassessing your driving skills is far better than risking a more serious incident.

If you manage to rack up 6 points within 2 years, then you’re already well on the way to facing a lengthy disqualification—which usually occurs when you reach 12 points over 3 years. A reminder of the rules of the road would be beneficial before you’re let loose on your own again.


What if I got points on my provisional licence?

Warning sign

As a learner, you’re held to the same standard as any qualified driver—which means you can receive points if you break the law. They go on your provisional licence; any endorsements that are still valid are then transferred to your full driving licence when you pass your test.

These points will count towards your 6 point limit during your 2 year probationary period.

According to the DVLA, getting 6 points on your provisional licence will not prevent you from sitting your practical test. However, if you acquire any more points during the 2 years after passing, your licence will be revoked immediately.


How can I avoid getting penalty points on my licence?

Of course, the best way to avoid points on your licence is to make sure you’re fully prepared for driving alone before you take your test. This means making sure you have enough hours of driving under your belt, preferably under instruction from a competent driving instructor.

Build your experience by taking advantage of the new rules allowing learners to drive on motorways during lessons, and don’t be afraid to ask your instructor questions throughout your course.

Unfortunately, it’s not possible to cover every eventuality during your driving lessons. Once you’re safely through your test, it might be a good idea to check out pass plus courses, to get you confident on driving in different situations and conditions. Taking a Pass Plus course can also help you cut the costs of your young driver insurance premiums.

If you’re caught for an endorsable offence, the only way to avoid getting the points is if you are offered a speed awareness course as an alternative. Eligibility depends on a number of factors, such as whether you’ve already been on a course within the previous 3 years, or have already been convicted of that same offence (e.g., speeding) within that time.


My licence has been revoked—what’s next?

An L plate on a light blue background
Photo © Chelse (cc-by-nd/2.0)

If you’ve had your licence revoked, you need to go through the whole learning to drive process again. Start by filling out an application for a new provisional licence. When that’s through, you’ll be able to book a theory test. You’ve already passed it once, but don’t get too cocky—brush up on your theory knowledge and work on your hazard perception skills before heading to the test centre.

If you got your full licence before December 2017, you’ll find the practical test has changed since you sat it. Make sure you know how to answer the up-to-date show me/tell me questions, and be aware that you may be asked to perform different manoeuvres to your last test.

Remember that you won’t be able to practice on your own in the car anymore; you’ll need an experienced driver to be with you just as you did the first time you learnt to drive. The insurance you previously had won’t cover you as a learner, either. Instead, take a few driving lessons to prepare for your practical test. A short course is likely to help you pass again first time—and prevent you spending even more time and money on getting your licence back. It also means you can take the test in your instructor’s car, so you don’t have to worry about making sure your own car is suitable for the practical test.

Want to get your licence back as quickly as possible? Our fast-track system means we can beat practical test waiting lists by weeks—or even months!

Will the points transfer over to my new licence?

Yes. The points will remain on your driving record for the amount of time it takes for them to be expunged (4 or 11 years, depending on the offence).


FAQs

 ① What if my driving licence was issued in another country?

The ‘6 points within 2 years’ rule isn’t just for new drivers who passed their test in the UK. It also applies if you got your licence in the Isle of Man, Channel Islands, Gibraltar, EU or EEA and are driving in the UK within the first 2 years of receiving that licence.

Nor do you necessarily have to be a first-time driver. If you’ve had to take another test in the UK to obtain a full licence—for example, as part of the process of exchanging a foreign licence to a British one—your 2 year probation starts as soon as you’ve passed that.

② What if I’ve already had a licence for a different vehicle?

The law is designed for new drivers—so, if you’ve already had a different UK licence for more than 2 years, then your probationary period is already up. If that’s the case, accumulating 6 points on your category B (car) driving licence—even within the first 2 year period—wouldn’t see your licence revoked.

However, you still need to watch out—12 points within any 3 year period can lead to you being banned from driving.

③ Will having my licence revoked affect my insurance?

Your current insurance will be based on you possessing a full driving licence, so it will not cover you after your licence is revoked.

Once you’ve passed your test again, make sure you are insured to drive on your full licence before hitting the roads. Penalty points will usually affect the cost of your insurance, but you must declare them. If you don’t, your insurance may be invalidated—and you could end up with even more endorsements on your driving licence.


Whether you’ve just got your licence for the first time—or have had to retake your test to get it back—the most important is that you keep safe. Take a look at our other driving tips to help you keep your licence for good.

 

By Katie Scott

Katie grew up in the middle of nowhere, so knows the true value of getting behind the wheel. From the rules of the road to handy hints and tips, she'll give you the lowdown on all things driving. Always on the move, when she's not in the car, you'll probably find Katie darting around the squash courts or out running in the rainy British countryside.

18 Comments

  1. Reply

    Joe

    is it true that before 2 years driving all points you get will be doubled, so if i got a fine with 3 points it will become 6 points and i will lose my license.

    1. Reply

      Andy Boardman

      Hi Joe,

      Your points wouldn’t be doubled in this instance. In your example, you wouldn’t lose your licence for getting 3 points. If you got another 3 within your first 2 years of driving, however, you’d lose your licence. After the 2 year mark, you’d only lose your licence if you got 12 points.

      Andy

  2. Reply

    Craig Jacobs

    I did a drivers awareness course at the beginning of the year and now been caught speeding again does that mean I will lose my licence doing 11mph over limit

    1. Reply

      Andy Boardman

      Hi Craig,

      Whether you’d lose your licence in this instance would depend on the circumstances. If you were in a 30 mph zone, for example, then going 11 mph over the limit would get you 6 points. If you’ve had your licence for less than two years, then this could result in your licence being revoked. However, the points you would receive vary by speed limit – and, of course, if you’ve had your licence for a longer period, then you’ll only lose it once you reach 12 points, rather than six.

      Andy

  3. Reply

    Craig walker

    My mate just got flashed by a camera while doing 40 in a 30. He got 6 points on his provisional which transferred when he passed. Will his licence be revolked or could they offer a speed awareness course?

    1. Reply

      Andy Boardman

      Hi Craig,

      I believe that, in this case, your friend’s licence would be revoked due to the points he got on his provisional. However, it’s best checking with the DVSA to be sure.

      Andy

  4. Reply

    Ann

    My brother has been caught speeding (he’s expecting 6 points) can points be transferred to a different licence? Or can he plead this with the court? He hasn’t had his license for the two years yet

    1. Reply

      Andy Boardman

      Hi Ann,

      Points can’t be transferred from one licence to another.

      Whether there’s any leeway on the number of points he’ll receive will vary depending on the circumstances. If his offence is classed as Band A, he’ll only get 3 points, and may instead be offered a speed awareness course. If it’s Band B, he may receive between 4 and 6 points—hence where the judge’s discretion comes in. If it’s Band C, however, the offence always carries at least 6 points.

      Hope this helps.

      Andy

  5. Reply

    john james

    Hi Andy

    My license was revoked a few years ago accumulating 6 points within first 2 years, was hoping to attain a new license. Would i lose my license again for having 6 points within first two years?

    Thanks

    john

    1. Reply

      Andy Boardman

      Hi John,

      When your licence is revoked, the points you received will remain on your driving record. How long they stay on there depends on the type of offence. Most offences stay on your record for 4 years; however, certain offences relating to drink or drug-driving, or causing death by careless driving, stay on your record for 11 years.

      If the 6 points you accumulated on your old licence are still on your record, then you’ll still be able to take and pass the driving test. However, getting even one more point would result in your new licence being revoked.

      If enough time has passed that these points have been expunged from your record, then the same rules will apply to you as to any other new driver—in other words, you’d lose your licence if you accumulated six points within two years of passing your new test.

      Hope this clears things up.

      Andy

  6. Reply

    Michelle

    My Daughter has had notification of 2 offences that occurred on 2/9 and 10/9/19 her 2 years driving date is 12/09/2019 …. would these 6 point automatically mean her licence is revoked i.e is it for when the offences occur or when the points are placed on her licence?

    1. Reply

      Andy Boardman

      Hi Michelle,

      This depends on the type of offence your daughter committed. If the offence is for reckless or dangerous driving, or for other, more serious offences such as drink or drug driving, then the points will apply from the date of conviction. For most offences, however, the points apply from the date of the offence itself. In that case, it does seem likely that your daughter’s licence would be revoked.

      Andy

  7. Reply

    Hani

    Hi andy,
    I receve letter writing (driving without reasonable consideration for other road users) what that mean did i cross traffic light coz there is no photo attached with letter and did my license will revoked please can help me

    1. Reply

      Andy Boardman

      Hi Hani,

      “Driving without reasonable consideration for other road users” can refer to a range of different offences. As such, it’s impossible to say what the penalty for this would be without knowing more specific details. If it’s a fairly minor offence, you’re likely to receive a fine. More serious offences may result in larger fines of up to £5,000, and up to 9 points on your licence. The letter you received should provide more detail on the penalty you’re likely to face.

      Hope this helps.

      Andy

  8. Reply

    Jodi

    My son had his licence revoked, he’s applied for a new provisional and has just past his theory again, but it won’t let him rebook his practical test?

    1. Reply

      Andy Boardman

      Hi Jodi,

      In some instances, it can take a little time between passing the theory test and being able to book a new practical test in. If you’re still experiencing issues after a couple of days, it may be worth ringing up the DVSA and asking – sometimes, there’s a specific block that has to be removed manually. In this case, your son would need to call, as the DVSA generally only deal directly with the licence holder.

      Hope this helps.

      Andy

  9. Reply

    Murat

    Hi Andy!!!!! I accumulated 6 points on my first licence over 20 years ago when I first passed my test within 2 years and had my licence revoked because of the new drivers act. I recently passed my theory and practical test and got myself a new licence. When I had a look at my new licence on the back the valid from date was for the first time I had passed my test which was 20 years ago. Has the Dvla made a mistake or is this normal.

    1. Reply

      Andy Boardman

      Hi Murat,

      Glad to hear you’ve passed your test again! There is evidence that using the original ‘valid from’ date is standard practice when getting your licence back after being disqualified, and it shouldn’t affect your ability to drive.

      However, you will need to be careful when applying for insurance, as companies will ask how long you’ve held your licence for. In this instance, I would note the ‘valid from’ date on your licence, but also be sure to inform your insurer of the reasons for and length of your disqualification, as well as when you passed your most recent tests. You could also get in touch with the DVSA for the avoidance of any doubt.

      Hope this helps!

      Andy

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