Penalty Points & Totting Up FAQs
Penalty points and totting up can be a confusing & complex area of motoring law. Below are commonly asked questions answered by an experienced motoring law solicitor.Q: Does loss of job amount to exceptional hardship?
Loss of job is sometimes, but not necessarily, enough. Hardship to others, for example, dependent family members or employees will often carry more weight. Every case is different and it depends on the circumstances.
It is usually necessary to show not only loss of employment but also other related circumstances such as being unable to pay a mortgage or bank loan as a result. Other relevant factors would be reflected hardship on the driver’s business, family, career or long-term prospects.
Loss of employment is not the only issue you can argue. Other relevant factors may include issues such as mobility problems, disability and lack of public transport. These may apply whether or not a job is at stake. Again, evidence will be needed.
In practice, different Courts have very different interpretations of what amounts to exceptional hardship and some require more persuasion than others. Supporting evidence is almost always essential.
A: Four years from the date of the offence. However, for totting-up purposes, points only count for three years from the date of the offence.
A: If you reach twelve points for offences committed within three years of each other, then you are subject to ‘totting up’. This means that the court has to disqualify you for at least six months, unless you can show that this would cause ‘exceptional hardship’ to you or others.
Exceptional hardship can be hard to prove and the court will thoroughly examine the circumstances. Loss of job is often, but not necessarily, sufficient.
In establishing exceptional hardship, you cannot rely on any circumstances relied on in the previous three years.
However, if you are disqualified, even for a very short time and do not receive points, you will not be subject to totting up.
A: In most cases, you will receive six penalty points. (Three if the offence was committed before 1st March 2017). There will also be a fine.
If you reach twelve points for mobile phone offences committed within three years of each other, you are at risk of disqualification for at least six months under the totting up system, unless you can show that this would accuse exceptional hardship.
If you are a new driver and reach six points for offences within two years of passing your first driving test, the DVLA will revoke your licence and you would have to re-take your test.
A: If you receive six or more points for one or more offences committed within two years of passing your first driving test, your licence will be revoked and you will have to re-take your practical and theory tests.
However, if you are disqualified, even for a very short time, and do not receive points, your licence will not be revoked and you will not have to re-take your test.
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