Driving licence endorsements
What are endorsements?
If you commit a motoring offence, you will usually be fined by the courts and driving licence endorsements will be added to your current licence. Driving licence endorsements can stay on your licence for up to eleven years depending on the motoring offence you committed.
Endorsements are usually referred to as penalty points. The number of points that the driving licence endorsement contains shows how severe the offence is that you have committed.
Any driving licence endorsements that you do receive are shown on the electronic records that the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) maintain. Your driving licence endorsements also appear on your paper licence - the counterpart of your photo card driving licence.
How long will I have them?
All driving licence endorsements appear on your licence, but depending on the offence you committed will only stay on your licence for a certain period of time. These periods of time are currently:
- Four years from the date of your offence in all cases
- Four years from the date of any conviction for dangerous driving or driving when disqualified or not holding a valid driving licence
- Eleven years for drug or alcohol offences, or if your offence caused death
What this means
Endorsements which stay on your record for 11 years are:
- Causing death while intoxicated
- Causing death and refusing to provide a specimen sample
Other endorsements, such as for dangerous driving and offences resulting in disqualification remain for only four years from the date of conviction. Nearly all other offences are to remain for a period of four years from the date of the offence (rather than the date of conviction).
The 'totting-up' system becomes relevant once 12 or more penalty points accrue on your licence within a period of three years. In such an event you are likely to be disqualified under the system and this appears on your licence in the form of a TT99 endorsement.
Endorsements may be removed from your licence once the relevant time has passed. This is done by application to the DVLA for a new licence.
Note that your driving licence is automatically taken away from you if you obtain six or more endorsements on your licence within two years of passing your first driving test. Also, it is important to check the details of any driving licence endorsements you receive. Each offence should have a corresponding code next to the offence details.
Can I appeal the endorsements?
If you believe that a driving licence endorsement is incorrect, or has been unfairly or unlawfully applied to your licence, you can take your dispute to court. It is important to have proper legal representation if you bring this type of case. The magistrate will want to hear a legal argument from you that your solicitor can present on your behalf.
For more general information on motoring law, see our useful page on traffic offences.
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