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Driving Points Explained

The courts can ‘endorse’ your driving licence with penalty points if you’re convicted of a motoring offence.

Each offence has a special code and carries a number of penalty points. Generally, the more serious the offence, the more points you get. For some offences, there is a range of points for the court to choose from, depending on how bad they think the driving or behaviour was – for instance, driving without insurance carries between 6 and 8 penalty points – if you forgot to insure your car for a short period, you might get 6 points, whereas if you deliberately drove without insurance the court would be likely to impose 8 points.

The endorsement and penalty points are put on your driver record and recorded on the counterpart document of your photocard driving licence or on your paper driving licence.

You can be disqualified from driving if you build up 12 or more penalty points within a period of 3 years. This is called ‘totting’. Your licence will also be revoked if you get 6 or more points within 2 years of passing your test.

If you get an endorsement you’ll need to hand over your licence to either the police, a fixed penalty office (FPO) or when you appear in court.

How we can help?

Its not too difficult for a motorist, particularly a frequent driver, to get 7, 8 or 9 points on their licence. Prosecution for another offence, which is going to put points over 12, is likely to lead to disqualification. However, the court doesn’t have to disqualify. We have had a lot of experience in persuading judges and magistrates that there is no need to take our clients’ licences away when they become a ‘totter’. It’s a difficult argument and you need an advocate who knows the law and can put your case on exactly the right footing.

Causing death by dangerous driving (s 1 Road Traffic Act 1988)

Penalty Points: 3 – 11*
Disqualification: Obligatory
Imprisonment: Yes – max 14 years

Causing death by careless driving (s 2B RTA 1988)

Penalty Points: 3 – 11*
Disqualification: Obligatory
Imprisonment: Yes – max 5 years

Dangerous driving (s 2 RTA 1988)

Penalty Points: 3 – 11*
Disqualification: Obligatory
Imprisonment: Yes – max 2 years

Careless driving / driving without due care and attention (s 3 RTA 1988)

Penalty Points: 3 – 9
Disqualification: Discretionary
Imprisonment: No

Driving while disqualified (s 103 RTA 1988)

Penalty Points: 6
Disqualification: Discretionary
Imprisonment: Yes – max 6 months

Driving with excess alcohol or while unfit (s 5(1)(a) or s 4(1) RTA 1988)

Penalty Points: 3 – 11*
Disqualification: Obligatory
Imprisonment: Yes – max 6 years

In charge of a motor vehicle with excess alcohol or while unfit (s 5(1)(b) or s 4(2) RTA 1988)

Penalty Points: 10
Disqualification: Discretionary
Imprisonment: Yes – max 3 months