What is the new drivers probationary period?
The probationary period is a reference to the period immediately after you pass your driving test; you have a two-year timeframe whereby you are subject to stricter guidelines, and a smaller allowance of points you can gain against your licence before it is revoked.
Why is there a probationary period?
Whilst you may have proved yourself as a competent user of a car on the road, the driving test does not effectively monitor solo trips; therefore, a probationary period is imposed – to essentially protect every road user from inexperienced drivers (who are statistically more at risk of accidents).
Royal Society for the Prevention (ROSPA) has suggested that drivers overcome this inexperience once they have completed around 1,000 miles of solo driving.
Before this period they are more at risk to other road users, which therefore sanctions a stricter set of rules for new drivers.
How many points are Probationary drivers allocated?
The official guidelines state that a driver is allocated a maximum of 6 points on their licence before it is revoked (i.e. cancelled).
This allocation of points rises to 12 points following your passing of the probationary period – this increase is due to you being able to illustrate your experience, and (assumed) reduced risk on the roads
It is important to note for drivers who have gained points on their provisional licence – these points will carry over!
For instance – If you had been caught speeding while possessing a provisional licence, and issued 3 points, you would not be able to receive any points in the probationary 2 year period after you have passed your driving test.
What is the difference between Revoked and Banned?
*According to GOV.UK
As mentioned, the current laws determine that drivers who receive 6 points on their driving licence in the first two years will have their licence revoked.
But what does that mean?
Revoking your licence is essentially a termination of your driving licence; According to GOV.UK, this means ‘[that] you must apply for a new provisional licence and retake both parts of your driving test…’, which means more money and time spent on regaining the licence that you worked so hard for.
This revocation differs vastly from a total driving ban – this will be a set period of time which you are not allowed to drive (under any circumstance) which is issued because you have:
- been convicted of a driving offence resulting in a driving ban
- received 12 or more penalty points (endorsements) within 3 years.
What are the next steps?
The revocation of your driving licence allows you to re-apply for your provisional licence immediately, but while this may seem like a small step back, the likelihood of a large increase in your insurance premium would be expected (if you were to retake your test and pass).
If you have had your licence revoked in your probation period, then use it as a learning opportunity; reduction of your mobility is not great, so hopefully you will come out of the other side a safer driver, and more aware of how to drive on the road.