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Penalty Points and Totting Up

If you acquire 12 or more penalty points on your licence over a three year period then this will result in a disqualification from driving under the 'totting up' provisions. The minimum period of disqualification is 6 months.

Periods of disqualification

General guidelines on disqualification are as follows:

  • 6 months if no previous disqualification is to be taken into account
  • 1 year if one previous disqualification of at least 56 days has taken place within the last three years immediately preceding the date of this offence
  • 2 years if more than one previous disqualification of at least 56 days has taken place within the last three years immediately preceding the date of this offence.

Exceptional Hardship

If you face a possible ban under the above 'totting up' provisions then it may still be possible to keep your license or persuade the court to impose a shorter disqualification period by arguing ‘exceptional hardship'. If the Court finds that exceptional hardship does apply to your case it can either impose a shorter disqualification period or waive the ban altogether. However an advantage of being disqualified is that a ban of any period under totting up will clear your licence of penalty points and in effect wipe the slate clean.

Examples of what a court will consider to be Exceptional Hardship might include:

  • A restriction on mobility for a driver with severe health problems
  • A threat to the job stability of employees if a manager, business owner or key employee is unable to fulfil their role
  • Loss of a career, if supported by relevant supporting information and presented well, might be shown to amount to exceptional hardship, but not without the right preparation, good advocacy, and sympathetic magistrates. Loss of employment, on its own, will usually not amount to grounds for showing exceptional hardship.

For further information regarding penalty points and totting up, contact our motoring offence solicitors free on 0800 862 0442 or contact your nearest office listed at the top of this page. Alternatively, submit an online enquiry and a member of our team will contact you as soon as possible. 

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