Had a very interesting chat with a client yesterday that had an issue with her driving licence she was a new driver (very new in fact just passed the day before :-)).
She wanted to know the difference between being disqualified for having 12 points and the new driver provisions – not that she had reached 12 points!
I was going to send her a lengthy reply but it was late at night and it occurred to me that it would be a good idea for a blog ;-).
The law relating to new drivers (Road Traffic (New Drivers) Act 1995) states that newly qualified drivers within 2 years of passing their test are liable to have their full licence entitlement taken away if they amass 6 or more points during that period. If you get 6 points in total within 2 years after passing your test then your licence will be revoked. This is not a court action but is done by the DVLA. So if a new driver is found guilty of driving without insurance his licence is automatically revoked because driving without insurance carried 6-8 points. If you get 2 speeding tickets, minimum of 3 points on each so you have your licence revoked.
What happens if you have 3 points on your licence before you pass your test? If you then get convicted of any motoring offence that carries penalty points you will get a minimum of 3 points (at the moment – this will change shortly) that will take it to 6 on your licence and even though 3 were before you passed your test your licence will still be revoked.
If you have 6 points before you pass your test you licence isn’t revoke as soon as you pass your test! but any offence with penalty points after that and it’s back to L plates and your dad having to sit next to you when you drive 😉
The totting up provisions apply to both new and old drivers. If you get 12 points within a 3 year period the court must disqualify you for 6 months unless there are exceptional reasons not to (this is something I specialise in so if you find yourself on 9 points and get another summons give me a call and we will see if I can keep your licence).
The difference between a disqualification and a revocation is that under a disqualification you cannot drive at all for 6 months but you do not have to take a re-test. A revocation means that you go back to being a learner driver, have L plates, a supervising driver and have to re-take your test.
The penalties for breaching these differ too, if you drive whilst you are disqualified then you can go to prison and people often do, if you do it twice then it’s pretty certain you will be walking around in a blue uniform and queueing up for your meals for a couple of months. If you drive whilst your licence is revoked then you commit the offence of driving otherwise in accordance with a licence which is not imprisonable but does carry 3-6 points so you could find yourself banned for getting 12 points.