The driving probation period: how to keep your licence

The first two years on the road are effectively your driving probation period. You need to show you can drive safely and responsibly, or you will lose your licence.

During the driving probation period, six penalty points are enough for your licence to be taken away. Given that many driving offences come with a minimum of three penalty points, mess up twice and you’ll be back on the bus.

Once beyond the two-year driving probation period, it takes 12 points or more within three years to warrant a driving ban.

It’s only right to be pleased and proud when you pass your practical test. But getting a little complacent or carried away once or twice could be all it takes to fail the probation period and lose your licence. You’ll need to pass the theory and practical tests again to get your licence back, and that’s going to take time and money.

Here are some of the mistakes you can make that will put points on your licence during your driving probation period and beyond…


  • Minimum of three points.
  • At least a £100 fine.
  • If you’re convicted of speeding twice during the driving probation period, wave bye-bye to your licence.

Using a handheld mobile phone while driving

  • Six points, so no more licence.
  • A £200 fine.
  • Even if the phone isn’t in your hand, you could still be prosecuted for using it if it causes a distraction and you are not in proper control.

Driving without due care and attention

  • This covers a variety of bad driving, such as running a red light, driving too close to the car in front, or turning into the path of another car.
  • Between three and nine points.
  • A fine of up to £2500.

Drink driving

  • There’s no totting up of points with drink driving – you’ll be banned.
  • An unlimited fine.
  • Up to six months in prison.

Drug driving

  • No ifs or buts, you’ll be banned from driving.
  • An unlimited fine.
  • Up to six months in prison.

Drive well, and remember all your instructor’s advice. That way you’ll get to the end of your driving probation period with no points, and two years of valuable experience.

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