Totting Up Points : Motoring Law Explained

Motoring Law Explained: Totting up is the accumulation or 12 or more driving penalty points (usually speeding points) over a period of 3 years.

A driver reaching 12 points in a 3 year period will face an automatic driving ban of 6 months. Fixed Penalty Notices are effective for 3 years each.

While the automatic disqualification from driving is six months, the Magistrates Court can consider a number of mitigating circumstances. The most common of these is exceptional hardship which covers such matters as needing a vehicle to get to work or other persons relying on you. However, the exceptional hardship argument is complicated to run and expert advice should be taken in all circumstances.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

How long do penalty points stay on my driving licence?

Points are valid for 3 years from the date of conviction but cannot be removed from your licence until the 4th anniversary.

Can I take a Fixed Penalty Notice if I already have 9 points?

No, you can only accept a conditional offer of a Fixed Penalty Notice if you have 8 penalty points or less. This is the case even if you are offered a Fixed Penalty notice (the Process Section will not know how many points you have on issue).

I am a new driver. What rules apply to new drivers?

Drivers who have passed their test less than 2 years previously will have their licence revoked and have to take their test again.

What offences will give me Penalty Points?

Speeding: 3-6, Failure to give information as to identity of driver etc: 6, Motor racing on the highway: 3-11, Failing to comply with traffic light signals: 3, Driving without due care and attention: 3-9, Failing to stop after an accident and failing to report an accident: 5-10, Driving without insurance: 6-8, Driving without a licence: 3-6.

Can I avoid losing my licence if I get 12 points?

Yes. If you build up 12 or more penalty points on your licence within a three year period you could be disqualified. If you do face disqualification under this rule you may be able to retain your licence if the Court finds that the loss of your licence would cause you an exceptional hardship. This is a difficult process to undergo as to give yourself the best chance of being successful you need to be fully prepared. You should also be aware that there is case law which suggests that the hardship suffered by others should be taken into consideration by the Court. You should not think therefore that just because you do not have a strong argument with your own circumstances that you have no case to put before the Court.

All of these procedures may seem daunting to you which is why we are here to help. Call one of our specialist motoring lawyers on 01278 664060 or email us

Please note our Minehead Office has recently relocated to 1 Bancks Street, Minehead TA24 5DJ. 

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