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Totting Up - Facing 12 Points

At Cartwright King we understand that losing your driving licence can have a profound impact on your life, as we are reliant on our vehicles for various reasons. If you ‘tot up’ 12 points then you can be disqualified from driving, unless you provide evidence of special mitigation to the Court which persuades them not to disqualify or to do so for a shorter period than 6 months. If you have accumulated 12 points on your driving licence, it is in your best interest to get legal advice as soon as possible. We have extensive experience successfully defending drivers who accumulate 12 points and we are available to represent you wherever you are based.

What is ‘totting up?’

If you have accumulated 12 points on your driving licence within the course of 36 months, this is known as ‘totting up’. If you do nothing you will be disqualified from driving for at least 6 months under the provisions of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988. It is irrelevant whether you have committed a serious driving offence or have ‘totted up’ minor driving offences; as soon as you reach 12 points the Court must disqualify you from driving. The minimum length of the ban depends on your driving record;

  • 6 months – This is the standard duration if you have not had a previous disqualification
  • 1 year – If you have had a previous disqualification of at least 56 days in the last 3 years
  • 2 years – If you have had more than one previous disqualification of at least 56 days in the last 3 years 

You could  have your disqualification from driving shortened or even avoid disqualification altogether if you can argue that exceptional hardship would be caused by disqualification in your case. At Cartwright King we have the experience and knowledge to help save your licence. Please call us if you believe there are exceptional hardship reasons in your case.  

What are the consequences?

If you ‘are disqualified from driving under the “totting” provisions for having 12 points on your licence, then you will be unable to drive any motor vehicle in the UK for the duration of the ban. Once the ban has expired, your penalty points will be removed and you will be able to apply for a clean licence. Your licence is not returned automatically unless you persuade the court to ban you for 56 days or less. This is where challenging the decision at Court by using an Exceptional Hardship argument can be vital to your case. 

What is Exceptional Hardship?

Once you reach 12 points, you can ask for the opportunity to argue that any disqualification would cause Exceptional Hardship. Exceptional Hardship refers to the impact that a disqualification would have on you and more importantly other people connected to you personally and professionally. In order to be successful your Exceptional Hardship argument must show that hardship would be result above and beyond the obvious inconvenience that losing your driving licence would cause. Examples of such arguments include, but are not limited to:

  • Loss of your work or business, particularly if that means others might lose their work
  • Loss of your job may mean you can no longer pay your mortgage and your family may lose their accommodation
  • If your health means that you rely on your vehicle for mobility and cannot use public transport
  • The hardship cased to someone for whom you care where they are heavily dependent on you
  • Hardship caused to your children or other family members if you are not able to drive them and enable them to meet their commitments

The court will  look into all of your circumstances, and you will have to give evidence on oath about your situation. This is a very complex area of the law and it can be difficult to present Exceptional Hardship arguments effectively. You should speak to one of our motoring solicitors who can discuss your case in detail as soon as possible.

How we can help

At Cartwright King our Motoring Solicitors will review your circumstances carefully and ensure that you receive the highest quality legal advice and representation. We understand that a strong defence is based around effective preparation and presentation, which is why we will ensure to take great care in retrieving all the relevant information and documentation to help support your case.  We will assist you by:

  • Properly researching all of the case’s circumstances
  • Representing you in court
  • Presenting your case 
  • Advising you throughout the  process

Why Choose Us?

At Cartwright King, our solicitors understand the stress that losing your driving licence can cause and the potential long term consequences that can affect you, your family and your future earning potential. We are available to support you throughout the entire process, explain the likely outcomes and fight on your behalf.

Our team have extensive experience in successfully defending drivers with 12 points. We also offer advice and representation at competitive fixed fees.

How to make contact

If you require legal advice or if you would like a no obligation, free initial telephone discussion, then please call us on 0808 168 5550. Alternatively you can email the Motoring team on and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Our Motoring Solicitors can provide advice across the country and are happy to meet at a time and location that suits you. We also have a network of offices in BirminghamBedfordDerbyLeedsLeicesterLondon TempleManchesterMiddlesbroughNorthamptonNottingham and Sheffield.

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