“Totting Up” Disqualification

Section 35 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act states that any driver who receives 12 or more penalty points in a three year period should be disqualified from driving for at least 6 months. The accumulation of 12 points is referred to as “totting up.”

This means that if you have 9 points on your licence, and commit a speeding offence that carries a minimum of 3 penalty points, you are at risk of hitting 12 points and being banned under the totting up rules.

It is important to understand that the Court looks at the dates of the offences, which is not the same as the date of conviction. Therefore there is no advantage to be gained from delaying the outcome of a Court case.

However, there are issues that may persuade the Court not to impose the 6 month disqualification. As well as issues such as special reasons or exceptional hardship, certain offences may carry the risk of disqualification rather than imposing points. While this may not seem like a helpful alternative, the Court can sometimes be persuaded that on balance it is more appropriate to ban someone from driving for 14 days than to give them 3 points that will lead to a 6 month totting up disqualification. This is an issue that requires careful consideration and expert legal advice.

If you have held a driving licence for less than 2 years at the date of conviction, different rules apply that allow the DVLA to revoke your licence if you have 6 penalty points or more. Please read our New Drivers page for more information.

If you are facing a Court appearance for a driving offence, and are at risk of being disqualified for totting up penalty points, contact us and we can recommend a suitable motoring specialist to advise you.

Unfortunately due to the Legal Aid system, it is very difficult to secure public funding (legal aid) even if you are at risk of being disqualified from driving under the totting up rules. This is because the Legal Aid Agency do not accept that potentially losing your job or only means of finding work justifies public expense. However, we can discuss competitive private rates or fixed fees for these cases by using either a solicitor or a direct access barrister.

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