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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.

What are the legal ages?

To check if you are old enough or have the right kind of driving licence to drive different kinds of vehicle, go to gov.uk.

Types of licence

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

For more information on provisional licences, go to gov.uk.

Motorcycle, moped or motor tricycle licence

Laws for riding mopeds and motorcycles differ based on age, and size of the vehicle you wish to ride.  

For more information on motorcycle, moped or motor tricycle licences, go to gov.uk.

Agricultural vehicle licence

For more information on agricultural vehicle licences, go to gov.uk.

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

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.