Penalty points stay on your driving record for several years and can increase your insurance costs. Getting too many penalty points on your licence could even result in a minimum 6-month driving ban.
But how long do points stay on your licence? Here's everything you need to know.
Penalty points for speeding usually stay on your licence for 4 years. But car insurance companies often keep driving offences on record for 5 years.
But a driving endorsement remains on your driving record for 4 to 11 years, depending on the severity of the driving offence.
Penalty points for serious driving offences like drink-driving or causing death by dangerous driving can be on your licence for 11 years.
Why do car insurance companies need to know about penalty points for longer than the DVLA?
Even though penalty points are usually 'spent' with on your licence after 4 years, motoring convictions still indicate a higher-risk driver. That's why insurance companies ask about any motoring convictions over the last 5 years.
When you compare car insurance quotes with us, we'll ask you for:
- The date of the conviction
- The conviction code
- How many points you had
- The amount of any fines you had
- The length of any driving ban
- Whether you were breathalysed
- Whether the conviction was related to an accident
What are penalty points?
Penalty points, also known as driving endorsements, are used when you've been convicted of a driving offence. You might have accepted a fixed penalty that includes an endorsement of points.
Driving offences have different endorsement codes, which correspond to the number of penalty points that can be added to your licence.
The minimum number of penalty points for a driving offence that can be put on your licence is 3. But the more serious driving offences can carry a maximum of 11 points.
Some examples of driving endorsements include:
- Speeding offences
- Driving while using your mobile phone
- Driving without car insurance
For more information, see our guide on motoring conviction codes.
How do I find out how many points I have on my licence?
You can find out how many penalty points you have on your licence through the DVLA information service.
To check your driving licence points, you'll need:
- Your driving licence number
- Your National Insurance number
- The postcode on your driving licence
How many points can you get on your licence?
There’s no upper limit on how many points you can get on your licence.
But getting 12 points or more within a 3-year period usually results in a minimum driving ban of 6 months.
Someone charged with multiple driving offences at the same time could find themselves with more than 12 points. The most serious driving offences, including drink-driving, carry up to 11 penalty points on their own.
You might see this also called 'totting up'. And if you've been disqualified from driving before, totting up on your penalty points could see you get a ban of up to 12 months.
How many points can I get as a new driver?
If you’re a new driver and get 6 or more penalty points within the first 2 years of passing your test, your licence can be revoked.
To get your licence back, you need to retake both the theory test and practical part of your driving test.
Any penalty points you get on a provisional driver’s licence are carried over onto your full driving licence.
Can I get points removed from my driving licence?
No, you can't remove penalty points from your licence once they're added. They should be removed by the DVLA after 4 to 11 years when they expire.
But, if you're caught speeding, you may be given the option to attend a speed awareness course rather than get penalty points.
Do you have to tell your insurance company about points straight away?
Most insurers don’t require you to tell them about penalty points straight away. But they do expect you to tell them about points you’ve gained when you renew your car insurance policy.
If you get penalty points, you should check your policy wording just in case.
When you apply for car insurance, you’re required by law to tell insurers about any penalty points that are still on your driving record.
Points on your licence are likely to make your car insurance prices go up. In some cases, convicted drivers might find their options for cover to be quite limited.