The New Drivers Act is a probationary period that applies to all drivers who sat their driving test after 1st June 1997. This act means that drivers who amass six or more penalty points within two years of passing their test can have their licence revoked.
The Introduction of the New Drivers Act
The New Drivers Act is part of the Road Traffic Act 1995. In effect this is a probationary period that is placed on new drivers who passed their driving test after 1st June 1997. Any new driver who builds up six or more Penalty Points on their licence within two years of passing their test will have their Licence Automatically Revoked. If a new driver already has penalty points on their provisional driving licence this will also be taken into account. This probationary period is designed to keep the roads safer and to make new drivers aware of the consequences that come with driving offences.
Penalty Points Gained on a Provisional Licence
The New Drivers Act has a two year time limit after a driving test has been passed. But points on a provisional licence are taken into account towards the maximum six points limit. This means that if a driver already has points on a provisional licence they will count towards the minimum six points revocation. Any points on a licence after passing a driving test will be added to the provisional licence penalty points. This means one offence carrying three penalty points after a test has been passed can be added to three penalty points on a provisional licence.
Under the stipulations of the New Drivers Act there is no room for discretion. Certain driving offences and the penalties imposed can be subject to the courts discretion. But no discretion will be given for new drivers who have amassed six or more points on their licence within the stipulated time frame. Revocation of the licence will be automatic, and the courts, police or the DVLA will have no say in the matter.
Informing a Driver that Their Licence has Been Revoked
There is no need for a new driver to be given warning that their licence has been revoked. This means that DVLA can automatically revoke a licence even if there is no court appearance. Prior warning that a licence is being revoked is also not necessary. The DVLA will assume that drivers are aware of this road traffic act.
Steps Towards Getting a Driving Licence Back
If a licence has been revoked under the New Drivers Act the driver will be required to apply once again for a provisional driving licence. Drivers will be required to pass both the theory and the practical driving test. They will also be required to pay the cost of sitting the theory and practical test again. Retaking and passing the driving test will be the only way to regain a driving licence.
Avoiding a Driving Licence Revocation
Although there is no discretion allowed when six points have been reached, revocation of a licence can be avoided. If the driver can avoid having points placed onto their licence then they can avoid the revocation. Avoiding licence points will usually means going to court with the intention of stopping the points being placed on the licence. The courts will have discretion over whether or not these points should be applied. One outcome could be a disqualification period for a set amount of time. This would mean that the driver may not have to retake the driving test once the disqualification period has elapsed.
Appealing After a Court Hearing
A new driver who has had their licence revoked after a Court Hearing can still appeal against the decision. If the licence revocation was an automatic six penalty revocation then no appeal would be permitted. If the revocation was implemented by a court the driver could make an appeal to a higher court. If an appeal is made, and the driver lodges this appeal with the DVLA, the revocation will be suspended until the outcome of the appeal court hearing is known. Drivers who wish to appeal to a higher court have 21 days to lodge their appeal.
Penalty Points after a Driving Test Has Been Retaken
If a driver has had their licence revoked under the New Drivers Act the penalty points will still be placed on the new licence. The points will remain on the new licence for a three year period. But there will not be any further probationary two year period. Totting up points will then be applied similar to any other driver. The rules of the New Drivers Act with regards to revocation of a licence apply once only.