If you hold a UK driving licence, you’re almost certainly aware that a typical punishment for misbehaving on the roads will result in a combination of two things: a fine, and “points” applied to your licence.
The fine might sting, but it’s perfectly straightforward to understand. But how do the points work, and how long do they remain on a driving licence?
The driving licence points system
There are numerous motoring offences which, when committed, are deemed worthy of a penalty. The courts hand out these offences by applying points to the guilty party’s licence. This is known as an endorsement. The more severe the offence, the greater number of points will be endorsed.
Types of driving endorsements
Several of the most common endorsements, and the points they warrant, are listed below:
Speeding: 3-6 points
Running a red light: 3 points
Driving without car insurance: 6-8 points
Dangerous driving: 3-11 points
Failing to stop after an accident: 5-10 points
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs: 3-11 points
Driving a car with an obvious mechancial defect: 3 points
Each offence, such as speeding or drink-driving, is designated a specific code.
How many points can I get until I’m banned from driving?
Should you accumulate 12 points or more through a series of offences, you should expect to be disqualified from driving for a minimum of six months.
If you’ve been driving for fewer than two years, your licence will be revoked if you get six points or more. In this case, you’ll need to resit your theory and practical driving tests before you’re allowed to drive again.
How long do points stay on my driving licence?
In most cases, the points remain for four years from the date of the offence. However, more serious offences – such as drink driving or causing death by dangerous driving – will remain for 11 years. Up until the final year of an endorsement, the court can consider previous offences when deciding how many points to endorse for any new offence (in other words, if you have points already, any further penalties might be harsher). Once those four or 11 years have passed, the points are automatically removed from your licence. Some insurance companies ask how many points you’ve had in the past five years when you apply for insurance, however.
How else can the driving licence points affect me?
Having a record of a driving endorsement on your driving licence can increase the cost of car insurance premiums. The coding system means that insurers can look at the type of offence you’ve been endorsed with, and calculate how much of a risk you will be to insure based on the offence. Some insurance brokers tend to look more kindly on less severe offences, while others don’t bother.
Find out more
If you’d like to find out how many points have been endorsed on your licence, take a look at the Government’s licence checker. Alternatively, you can learn more about how many points specific motoring offences warrant here.