How Long Do Points Stay On Your Licence?

If you commit a motoring offence and are found guilty, it’s likely you’ll get a fine and penalty points on your licence. But how long do the points stay on your licence and what impact could this have? 
 
Let’s find out.  

If you commit a motoring offence and are found guilty, it’s likely you’ll get a fine and penalty points on your licence. But how long do the points stay on your licence and what impact could this have? 
 
Let’s find out.  

Daniel Hutson
From the Motor team
4
minute read
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Posted 21 JANUARY 2021

How do I get penalty points?

If you’re found guilty of speeding or any other type of motoring offence, you could end up with a fine and your driving licence endorsed.

Each motoring offence has an endorsement code. This code goes on your driving record and will determine how many penalty points you’ll get and how long they’ll stay on your licence.

How long do penalty points stay on my licence?

Penalty points can stay on your licence for 4 or 11 years depending on how serious the motoring offence was. These endorsements start either from the date the offence took place, or from the day you’re convicted.

For example, if you get a speeding ticket, you could receive between 3 to 6 penalty points. These will stay on your licence for 4 years from the date of the offence.

If you’re found guilty of drink driving, you could get between 36 to 11 penalty points. These will stay on your licence for 11 years from the date of your conviction.

If you’ve got a 4-year endorsement, the penalty points will only be active for the first three years.

If you have an 11-year endorsement, the penalty points will be active for the first 10 years.

How else could penalty points affect me?

If you’re applying for a new job or you need car insurance when your endorsement is still active, insurance providers and employers can see whether your licence has got penalty points on it, over the following lengths of time: At any point during a four-year endorsement; or at any time during the first five years of an 11-year endorsement, or the first two-and-a-half years if you’re under the age of 18.

What is ‘totting up’?

Totting up is when you commit other motoring offences, like repeatedly speeding, and you end up with more points on your licence.

If you build (or tot up) 12 or more penalty points within three years, you could be disqualified from driving. You’ll get a summons in the post to go to court where you’ll be told the length of your driving ban.

Your driving ban could last:

  • 6 months – if you get 12 or more points within three years
  • 12 months – if you get a second disqualification within three years
  • 2 years – if you get a third disqualification within three years

Some of the rules on driving bans differ in Northern Ireland.

What happens if I’m a new driver?

As a new driver the last thing you’ll want is penalty points on your licence. If you get six points or more within two years of passing your test, your licence will be revoked – in other words, officially cancelled. You’ll need to apply and pay for a new provisional licence, then pass all parts of your driving test again to get a full licence.

If you’re a learner driver and you commit a driving offence, you can still get penalty points on your provisional licence. If you pass your test, any points that remain active on your provisional licence will be carried over to your full licence.

When will penalty points be removed from my licence?

The majority of penalty points and endorsement codes are automatically removed from your licence when they expire.

If you want to check if you have any penalty points still active, you can view your licence details on the GOV UK website.

I’ve been caught speeding, can I avoid penalty points?

If you’ve been caught speeding, it’s possible you could be offered a speed awareness course instead of points on your licence.

Not all police forces offer this option though, so it could depend on where you live, and how fast you were speeding.

If you’ve been totting up penalty points – never a good thing - you might want to consider a black box car insurance policy. A telematics device fitted in your car monitors your driving habits and sends the information to your insurance provider.

It could help you become a safer driver and lower the risk of getting more penalty points on your licence. If you can demonstrate responsible driving, you might even get cheaper car insurance.

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