Everybody especially drivers know about penalty points that are incurred as a result of being found guilty of a motoring offence. we all know someone who has had points on their licence, maybe even a driving ban - we may have experienced it ourselves at some stage and yet very little is known or understood about the actual process of fixed penalty points, how exactly do penalty points work and do all driving offences have the same penalty? So, it is with this in mind that this page has been created to help to de-mystify the subject.
It's a fact that most motoring offences do in fact result in penalty points on your licence, not all of them but nearly all. It can be anything between 2 points up to 10 for a single offence depending on how serious the law views that particular offence to be, it can often be decided by the courts as to how many points you get unless it is a fixed penalty. Fixed penalties tend to be typically a speeding offence, not requiring a court appearance unless you are going to dispute the offence. In the case of fixed penalty the points are put onto your licence straight away. These points will remain on your licence from either the date of the offence in the case of fixed penalties or from the date of the conviction. They will remain in effect for a period of three years and stay on your licence for four years. The points can be removed automatically when you apply for a new or replacement licence or otherwise you can apply to the DVLA to have the points removed after the four year period has elapsed.
So unless you have received a fixed penalty it will be down to the discretion of the court as to how many penalty points you will receive for the offence you have been found guilty of. There can be circumstances and history that the courts may take into consideration but they will always be deciding within a certain fixed penalty points range. If you have been driving for less than twelve months then it only takes six points on your licencewithin that first year of driving to have your licence revoked.
As soon as you reach the maximum allowed number of penalty points on your licence you are then automatically subject to a driving ban. This is mandatory and will be in effect for three years. This decision is obviously every driver's worst nightmare and can be and often is disputed and in some cases overruled. In many cases this is after the driver has submitted a plea of exceptional hardship with regards their need to drive to and from work, drive their family around and so on.
In order to satisfy the courts that a mandatory driving ban would cause significant hardship to your ability to earn a living or hardship to others like members of your family, children, old or disabled people needing transportation, these circumstances when submitted with sufficient documentation such as personal statements can often overturn a court's decision with regards a driving ban. This is however not always the case. You can re apply for a fresh driving licence after four years have elapsed but the effect on your insurance would mean some companies may actually refuse to insure you because of your history especially in the case of drink driving or dangerous driving, also you would have lost any no claims bonus you had previously accumulated.