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Licences

You can only drive/ride on the road in the UK if you hold a current driving licence (full or provisional) which is appropriate to the type of vehicle you are driving.

New drivers

When you pass any test of competency, you are placed on a probationary period lasting two years. During those two years, if you accumulate six or more points on your driving licence, it will be revoked by the DVLA and you will have to re-apply for a provisional licence and re-sit both tests.

What’s a provisional licence?

When driving a car on the road, all provisional driving licence holders must:

  • Be accompanied by a full licence holder who is over 21 years of age and has held a full British or EU licence for the class of that vehicle for a minimum three years
  • Display red L plates on both the front and rear of the vehicle

Laws for riding mopeds and motorcycles differ based on age, and size of the vehicle you wish to ride. You can find full guidelines and laws to do with licences for mopeds and motorcycles by visiting gov.uk’s motorcycles overview page.

Penalty points and disqualification

If you are convicted of an endorsable driving offence, you will incur penalty points on your licence.

If 12 or more points are accumulated within three years of the latest offence, the driver will be disqualified.

You will be automatically disqualified if you are convicted of any of the following offences:

  • Drink/drug driving or refusing a breath test
  • Dangerous driving
  • Aggravated taking of a vehicle without owner's consent

Following a disqualification the existing points will be removed from the licence but the licence will refer to the disqualification for four years (11 years for alcohol or drug driving offences).

When will penalty points be removed?

  • Typically four years from the date of the offence
  • Points for drink/drug driving offences remain on the licence for 11 years

What are the legal ages?

16 years:

  • Mopeds

17 years:

  • Motorcycles (with or without sidecar)
  • Scooters
  • Cars
  • Vans

18 years:

  • Small lorries (3500kg to 7500kg)

21 years:

  • Small lorries with trailers
  • Large lorries
  • Articulated lorries
  • Large lorries with trailers
  • Buses
  • Minibuses
  • Road rollers
  • Tracked vehicles

These ages may vary for people with specific disabilities.

Useful contacts

DVLA

Customer Enquiries Unit
DVLA
Swansea
SA6 7JL

01792 772 151