Guide to penalty points in the UK

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Understanding penalty points by drivers in the UK is only important for those that have committed infractions while driving. These penalty points are sometimes called endorsements, but the name implies they are of a positive nature, but the opposite is true.

How long do points stay on the driving record?

There are 15 different categories a driver can receive points for infractions when operating a vehicle. The points for 14 of them accident offences, disqualified driver, careless driving, construction and use offence, reckless and dangerous driving, 4 types of codes for drink, 3 codes for drugs, insurance offence, licence offence, miscellaneous offences, motorway offence, pedestrian offence, speed limits, traffic direction and signs, special code and theft or unauthorized taking stay on your record for 4 years. 

There are also 3 where the points stay on your record for 11 years, including 4 codes under careless driving, 5 codes under drink and 3 codes under drugs.

Points are automatically removed from a driving record when the time period expires. This is the only way points are taken off a driving record. 

How many points for a driving offence?

The number of points per infraction is dependent on the offence. The majority of the offences have at minimum 3 points that will be added to a driving record. The maximum is set at 11 which can be assessed to a driving record in 5 different categories. If you have 3 points, your insurance will increase, find how much 3 points will increase your insurance by as that may well make you think twice before breaking the highway code. 

All the offences where 11 points can be added to a driving record are an option when the case is heard in court. The amount is determined by the magistrate, where 3 to 11 points can be placed on the driving record. Examples of this include DR10 driving or attempting to drive with alcohol level above limit. The range is 3 to 11. All 5 reckless and dangerous driving offences are also from 3 to 11 points. Because so many drivers are charged under this code DR10 insurance is often used instead when searching for providers of drink-driving insurance 

How many points get a driver disqualified?

When a driver receives 12 points in 3 years, their driving privileges are revoked by the UK government, excepted for new drivers. For new drivers who have only held their licence for 2 years, the accumulation of 6 points in the first 2-year span will have their licence revoked. 

What are the affects of endorsements on my car insurance policy?

No matter the offence, when points are placed on a driver’s record, the cost of their auto insurance will increase by a minimum of 10%. If a driver with points fails to inform their insurance agent of said points when taking out a policy, the policy will be null and void and the money paid on the premium will be forfeited. Not all insurance agents will write a policy for those with points or a conviction on their driving record. 

If you want to check your driving record the DVLA has this view your driving license record webpage.

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