12-Point ‘Totting Up’ Driving Ban

12 point totting up driving ban
Legally reviewed by: Kevin Waddingham

If you have accumulated 12 points or more on your driving licence, Cartwright King’s specialist Motoring Offence Lawyers will do everything they can to prevent a driving ban. Benefit from our high success rate helping UK motorists to avoid a totting up driving licence disqualification.

For fast, efficient and effective legal advice and representation, get in touch with our Driving Offence team now.

How Cartwright King Can Help Prevent Losing Your Driving Licence

Amassing 12 points or more within three years on your driving licence leaves you facing disqualification. Cartwright King can help build your case where appropriate to prove that you, or others, will face ‘exceptional hardship’ if you lose your driving licence, preventing a motoring ban. We can help with:

  • Reviewing all the circumstances of your case 
  • Building a strong case by gathering evidence and presenting your circumstances
  • Representation in Court
  • Legal advice throughout your case

A ‘Totting Up’ Ban: How 12 Points Are Accumulated On A Licence

There are five ways to accumulate ‘endorsements,’ also known as penalty points, on your licence. Depending on the severity of the driving offence, the number of endorsements given will vary; for example,

  • Speeding points – 3 to 6 points are put on your record depending on the specific case
  • Using a mobile phone – 6 points are given when a driver is using a mobile phone while driving
  • Under the influence of alcohol – 10 points are put on your record if you are drunk driving
  • Driving without care or attention – 3 to 9 points given depending on the circumstances
  • No insurance – 6 points are put on record when a driver is uninsured.

The more offences you commit, the more points you will accumulate. When 12 points are ‘totted up’ within three years, a driving ban is automatically given for six months and you will be known as a ‘totter.’ However, there are ways to reduce your number of points and save your licence.

12 Points But No Driving Ban

For some drivers, it may be possible to avoid a ‘totting up’ ban, even if you have accumulated 12 points on your licence. If a magistrate court agrees that you, or those whom you are responsible for, would experience ‘exceptional hardship’ as a result of your driving ban, the ban can be lifted. However, for this ruling to be made, sworn evidence must be presented in a Magistrates’ Court hearing.

What is Exceptional Hardship?

When a person reaches 12 points the law requires Magistrates to disqualify them for at least 6 months. It is recognised that everyone who is disqualified from driving will suffer some hardship and inconvenience. That alone will not enable a ban to be reduced or avoided. What must be shown is that any hardship caused will be “exceptional”. 

Whilst the hardship may affect you, hardship to others affected by your ban will carry great weight with the courts. ‘Exceptional hardship’ arguments must go above and beyond the obvious inconveniences that losing your driving licence would cause. 

In order to successfully prove ‘exceptional hardship,’ you must demonstrate that your daily life or livelihood would be impacted 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 rent or 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 caused 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 review your circumstances, and you will have to give evidence on oath about your situation. This is a very complex area of law and it can be difficult to present ‘exceptional hardship’ arguments effectively. That’s why you should speak to one of our Motoring Solicitors for help preparing and presenting your case.

The Outcomes Of Your ‘Exceptional Hardship’ Case

Should your ‘exceptional hardship’ argument be ruled unsuccessful by the Magistrates’ Court, then you will be banned from driving for a minimum of six months. After the driving ban, all points on your licence will be wiped clean.

However, if the court agrees with your ‘exceptional hardship’ case, you will not be disqualified from driving. Instead, you will be allowed to legally drive with 12 or more points on your licence. Should you receive any additional points after this ruling, then you cannot use the ‘exceptional hardship’ case again for another 3 years. In this instance, you will receive a driving ban and be disqualified from driving.

Benefit From An Initial Telephone Conversation Regarding Your 12 Points On Your Driving Licence

If you have 12 points on your driving licence and you face disqualification, you can benefit from an initial telephone call with a specialist Cartwright King Driving Offence Solicitor to assess your options.

There’s no substitute for speaking to one of our specialist solicitors to get the right advice, and the best action to take to protect your driving licence.

For immediate action, contact us today for your initial discussion with us.

The discussion is completely informal and confidential and is an opportunity for us to:

  • Get to know you 
  • Understand your situation
  • Agree how you want to proceed

*Please be aware that this is a ‘get to know you’ call and no advice will be given.

Why Choose Cartwright King For Driving Offence Defence?

If you face losing your driving licence under the 12 points totting up ban, having an experienced Driving Offence Solicitor representing you is often the difference when it comes to avoiding a driving ban.

We listen, we understand and we genuinely care about keeping you on the road. That’s why we offer sound, honest, reliable legal advice to ensure that you understand your rights when facing totting up charges. 

Working with a specialist Cartwright King solicitor gives you the assurance of having access to legal counsel who will advise you at every stage of your case. We know that totting up charges can be damaging to your daily life and potentially affect your employment. 

That’s why we will do everything we can to clear you of wrongdoing or minimise any action against you.

We’re committed to defending your legal rights and protecting your driving licence against a totting up ban, ensuring that you’re treated fairly throughout your case. When you need us most, we’ll be there to offer sound, sensible legal advice and sure guidance.  

We’re a trusted, resourceful Legal 500 top tier law firm with specialist solicitors that are calm under pressure, giving you defence counsel that you can count on.

We're here for you.

Frequently asked questions.

What is totting up ban & what happens if you get 12 points on your licence?

If you have accumulated 12 points or more on your driving licence within three years, this is known as ‘totting up’. If you do nothing, you will be disqualified from driving for at least six 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 will disqualify you from driving. The minimum length of the ban depends on your driving record:

  • A six-month driving ban is enforced as  standard if you have not had a previous disqualification
  • A 12-month disqualification is imposed if you have had a previous disqualification of at least 56 days in the last three years
  • A two year ban from driving is enforced if you have had more than one previous disqualification of at least 56 days in the last three years

You could  have your disqualification from driving reduced, or even avoid disqualification altogether, if you can argue that exceptional hardship would be caused by disqualification.

Cartwright King can work with you to build a strong case to help you retain your licence. Get in touch now if you believe a driving ban would cause you exceptional hardship.

I need my driving licence to work, does this exempt me?

No. If you drive for a living, but you have 12 points or more on your licence, you’re not exempt from a driving ban. Losing your job alone as a result of a driving disqualification is not usually considered grounds for ‘exceptional hardship’. However, the knock on effect of losing your job on your family and your finances could be grounds for exceptional hardship.

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