If you have committed an ‘endorsable’ road traffic offence where you have either accepted the offer of a Fixed Penalty Notice, or have been found guilty in court, then you will have your license endorsed with penalty points.
Penalty points last on a licence for 3 years for the purposes of totting up. They are valid from the date the incident took place and will continue to be ‘live’ for 3 years, although they will remain on a licence for a total of 4 years. The points are not considered to be ‘live’ on the fourth year for the purposes of ‘totting up.’ After 4 years from the offence you may apply to the DVLA to have the points removed from the licence.
The number of penalty points given for an offence will depend on the severity and nature of the infringement committed. For minor offences, there is a minimum of 2 points that can be awarded, where other offences carry a range of points which the Magistrates will choose what they think is an appropriate punishment, once they have looked over all the facts of the case.
Speeding cases usually carry a 3-6 point penalty. If the offender is offered a Fixed Penalty and chooses to accept, they will receive a 3 point penalty as standard. More serious speeding cases that are referred to a Court will receive a 6 point penalty.
If a motorist is unlucky enough to get 12 points on their licence within a 3 year period, the ‘totting up’ procedure will be invoked and following guidelines of the Court, they will have a 6 month driving disqualification imposed upon them. However there is room to appeal for a reduction in the ban if you can show the court that a long driving ban will cause you exceptional hardship.
If a motorist is disqualified under the ‘totting up’ procedure, the points will be removed from the licence, but there will be a reference to the disqualification for 4 years, or 11 years if the offence was related to driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
If a Newly Qualified Driver gets 6 points on their licence within 2 years, it will be withdrawn. The driver will need to wait until the end of the disqualification period and then re-sit and successfully pass the entire driving test again. Even when a new driver has successfully re-passed the test and is driving again, the penalty points will stay on the licence for 3 years after the conviction date, as standard, and are subject to the ‘totting up’ procedure again should the motorist commit any more offences.
Insurance companies will generally look back for 5 years when assessing levels of premium.
For more information about penalty points, contact our specialist motoring solicitors on 0800 046 3066