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What happens if a learner has 6 points on a provisional license?

By March 21, 2021Uncategorized

Frequent questions asked on this topic are:

1) can a learner get points?

2) what happens if a learner already has 6 or more points and then goes on to pass the test?

The answer to the first question is discussed in detail in another post on this site, but the answer is yes.

If they get 12 points or more, they will be banned from driving in the same way a full license holder would be.

The second question usually arises because of common knowledge that under the New Drivers Act 1995 a driver receiving 6 points within 2 years of passing, will have their license revoked and must retake both the theory and the practical test.

If you have six points and then pass a driving test, is your license instantly revoked?

No, and despite some people claiming it happened to them or they know someone it happened to this has never been the case.

If it was, what would be the point in taking a driving test anyway? You might as well hang on with a provisional until the points expired.

Prior to 1995 Newly Qualified drivers were treated the same was as fully qualified drivers. Since 1995 the procedure has always been what is detailed in this article.

The relevant section in the New Drivers Act is:

“if the penalty points to be taken into account under section 29 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 on that occasion number six or more.

(e)the person’s licence shows the date on which he became a qualified driver, or that date has been shown by other evidence in the proceedings; and

(f)it appears to the court, in the light of the order and the date so shown, that the offence was committed during the person’s probationary period.

Section 29 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988: 

(1) Where a person is convicted of an offence involving obligatory endorsement, the penalty points to be taken into account on that occasion are (subject to subsection (2) below)—

(a)any that are to be attributed to the offence or offences of which he is convicted disregarding any offence in respect of which an order under section 34 of this Act is made, and

(b)any that were on a previous occasion ordered to be endorsed on his driving record unless the offender has since that occasion and before the conviction been disqualified under section 35 of this Act.

(2) If any of the offences was committed more than three years before another, the penalty points in respect of that offence shall not be added to those in respect of the other

What does all that mean?

If in the probationary period (i.e. within 2 years after passing a driving test) you receive an endorsement (points on your license) , which added together with any valid points already on your license bring the total number of points to 6 or more, your license will be revoked.

Simply put, the total number of points being 6 or more, is only considered if the driver receives further points within the 2 years after passing. 

For example, our first imaginary learner has 2 points on a provisional license for contravening a play street (the only endorsable offence I can think of, that has less than 3 points) then passes the driving test and the next month receives 3 points for speeding. They have a total of 5 points and aren’t affected, but any more offences within the two years will take them to 6 or more and they will have to requalify.

The second Imaginary learner number, has 3 points for speeding on their provisional, passes the driving test and the next month receives another 3 points for speeding. This is a total of 6, The license is now revoked, and they must pass the theory and the practical test again.

Our final imaginary learner was very naughty and had 6 points on their provisional license, after passing the driving test they then park on a pedestrian crossing and receive another 3 points. They now have a total of “6 or more” valid points and the again the license is now revoked, and they must pass the theory and the practical test again.

In practical terms this means most newly qualified drivers with a clean license get “1 life”

(most endorsable offences are 3 points, mobile phone use and no insurance being an exception at 6),

But new drivers that already have any points will lose their license if ticketed again.

Note all this only applies to the first time the driving test is passed. The New Drivers Act no longer applies once you’ve passed a second test.

If you exchanged a foreign license for a UK license, the New Drivers Act will apply if you take a test to add another category i.e. Motorbike.

What if the learner has multiple categories?

In reality due to age limits and time constraints this is only likely to affect those with a Cat A license that then pass a Cat B test (or vice versa).   The New Drivers Act only applies to the first full test passed, so there isn’t a second 2 year period after the next test pass.

Also if the driver passed Cat A, then two months later passed Cat B and then got six points, the license would be revoked, but they have the choice of retaking either the bike test or the car test, and when passe they regain their full license with the categories they held previously

The relevant section is:


(1)…. the Secretary of State may not … grant a person whose licence has been revoked …a full licence to drive any class of vehicles in relation to which the revoked licence was issued as a full licence unless he satisfies the Secretary of State that within the relevant period he has passed a relevant driving test.

(2)In this section “relevant driving test” means, in relation to a person whose licence has been revoked, any test which—

(a)falls within paragraph (a) or (b) of section 1(2); and

(b)is a test of competence to drive any vehicle included in any class of vehicles in relation to which the revoked licence was issued as a full licence.

(3)If the Secretary of State grants a full licence to a person who is required to pass a relevant driving test in order to be granted that licence, the licence granted must…. be one authorising that person to drive all the classes of vehicles in relation to which the revoked licence was issued as a full licence.