Cheap car insurance brought to you by and QuoteZone

Penalty Points (endorsements) Series – Part 1 of 4 November 27, 2012

Introduction to the Penalty Points, Endorsements and the New Drivers Rules

This post is the first in a new series about penalty points, endorsements and conviction codes.

We will be covering penalty points, how long endorsements stay on your licence, how to get them removed and all the updated conviction codes.

Let’s start by going over what penalty points are with a basic but useful definition:

If you’re convicted of a motoring offence, the courts can fine you and “endorse” your driving licence with penalty points

Endorsements stay on your driving licence for 4 to 11 years depending on the severity of the offence. The endorsement will be put on both parts of your driving licence; the photo card and the counterpart paper copy. If you accumulate more than 12 points in any 3 year period, you can be disqualified from driving.

The amount of points per offence varies depending on the severity assigned – the scale runs from 1 to 11 where 1 point is for fairly minor offences and 11 is for very serious motoring offences.

Rules for New Drivers

There are slightly different rules for new drivers which need to be explained:

If you build up 6 or more penalty points within 2 years of passing your first driving test you’ll automatically lose your licence.

If you lose your licence due to this rule, you’ll need to apply for a new provisional licence and take both the theory and the practical driving test again in order to obtain a full licence.

Note that the new driver rule only applies once. If you lose your licence through acquiring 6 points in 2 years after passing your test, this does not apply again if you successfully pass the re-test (both the theory and the practical driving tests).

Penalty Points on a Provisional Licence

It is possible to get points on a provisional licence. There are 2 scenarios that need to be mentioned:

  1. If you get points on your provisional licence, these last for 3 years. If, after passing your test, you acquire more points and the total accumulated is 6 or more, you will lose your licence
  2. If you obtain 6 or more points on your provisional licence before you’ve taken your test then you wont lose your provisional licence. Instead, once you pass your test, if you get any points at all within 2 years, you will lose your licence.
It is also worth noting that the new drivers rules only apply to the first category of vehicle that you pass a driving test for. If you subsequently pass a test for another type of vehicle, the new drivers rule and the 6 points in 2 years limit does not apply.

Who is Covered by the New Drivers Rules?

The new drivers rules apply to all drivers who pass their first test in:

  • Great Britain
  • Northern Ireland
  • Isle of Man
  • Channel Islands
  • Gibraltar
  • the European Community (EC) and European Economic Area (EEA)

Once you have held a licence for 2 years, the rules no longer apply.

New Drivers Rules and Foreign Licences

If you exchange a foreign licence for a British licence and then pass a further driving test in Great Britain, you will be subject to the new drivers rules.


In this post we discussed the basics of penalty points, endorsements and also covered the new drivers rules. We looked at some different scenarios for new drivers where combinations of point totals can have different outcomes depending on whether they were accumulated before or after the driving test.


Cheap car insurance prices brought to you by and QuoteZone
Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.