One of the most typical punishments for breaking driving laws in the UK is the use of penalty points.
These can be ‘awarded’ to your licence for a number of reasons and too many can lead to the suspension of your driving licence.
How can you check how many points you have? This guide explains, as well as how long they can stay on your licence.
What do you get points on your licence for?
Points can be applied to your licence for a variety of offences. Examples of these include:
- Failing to comply with traffic light signals: 3 points
- Exceeding the speed limit: Minimum 3 points
- Using a mobile phone while driving: 6 points
- Driving or attempting to drive with alcohol level above limit: 3 to 11 points
- Driving without due care and attention: 3 to 9 points
You can find a full list of offences that can lead to points on your licence on the Government’s website.
How many points can you get on your licence?
If you build up 12 or more points on your driving licence within a three year period, you run the risk of being disqualified from driving.
If you’re disqualified for more than 56 days, you’ll need to reapply for your licence. You may even need to retake your rest.
That’s also if you’ve held your licence for at least two years. For new drivers — those who have had their licence for less than two years — this limit is 6 points or more within two years. Points accumulated on your provisional licence will carry over, too.
If you’re a new driver whose disqualified, you’ll also need to resit your theory and practical driving test once your disqualification period is over.
How can I check how many points are on my licence?
It’s free and easy to check how many points you have on your driving licence.
You’ll need your driving licence number (this is a 16-character code found on the front), your National Insurance number and the postcode on your licence.
Once you have those, follow these steps:
- Head over to the Government’s dedicated page to view your licence info.
- Enter the information mentioned above.
- Visit the ‘penalties and disqualifications’ tab.
There you’ll see how many points currently stand on your licence.
How long do points stay on your licence?
Penalty points will remain on your licence for 3 years from the date they were added.
However, the offence committed will remain on your driving record for longer — either 4 or 11 years, depending on its severity.
Can I remove points from my licence?
You cannot have any valid penalty points removed from your licence — you’ll need to wait for them to expire.
Once they expire, they will automatically be removed.
FAQs: driving licence points
How many points do you get for speeding?
You can be awarded a minimum of 3 points for speeding. However, if the case goes to court you could be awarded more and potentially even disqualified from driving immediately.
How many points do you get for running a red light?
If you’re caught running a red light, you’ll face a minimum of 3 points on your licence, along with a £100 fine.
How long does a driving disqualification stay on your licence?
Depending on the severity of the incident, a disqualification will remain on your licence for between 4 and 11 years.
Do I have to tell my car insurance company about any points I have on my licence?
You’ll need to tell your insurer about any motoring convictions within the last three years as a minimum — though some may request five. This includes offences leading to points on your licence.
Failure to do so could lead to your policy being cancelled, and any claims being refused.
Do points affect my car insurance premium?
Penalty points on your licence will typically result in an increase in your car insurance premium. This amount will vary depending on your insurer and the number of points you hold.
What’s the difference between expired and removed points?
Points will be considered expired after three years. However, they will remain on your record for four — becoming removed beyond that period.