Last updated November 10, 2021
If you are convicted of committing a motoring offence in the UK, you will most likely end up with points on your driving licence. The severity of the offence will determine the points you're given – and these could remain on your licence for the foreseeable future.
However, the period that points stay on your licence depends on various factors, including the specific offence and how long you’ve held your licence. Here’s everything you need to know about penalty points and how long they stick around.
If you commit a driving offence, the courts can fine you and ‘endorse’ your licence with penalty points. Points themselves can be given in groups of 1 to 11, and the more serious the offence you’ve committed, the more points it will warrant.
In England, Scotland, and Wales, you can receive 3-6 points for driving without a licence, for example. You can also receive 3-11 points for causing death or serious injury. You can find more information on penalty points here.
For Northern Ireland, the procedures and points vary slightly.
The number of penalty points received after committing a driving offence is based on its severity, and this also impacts how long the points will stay on your licence.
Endorsements must stay on your licence for 4 or 11 years – this can start from the date of the offence or the date you are convicted. Other people, such as insurers and employers, can find out that you have the endorsement any time throughout a 4-year endorsement. If you have an 11-year endorsement, they can find out about your endorsement during the first 5 years. If you are under 18, it’s only visible for the first 30 months.
Following the expiry of points, they will automatically be removed from your driving record.
Whilst endorsements will stay on your licence for 4 or 11 years, they aren’t valid the whole time. Points are valid for the first 3 years of a 4-year endorsement and the first 10 years of an 11-year endorsement.
If you accumulate 12 or more penalty points within three years, you are liable to be disqualified from driving.
The rules for new drivers are slightly different. If you get six or more points during your first two years of driving, your licence will be revoked. You will then have to retake both the theory and practical elements of your driving test.
If you receive any points on your provisional driver’s licence, those points are carried over to your full licence.
To find out if you have any endorsements on your licence, check here.