It’s time to throw away your L plates


So now you’ve passed your driving test, it’s time to throw away your L plates and replace them with N plates.

N stands for novice, the N plates identify “novice drivers”, who have shown enough talent to be awarded a licence. Novice drivers’ must display N plates on the front and back of any car they drive for a period of two years after getting their first full licence.

The N plates are there to encourage other drivers to show newly qualified drivers consideration when approaching. In general, drivers aren’t considered to be ‘experienced’ until they have driven 100,000km.

You should not drive unaccompanied until you’re in possession of your Driver’s License. It is also important to make sure that insurance, motor tax and if applicable NCT are valid.  You will now be legally entitled to drive on the motorway.

The main difference’ being Novice means you’ve passed your test and the holder of a full driving licence although with certain restrictions (lower penalty point and alcohol limit thresholds, not able to act as a supervising driver for 2 years), it is acceptable here to have N&L plates on the car at the same time. even for the driving test.

Not displaying the N plates can lead to a fine and penalty points. The penalty point threshold for disqualification is lower for newly qualified drivers’, so as a novice driver you can get a driving ban with fewer points during the first two years driving with your first full licence.

These measures are designed to ensure we have fewer collisions, fatalities and injuries on our roads. Protecting Novice drivers’ while inexperienced and vulnerable, and warning other road-users to be patient while you become a confident, competent and safe driver.