Keeping your licence as a totter
In certain circumstances where totting provisions apply (in other words a total of 12 points or more have been attained in any 3-year period), there is normally a period of disqualification that follows. This is unless the offence that caused the 12 points to be exceeded is contested, or a case of ‘exceptional hardship’ is submitted.
It is important to note that very specific criteria apply to exceptional hardship applications, and this must extend beyond the natural consequence of an inability to drive.
Our road traffic lawyers at Nelson Guest & Partners can advise you as to whether such an application has a prospect of success and attend on your behalf to help secure your chances of keeping your licence as a totter.
Driving offences that attract 12 points can have serious consequences, especially if you rely on driving for your occupation. If you have received 12 points on your licence, the importance of prompt advice from our team is therefore essential.
Get in touch with our road traffic lawyers
Our road traffic lawyers can provide expert legal advice regarding your options for keeping your licence as a totter, ensuring you stand the best possible chance of protecting your ability to drive. If you’re facing a driving ban and you need legal assistance, we can offer the representation and guidance required.
Navigating this page
- What is a totter in driving?
- Will I lose my licence for speeding?
- What happens if you get 12 points on your licence?
- How can I avoid a driving ban with 12 points?
- How can I reduce my disqualification period?
- How long do points stay on your driving licence?
- How our road traffic offence solicitors can help
What is a totter in driving?
A ‘totter’ is someone who has exceeded 12 points on their licence within a three-year period. Someone who is found to be guilty of ‘totting up’ will be disqualified from driving for a minimum of six months.
The three-year time limit is calculated from the date the first driving offence was committed and penalty points were added on to an individual’s licence. Being prosecuted for a further driving offence after this date does not reset the clock.
Will I lose my licence for speeding?
You could potentially lose your licence for a speeding offence if the penalty points you receive take you over 12 points on your licence.
The minimum penalty for speeding in the UK is a £100 fine and three penalty points. So, if you have ten penalty points at the time a speeding offence is committed, you could face a driving ban.
What happens if you get 12 points on your licence?
If you obtain 12 or more penalty points on your driving licence within a three-year window, you can be banned from driving.
The driving ban can last:
- Six months, if you get 12 or more penalty points within three years
- 12 months, if you get a second disqualification within three years
- Two years, if you get a third disqualification within three years
Once you have served the terms of the driving ban, it will be possible to drive again. However, if your 12 points driving ban lasted for more than 56 days you will need to apply for a new driving licence.
How can I avoid a driving ban with 12 points?
Receiving a 12 points driving ban is not an absolute certainty. Depending on your circumstances, it may be possible to appeal the offence that caused you to exceed 12 points, or you can file a dispute on the grounds of exceptional hardship.
How can I reduce my disqualification period?
If you have already been banned from driving for reaching or exceeding 12 points on your licence, it may be possible to submit a request to the court to reduce your disqualification period.
Reductions can be made for:
- Two years - if the disqualification was for fewer than four years
- Half the disqualification period - if it was for at least four but under ten years
- Five years - if the disqualification was for ten years or more
As can be expected, you will need to provide a good reason for asking for the disqualification period to be reduced.
The court will inform the DVLA if it decides to reduce your disqualification period. If this happens, you will need to apply for a new licence.
How long do points stay on your driving licence?
Penalty points (also known as endorsements) on your licence will remain for either four or 11 years, depending on the severity of the offence that was committed. The endorsement will be considered valid for the first:
- Three years, for a four-year endorsement
- Ten years, for an 11-year endorsement
Endorsements will automatically be removed from your record when they expire.
How our road traffic lawyers can help
Defending against penalty points
In many cases, you may be innocent of a driving offence that attracts 12 points or more on your licence. In these situations, it may be possible to dispute the offence itself.
Our road traffic lawyers can carefully assess your personal circumstances and the nature of the offence you are accused of committed, stepping in to defend you and appeal the penalty points where appropriate.
If successful, this would mean the penalty points would not be added to your licence, allowing you to avoid a driving ban you would have otherwise faced.
Using exceptional hardship
Keeping your licence as a totter may be possible, even where the penalty points being added to your licence cannot necessarily be disputed. In some cases, it may be possible to argue that you would face ‘exceptional hardship’ if you were to be disqualified from driving.
Anyone who receives a driving disqualification will experience a range of adverse consequences. Exceptional hardship arguments go beyond these standard issues and demonstrate that you would be severely restricted by a ban.
Common arguments that could be put forward to demonstrate exceptional hardship include:
- Where you suffer from serious health issues that are likely to be exacerbated
- You are the primary carer for someone who has their own serious health concern
- Your career will be lost
- The potential of losing your career will result in homelessness
As can be expected, exceptional hardship consequences are examined very closely by the courts. This highlights the necessity of working with our experienced motoring offence lawyers to build the strongest possible case and increase your chances of a successful outcome.
Appealing a totting up driving ban
If an exceptional hardship argument is turned down by a Magistrates’ Court, it is possible to take the matter further. The next option will usually be to submit an appeal to the Crown Court. This is something our experts can advise you on further where required.
Get in touch with our road traffic lawyers
Our road traffic lawyers can provide expert legal advice regarding your options for keeping your licence as a totter, ensuring you stand the best possible chance of contesting a driving offence that attracts 12 penalty points. If you’re facing a driving ban and you need legal assistance, we can offer the representation and guidance required.