According to research gathered in March this year, more than 2.7m UK motorists have at least one point on their licence, and collectively, UK drivers have amassed a collective 10.6m points.
Even though driving points are clearly present in today’s society, there is still some confusion around the intricacies of how they work. That’s why we’ve put together this useful driving licence points guide so you’ll be fully clued up, and have a full understanding of them.
What are driving points?
Driving penalty points are endorsements that can be issued to you if you commit a driving offence. Often, along with the receipt of points, you will also be required to pay a monetary fine.
Do you get a certain number of points depending on the offence?
Yes, each endorsement has a specific code assigned to it, and is you will be given between 1 and 11 penalty point based on that. For example, the offence of ‘leaving a vehicle in a dangerous position’ is code MS10 and will get you 3 points, whereas being ‘in charge of a vehicle while alcohol level above limit’ is assigned the code DR40 and will gain you 10 points.
The list of these codes is fairly extensive, and you can view them all on the GOV UK website.
What’s the minimum/maximum number of points you can receive?
The minimum number of points than can be given at any one time is two, and the maximum is 11. The more serious the offence, the more points you will receive.
Can you get points on a provisional driving licence?
Yes, you can. Any points that you have on your provisional licence that have not expired will be carried over to your full licence when you eventually pass your test.
Can I lose my licence if I have too many points?
Yes, you will. A driver can be disqualified from driving and have their licence revoked if they receive 12 or more points within a three-year period, unless they are a new driver in which case the rules differ slightly.
So, how do driving points work for new drivers?
If you are a new driver, your licence will be revoked if you receive 6 or more points within 2 years of passing your test.
If this happens, you will have to to apply and pay for a new provisional licence and then pass both your theory and practical driving test again to get your full licence back.
How long do driving points stay on your licence?
Endorsements can stay on your driving licence for 4 or 11 years depending on the seriousness of the offence committed. When endorsements expire and are no longer valid, they will be removed from your driving record automatically.
Will the receipt of driving points affect my insurance?
If you are issued with any driving conviction or penalty, you must inform your insurer. They will take this into consideration when working out your insurance quote, and as you may be seen as a bigger risk, you might find your quote increases.
Your insurer will ask for details of any driving convictions or licence points that you've received in the last 5 years, and it's illegal to withhold this information, so make sure you are honest when they ask.
What happens if I receive a driving ban?
If you receive a driving ban, it will be at the court’s discretion to decide how long the disqualification will last. The length of the ban will be heavily based on the severity of the incident.
Your ban can last:
- 6 months, if you receive 12+ penalty points within 3 years
- 12 months, if you receive a second disqualification within 3 years
- 2 years, if you receive a third disqualification within 3 years
If you are banned from driving for 56 days or more, you are required to apply for a new licence before you can drive again. You may also have to retake your driving test or take an extended driving test before getting your full licence returned to you, but this will also be decided by the court.
What is a driving record?
Every UK driver has a driving record which details information including: your name, sex, and address, as well as your license number, details of vehicles you can drive, and also information on any penalty points or disqualifications that you have.
This is a public record, so with your permission, insurance companies or your employer can check to see if you have a driving endorsement on your record.
You can check your driving record online whenever you like.