As a 'new driver' facing penalty points, can I avoid having my licence revoked? - Speeding Law Solicitors (2023)

You invested a significant amount of time and money in driving lessons. You spent what felt like an age learning for the Theory Test. It all paid off, and you have finally passed your driving test. Now, the last thing you want is to go through it all again. Yet, this is precisely what will happen if you accumulate too many points shortly after passing your driving test.

What is a “new driver”?

A “new driver” is someone who is still within the first two years of passing their driving test. The first two years are called the “probationary period”.

What is the law concerning “new drivers”?

The law states that you will have your licence revoked if you accumulate six penalty points within two years of passing your driving test.

What does it mean if you have your licence revoked?

Having yourlicence revoked means that you cannot drive. You will have to resit and pass both the theory and the practical parts of your driving test before you can get behind the wheel again.

How easy is it to accumulate six penalty points?

Unfortunately, it is very easy for a “new driver” to reach the six penalty point limit and thereby have their licence revoked. A speeding offence carries a minimum of three penalty points; therefore, two minor speeding offences could give rise to this. If you were caught travelling well over the speed limit, you could be given six penalty points for just a single offence. If you accept a fixed penalty for driving with no insurance or driving while using a mobile phoneyou would also receive six penalty points.

Will points that I receivedunder my provisional driving licence count?

Any points that you acquired as a provisional licence holder would potentially count towards the six-point limit that could result in revocation of your driving licence shortly after you pass your driving test. For example, if you were given three penalty points for speeding on your provisional licence and then, within two years of passing your driving test, you committed a further speeding offence that carried three penalty points, you would have your licence revoked.

Can I avoid having my licence revoked once I’ve been given six points?

The answer is no. Ifyou acquire six penalty points within two years of passing your driving test,you will immediately have your driving licence revoked, and there is nothing you can do about it. Pleading to the court, or the police, will not make any difference because they are not the ones who revoked your driving licence,it wasin factthe DVLA. The DVLA will do this automatically as soon as they are informed that you have reached six penalty points and there is no option to appeal.

What can I do to avoid accumulating six penalty points in the first place?

If you are facing a new offence that maytake you up to sixpenalty points as a 'new driver', there are only three ways to escape this. These are;winning a trial, successfully arguing “special reasons”, orpersuading the court to order a driving disqualification rather than penalty points:-

1. How can I win a trial and avoid having my licence revoked?

If you are a “new driver” and you have a defence to a motoring allegation that would normally give rise to you accumulating six penalty points, then you may be able to avoid having your licence revoked by being found not guilty at trial. Typically, this is not easy, and the decision to go to trial should not be taken lightly. If you succeed at trial, you will not be punished for the offence and can continue driving. However, if you lose the trial, you would not only have your licence revoked, but you may have to pay a substantial amount of money towards the prosecution costs and a fine. To increase your chances of winning the trial, you may want to instruct a motoring law specialist solicitor.

2. How can I avoid having my licence revoked by arguing “special reasons”?

A “special reason” is where it wasn’t your fault even though you are guilty of the motoring offence. If a court finds “special reasons”, then no penalty points will be imposed on your driving licence, and if you are a “new driver”, you may escape having your licence revoked.

Often a “special reasons"argument may arise when someone is accused of driving with no insurance. Here, you may be able to argue “special reasons” successfully if you can show that you weren’t to blame. An example of this may be when you are a named driver on your parents’ insurance policy, and they forgot to make payments to the insurance company, and consequently, the policy was cancelled. Here you might be able to persuade the court that it wasn’t your responsibility to ensure that the insurance company was paid andthereforeyou shouldn’t be held accountable.

You must attend court to argue “special reasons” and give sworn evidence. Having a solicitor to represent you at such a hearing would be helpful because they will be able to ask you questions first before the prosecutor. If they do this thoroughly, putting you in the best possible light before the court, it will be less likely that the prosecutor will be able to undermine your case.

3. How can I avoid having my licence revoked by asking for a driving ban?

If you are a 'new driver',who doesn’t have a defence and the offence was your fault, you may still be able to avoid having your licence revoked by asking the court for a short driving disqualification instead of penalty points. For any driving offence that carries penalty pointsthe court always has the option to impose a ban instead. A short driving ban is often viewed as more favourable than revocation because you can drive again as soon as the ban is over asyou won’t have to resit your driving test.

However, in such circumstances, a short driving disqualification is not easy to achieve. The Sentencing Council, which advises Magistrates in their decision-making process, says concerning the possible imposition of such a short driving ban, “generally, this would be inappropriate since it would circumvent the clear intention of Parliament.” They mean by this that it goes against the purpose of the law concerning the revocation of driving licences. The aim of the law is to make our roads safer by removing “new drivers” that commit offences until they prove themselves by passing their driving tests again. The court often sees a request for a short driving ban as an attempt to get around this law using a loophole.

The other difficulty with asking for a ban is that the request carries an element of risk because a period of disqualification would only be beneficial, in comparison to having your licence revoked, if it were relatively short. However, the Magistrates have the power to ban you for as long as they see fit; therefore, such a request can backfire.

Because of the above dangers, a newly qualified driver, who is at risk of having their driving licence revoked, may wish to seek legal representation from a motoring law specialist to increase their chances of success. A talented solicitor should be able to persuade the Magistrates not to revoke your licence by imposing points but instead to order a very short driving ban. They can do this by putting forward good reasons why you need to be able to drive again as soon as possible, for your sake and the sake of others. Here it may be appropriate for your lawyer to mention to the Magistrates how your employment could be under threat if you cannot drive for a substantial period of time. They may point out how other people, for instance, your partner or children, may be adversely affected if you can’t drive them around. With these types of representationsthe court appreciates the arguments being supported by well worded, signed and dated letters from those who will be affected while you can’t drive.

Should I, as a "new driver",accepta fixed penalty for driving with no insurance or using a mobile phone?

If you accept a fixed penalty for one of these offences, and you are a 'new driver', then six penalty points will be imposedand you will have your licence revoked automatically by the DVLA without there being any hearing. So even if you are guilty of driving with no insurance, or using a mobile phone, if you think you may be able to argue “special reasons” or for a short ban, then you should not accept an offer of a fixed penalty. The matter would then be listed for a hearing for you to attend and put forward your request.

How should I respond if I have received a Single Justice Procedure Notice?

If you are a “new driver”, you should think carefully about how to respond to a Single Justice Procedure Notice. Such a notice will normally be sent to you if you commit a motoring offence that is so serious that it needs to go to court. In your response to this notice, if you are guilty of the offence, you will have to specify whether you want to attend court or you are happy to be sentenced in your absence. If the offence may take your total amount of penalty points to six or more, you should insist on attending court to try and reduce the risk of having your driving licence revoked.

What may happen if I drive while my licence is revoked?

If you drive after your licence has been revoked, you will not be committing the imprisonable offence of driving whilst disqualified because you were not ordered not to drive by the court. However, you would be committing the offence of driving without a licence which carries three to six penalty points or a driving disqualification. You may also be committing the more serious offence of driving with no insurance, for which you would have to receive between six to eight penalty points or be banned from driving.

If I have sixpoints on my provisional licence,will my licence be revoked as soon as I pass my test?

The answer is no. However, you will have to drive very carefully because if you incur any more points within two years of passing your test, your licence will be automatically revoked.

After my licence is revoked, what will happen to mypenalty points?

Revocation of your driving licence doesn't get rid of your penalty points.If you acquired six penalty points as a 'new driver'and subsequently had your licence revoked, those points will remain, irrespective of whether you re-pass your driving test. Ifthe total number of penalty points accumulated over three years amounts to twelve or more,you will be banned from driving for at least six months unless you successfully argue Exceptional Hardship.

If my court hearing takes place more than two years after I passed my driving testwill I avoid having my licence revoked?

The answer is no if the offence thatgaverise to you acquiring six penalty points took place within two years of you passing your driving test. The critical date is the offencedate, not the hearingdate. Delaying the court hearing will, therefore, not help your case.

Why should I contact Speeding Law Solicitors if I am in danger of having my licence revoked?

We have a very high success rate for helping “new drivers” avoid having their licences revoked. This may be through identifying a good defence and taking the matter to trial, successfully arguing “special reasons”, or persuading the court to impose a relatively short baninstead of penalty points. We offer very reasonable fixed fees so that you know financially exactly where you stand from the outset of the case. Please call our founding solicitor, Philip Hatvany. He has consistently received 5 star Google reviews from clients for whom he has made a real difference. Call Philip now on FREEPHONE 0800 909 8110 for a FREE initial consultation.

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