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Points And Disqualifications

Solicitors For Driving Disqualifications & Penalty Points

If you have accumulated penalty points for driving offences, you may face a driving disqualification. The number of points and the length of the disqualification can vary based on not only the offence committed, but also the circumstances of the driver. Courts may decide to lessen or avoid a driving disqualification for a driver if it can be proven that being banned from driving would cause significant hardship.

Our driving offence solicitors can help you build a strong case to fight back when faced with a disqualification or unjustified penalty points for a motoring offence.

What Is A Discretionary Disqualification (Mr59)?

A Discretionary Disqualification, known as an MR59, is a driving ban that the courts may choose to apply of a driving offence that could be punishable by penalty points or fines. This type of ban is applied to cases that are considered particularly serious, such as high speed driving offences. There is no legal limit to how long an MR59 disqualification can be, however these bans tend to be 56 days or less. Courts may, however, use a Discretionary Disqualification to impose longer bans to serious offenders if they feel it is appropriate to do so.

What Is An Obligatory Disqualification?

An Obligatory Disqualification is a driving ban that the Court must impose for some serious driving offences. These include:

  • Drink driving
  • Drug driving
  • Dangerous driving

All of these examples carry an Obligatory Disqualification of 12 months. You can appeal an Obligatory Disqualification through “special reason” arguments, such as being unaware of being under the influence of drugs or committing a dangerous driving offence because of an emergency situation.

What Is 'totting Up' Of Penalty Points?

Penalty points add up on a licence and if you reach the limit of 12 points then you may receive a disqualification by totting up (TT99). For example, if you already have nine or more points on your licence, then a further three points would tot up to 12 or more and a Magistrate will consider disqualifying you from driving for a minimum of six months.

What Happens If I Drive During A Disqualification?

An offence of driving while disqualified can have serious consequences, such as significant fines, an extension to the ban, and up to a six month prison sentence. If you are caught driving a vehicle on a public road or place, you will also be charged with driving while uninsured.

When a driver is disqualified, it is imperative that they avoid driving at all costs until the end of their disqualification. You will receive a renewal form (D27) 56 days before the driving disqualification expires, allowing you to apply for a driving licence.

While there are potential mitigating factors that may lessen the punishment, driving before the end of a driving ban is dangerous and can lead to serious repercussions. It is vital to seek expert legal advice if you have been found to be driving while banned.

How Long Do Penalty Points Stay On A Licence?

Typically, endorsements stay on your driving record for anything between 4 - 11 years depending on the offence. You can see a full list of driving offences at the bottom of this page showing the amount of penalty points associated with offences of various levels of severity.

An endorsement is valid for the first:

  • Three years, for a four year endorsement
  • 10 years, for an 11 year endorsement

And a court can take your endorsement into account if both:
  • You commit another offence while it’s valid
  • The endorsement is still on your driving record when the court considers your case

Once your points have exceeded the ‘valid’ period, they no longer count on your total for disqualification purposes.

Can Insurance Companies And Employers See My Driving Endorsements?

Organisations such as insurance companies and employers may be able to find out that you have the endorsement:

  • Any time during a four year endorsement
  • During the first five years of an 11 year endorsement, or the first 30 months if you’re under 18

Most insurance providers will ask that you inform them of endorsements when renewing a policy, or signing a new one. Some may even ask to be notified immediately after the fact.

Penalty points can affect your insurance payments, so appealing driving offence convictions that could result in points and endorsements can help you financially as well.

How Long Do Penalty Points Stay On A Driving Record?

Endorsements and penalty points will stay on a driving licence four years from the date of conviction (not the date of the offence) if the offence is for either:

  • reckless/dangerous driving - shown on a licence as DD40, DD60 and DD80
  • results in disqualification

Endorsements and penalty points will stay on a driving licence 11 years from date of conviction (not the date of the offence) if the offence is for either:
  • Drink driving or drug driving – a drink or drug driving offence will be shown on your licence as DR10, DR20, DR30, DR31, DR61 and DR80
  • Causing death by careless driving while under the influence of drink or drugs – shown on the driving record as CD40, CD50 and CD60
  • Causing death by careless driving, then failing to provide a specimen for analysis – shown on the driving record as CD70

In all other cases, an endorsement will stay on your driving record for four years from the date of offence.

How Do I Avoid A Driving Ban If I Get 12 Points On My Licence?

If you already have points on your licence, this could lead to disqualification when the driver has reached 12 penalty points within a three year period. A driving disqualification could result in loss of earnings and have serious consequences, affecting your livelihood.

Your strongest chance of avoiding a driving ban is to argue a special reason for the offence, or ‘exceptional hardship’. To do this you will need a team of expert driving offence solicitors on your side. We have an expert team of driving solicitors who can listen to you and help you build an exceptional hardship defence and so we may be able to request the Court not to ban you even if you are convicted of the offence. Complete the online enquiry form at the top of this page today and one of specialist driving offence lawyers will get in touch with you.

What Happens If I Get Penalty Points When I Am A New Driver?

If you have been driving for under two years and already have three points on your licence and you receive three more, then your licence would be rescinded. You would then have to go through the time and expense of taking your driving test again.

BKP Solicitors