Motorists who pass their driving test will be required to replace their Learner Plates with a Novice Plate from today.

The new law will require novice drivers to display an "N" plate when driving for the first two years of their first licence.

It will also set the disqualifying level of penalty points for novice and learner drivers at seven, which is just over half the level for other drivers.

Novice drivers also have a lower alcohol limit than other drivers on the road.

Also from today, the number of penalty points for driving offences will increase from two points to three 

They include speeding, holding a  mobile phone while driving, not wearing a seat belt and not using child restraints.

The move is part of efforts to reduce the numbers of deaths and injuries on Irish roads.