Driving licence points explained

Last updated by mustard.co.uk on May 13th, 2021

Racking up penalty points on your driving licence is never a good thing but how long do they stay on your record and what’s the most you can get before disqualification? Find out everything you need to know about driving licence points and how to check how many you’ve got. 

How do you get penalty points?

You get penalty points for committing driving offences — for example, if you speed or drive without insurance. The official term is ‘endorse’ so if you’re convicted of a motoring offence, you’ll hear that your driving licence has been endorsed with penalty points. 

The number of points you’ll get will depend on the driving offence committed and how serious it is. If you’re convicted of an offence, it will be recorded on your driving licence and the points will stay there for a number of years.

Depending on the crime, you can be given a fixed penalty notice (fine) or be taken to court. Either way, you’ll still get penalty points added to your licence. 

How long do points stay on your licence?

Driving licence points stay on your record for either 4 or 11 years, depending on the motoring offence committed. The start date can be either the date the offence took place or the date on which you were convicted. 

Your points are considered ‘valid’ for a certain period of time. This means that a court can take them into account if you’re accused of another driving offence. If you have an endorsement lasting four years, the points are valid for the first three. For 11-year endorsements, points are valid for the first ten years.

It’s worth bearing in mind that employers and insurance providers may be able to see the endorsements you have, which could affect job prospects and car cover premiums. 

How many driving licence points lead to a driving ban?

If you get 12 penalty points within three years, you can be disqualified from driving. 

In a few instances, a judge may decide not to impose a driving ban if you can prove it will cause ‘exceptional hardship’. However, the rules have toughened up recently and judges have been told that job loss is not an excuse for avoiding disqualification.

What happens after a driving disqualification?

If you’re given a driving ban, the court will decide how long to ban you for. If you’re disqualified for less than 56 days, you can start driving again when the ban ends. 

If you’ve been banned from driving for more than 56 days, you’ll have to apply for a new driving licence and may even have to retake your test. In some cases, you might be asked to take an extended test. 

How do driving licence points affect new drivers?

If you’re a new driver, you can have your licence taken away if you get six points within two years of passing your test.

If that happens, you’ll need to apply for a new provisional licence and start the process all over again — which means retaking and passing the theory and practical test.

If you get penalty points on your provisional licence, these will be carried over to your full licence after you pass your test. These will count towards any other points you get so be mindful of the total number of endorsements you have. 

What are the most common driving offences for penalty points?

There are all sorts of driving offences and each one has its own special identification code. Some offences are ambiguous, for example AC30 which is ‘undefined accident offences’ and carries up to nine points. While others could be viewed as very subjective, for instance DD90 ‘furious driving’ which also carries up to nine points. You can also be given points if you’ve encouraged someone to commit a motoring offence. 

In the UK, the most common driving offences and their equivalent penalty points, are:

  • Speeding — between 3 and 6 points
  • Neglecting road regulations (but not speeding) — between 3 and 9 points but more severe offences attract up to 11 penalty points
  • Driving while disqualified or uninsured — 6 points
  • Dangerous driving — anything from 3 to 11 points depending on the severity of the offence
  • Driving a defective vehicle — three points
  • Vehicle theft — between 3 and 11 points
  • Failing to stop after an accident or reporting it — between 4 and 10 points

Driving conviction codes

The tables below show current driving offences, their codes and how long those points will stay on your driving record for.

Accident offences

Driving offence code Description of offence Penalty points issued Number of years points remain on driving record
AC10 Failing to stop after an accident 5-10 4 years from date of offence
AC20 Failing to give particulars or report an accident within 24 hours 5-10 4 years from date of offence
AC30 Undefined accident offences 4-9 4 years from date of offence

Disqualified driver

Driving offence code Description of offence Penalty points issued Number of years points remain on driving record
BA10 Driving while disqualified by order of court 6 4 years from date of offence
BA30 Attempting to drive while disqualified by order of court 6 4 years from date of offence
BA40 Causing death by driving while disqualified 3-11 4 years from date of conviction
BA60 Causing serious injury by driving while disqualified 3-11 4 years from date of conviction

Careless driving

Driving offence code Description of offence Penalty points issued Number of years points remain on driving record
CD20 Driving without reasonable consideration for other road users 3-9 4 years from date of offence or conviction
CD30 Driving without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration for other road users 3-9 4 years from date of offence or conviction
CD80 Causing death by careless, or inconsiderate, driving 3-11 4 years from date of offence or conviction
CD90 Causing death by driving: unlicensed, disqualified or uninsured drivers 3-11 4 years from date of offence or conviction
CD40 Causing death through careless driving when unfit through drink 3-11 11 years from date of conviction
CD50 Causing death by careless driving when unfit through drugs 3-11 11 years from date of conviction
CD60 Causing death by careless driving with alcohol level above the limit 3-11 11 years from date of conviction
CD70 Causing death by careless driving then failing to supply a specimen for alcohol analysis 3-11 11 years from date of conviction

Construction and use offences

Driving offence code Description of offence Penalty points issued Number of years points remain on driving record
CU10 Using a vehicle with defective brakes 3 4 years from date of offence
CU20 Causing or likely to cause danger by reason of use of unsuitable vehicle or using a vehicle with parts or accessories (excluding brakes, steering or tyres) in a dangerous condition 3 4 years from date of offence
CU30 Using a vehicle with defective tyre(s) 3 4 years from date of offence
CU40 Using a vehicle with defective steering 3 4 years from date of offence
CU50 Causing or likely to cause danger by reason of load or passengers 3 4 years from date of offence
CU80 Breach of requirements as to control of the vehicle, such as using a mobile phone 3-6 4 years from date of offence

Reckless or dangerous driving

Driving offence code Description of offence Penalty points issued Number of years points remain on driving record
DD10 Causing serious injury by dangerous driving 3-11 4 years from date of conviction
DD40 Dangerous driving 3-11 4 years from date of conviction
DD60 Manslaughter or culpable homicide while driving a vehicle 3-11 4 years from date of conviction
DD80 Causing death by dangerous driving 3-11 4 years from date of conviction
DD90 Furious driving 3-9 4 years from date of conviction

Drink

Driving offence code Description of offence Penalty points issued Number of years points remain on driving record
DR10 Driving or attempting to drive with alcohol level above limit 3-11 11 years from date of conviction
DR20 Driving or attempting to drive while unfit through drink 3-11 11 years from date of conviction
DR30 Driving or attempting to drive then failing to supply a specimen for analysis 3-11 11 years from date of conviction
DR31 Driving or attempting to drive then refusing to give permission for analysis of a blood sample that was taken without consent due to incapacity 3-11 11 years from date of conviction
DR61 Refusing to give permission for analysis of a blood sample that was taken without consent due to incapacity in circumstances other than driving or attempting to drive 10 11 years from date of conviction
DR40 In charge of a vehicle while alcohol level above limit 10 4 years from date of offence/or from date of conviction
DR50 In charge of a vehicle while unfit through drink 10 4 years from date of offence/or from date of conviction
DR60 Failure to provide a specimen for analysis in circumstances other than driving or attempting to drive 10 4 years from date of offence/or from date of conviction
DR70 Failing to provide specimen for breath test 4 4 years from date of offence/or from date of conviction

Drugs

Driving offence code Description of offence Penalty points issued Number of years points remain on driving record
DG10 Driving or attempting to drive with drug level above the specified limit 3-11 11 years from date of conviction
DG60 Causing death by careless driving with drug level above the limit 3-11 11 years from date of conviction
DG80 Driving or attempting to drive when unfit through drugs 3-11 11 years from date of conviction
DG40 In charge of a vehicle while drug level above specified limit 10 4 years from date of offence/or from date of conviction
DG90 In charge of a vehicle when unfit through drugs 10 4 years from date of offence/or from date of conviction

Insurance offences

Driving offence code Description of offence Penalty points issued Number of years points remain on driving record
IN10 Using a vehicle uninsured against third party risks 6-8 4 years from date of offence

Licence offences: penalty points remain on your licence for four years from the date of offence.

Driving offence code Description of offence Penalty points issued Number of years points remain on driving record
LC20 Driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence 3-6 4 years from date of offence
LC30 Driving after making a false declaration about fitness when applying for a licence 3-6 4 years from date of offence
LC40 Driving a vehicle having failed to notify a disability 3-6 4 years from date of offence
LC50 Driving after a licence has been cancelled (revoked) or refused on medical grounds 3-6 4 years from date of offence

Miscellaneous offences

Driving offence code Description of offence Penalty points issued Number of years points remain on driving record
MS10 Leaving a vehicle in a dangerous position 3 4 years from date of offence
MS20 Unlawful pillion riding 3 4 years from date of offence
MS30 Play street offences 2 4 years from date of offence
MS50 Motor racing on the highway 3-11 4 years from date of offence
MS60 Offences not covered by other codes (including offences relating to breach of requirements as to control of vehicle) 3 4 years from date of offence
MS70 Driving with uncorrected defective eyesight 3 4 years from date of offence
MS80 Refusing to submit to an eyesight test 3 4 years from date of offence
MS90 Failure to give information as to identity of driver etc 6 4 years from date of offence

Motorway offences

Driving offence code Description of offence Penalty points issued Number of years points remain on driving record
MW10 Contravention of special roads regulations (excluding speed limits) 3 4 years from date of offence

Pedestrian crossings

Driving offence code Description of offence Penalty points issued Number of years points remain on driving record
PC10 Undefined contravention of pedestrian crossing regulations 3 4 years from date of offence
PC20 Contravention of pedestrian crossing regulations with moving vehicle 3 4 years from date of offence
PC30 Contravention of pedestrian crossing regulations with stationary vehicle 3 4 years from date of offence

Speed limits

Driving offence code Description of offence Penalty points issued Number of years points remain on driving record
SP10 Exceeding goods vehicle speed limits 3-6 4 years from date of offence
SP20 Exceeding speed limit for type of vehicle (excluding goods or passenger vehicles) 3-6 4 years from date of offence
SP30 Exceeding statutory speed limit on a public road 3-6 4 years from date of offence
SP40 Exceeding passenger vehicle speed limit 3-6 4 years from date of offence
SP50 Exceeding speed limit on a motorway 3-6 4 years from date of offence

Traffic direction and signs

Driving offence code Description of offence Penalty points issued Number of years points remain on driving record
TS10 Failing to comply with traffic light signals 3 4 years from date of offence
TS20 Failing to comply with double white lines 3 4 years from date of offence
TS30 Failing to comply with ‘stop’ sign 3 4 years from date of offence
TS40 Failing to comply with direction of a constable/warden 3 4 years from date of offence
TS50 Failing to comply with traffic sign (excluding ‘stop’ signs, traffic lights or double white lines) 3 4 years from date of offence
TS60 Failing to comply with a school crossing patrol sign 3 4 years from date of offence
TS70 Undefined failure to comply with a traffic direction sign 3 4 years from date of offence

Special codes: Code TT99 remains on your driving record for four years from the date of conviction. You’ll get this if you’re disqualified from driving because you’ve ‘totted up’ the appropriate number of points.

Theft or unauthorised taking: Code UT50, this remains on your record for four years from the date of the offence.

Mutual recognition codes: you’ll receive one of these codes if you’re disqualified in Northern Ireland, or the Isle of Man – they’re also valid in Great Britain.

Driving offence code Description of offence Number of years points remain on driving record
MR09 Reckless or dangerous driving (whether or not resulting in death, injury or serious risk) 4 years from date of conviction
MR19 Wilful failure to carry out the obligation placed on driver after being involved in a road accident (hit or run) 4 years from date of conviction
MR29 Driving a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or other substance affecting or diminishing the mental and physical abilities of a driver 4 years from date of conviction
MR39 Driving a vehicle faster than the permitted speed 4 years from date of conviction
MR49 Driving a vehicle whilst disqualified 4 years from date of conviction
MR59 Other conduct constituting an offence for which a driving disqualification has been imposed by the State of Offence 4 years from date of conviction

 

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How do I find out what points I have on my licence?

You can check how many penalty points you have at GOV.UK, view your driving licence. You’ll need to have your driving licence number handy along with your National Insurance number and the postcode on your driving licence. Alternatively, you can also contact the DVLA.

Do points on my licence increase my car insurance?

In short, yes. If you have a driving conviction and penalty points on your licence, you’ll pay higher than average premiums. This is because insurers will view you as a riskier driver and more likely to make a claim compared to someone without any convictions.

Most insurers will ask you about convictions within the last five years so penalty points can influence your premium for a considerable length of time. If you have driving licence points, you should always be upfront and honest with your insurer. If you don’t tell your insurer about convictions you have, you risk invalidating your entire policy. This means they can refuse to compensate you if you make a claim. 

Compare car insurance for convicted drivers 

At mustard.co.uk, you can compare car insurance deals from a wide range of insurers, with some insurers specialising in policies for convicted drivers. To see what’s available, simply start your online insurance quote or speak to an expert member of the team on 0330 022 88814.

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