A penalty point ban is often called a ‘totting up‘ points ban and is where, under Section 35 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act, you are disqualified from driving for accumulating 12 penalty points on licence within a 3 year period.
The 3 year period is measured from the date of the offences, not the date of conviction or sentencing. If you amass 12 points on licence, you are liable for a 6 month driving disqualification.
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There are three ways you can defend a totting up ban once you have 12 points. You can either;
1. Defend the allegation made against you
2. Argue Special Reasons in order to persuade the court not to give you points on licence in the first place.
3. Persuade the court that there are circumstances to allow them not to impose a driving disqualification, or for you to be banned from driving for a shorter period, normally by making an exceptional hardship argument.
There is no precise definition of what amounts to exceptional hardship. Magistrates are instructed that they need to find that in your circumstances, a 6 month driving ban (for accumulating 12 points in a 36 month period) would cause exceptional hardship if it were imposed.
The burden of proving exceptional hardship is on the driver making the argument. You have to prove it on the balance of probabilities - which means you have to prove it is more likely that not that exceptional hardship would be suffered.
The Magistrates can agree not to disqualify your driving licence if they find exceptional hardship, or they can impose a reduced driving ban. If you get a reduced ban then all the penalty points that led to the ban (albeit reduced) are wiped clean.
This maybe a good result and it's something we sometimes ask for when someone is facing having a huge number of points (12 points or more) on their licence for a long time if they avoid a driving disqualification altogether.
You are only permitted to use the same exceptional hardship grounds once in 3 years. Therefore if you find yourself back in the same situation again (with enough points to trigger a ban) within 3 years you cannot make an argument on the same grounds that you used on a previous occasion.
To make a valid hardship argument you will need to give your evidence under oath as well as providing documentary evidence to support your argument.
The Court Clerk will enter your grounds into the Court Register. This provides a record to the Court so that your argument can’t be used again for the next 36 months.
While there is no set exceptional hardship definition, Magistrates usually look at the impact of a disqualification for collecting 12 penalty points or more on those who rely upon you.
Because you have accumulated 12 points within a 3 year period, they will probably form the opinion that you deserve to be banned, and that your punishment will inevitably involve some hardship on your part.
Normally magistrates are more inclined to consider the impact that your licence disqualification is going to have on people who rely upon you because those people haven’t themselves committed an offence.
90% of our clients avoid a totting ban when we represent them.
National statistics suggest that only 39% of people who represent themselves for totting up points offences avoid being banned from driving.
How Long Do Penalty Points Stay On Your Licence For?
Appeal – 6 Month Totting Ban Lifted By Judge
Driving Licence Wiped Clean?
At Least 18 Penalty Points
12 Points – No Ban
Single Mum At University – 12 Points
Do you have any questions about Totting Up Bans & related offences? Please ask and we will gladly give you legal advice based on the specifics of your case and offence.
Thank you for everything its a relief to be still driving. You were "excellent" throughout & I would recommend you to anyone who needs first class advice and representation for a motoring offence.
Thank you so much for successfully arguing exceptional hardship on my behalf to prevent a totting up ban. You saved my job.
I received a totting ban of 6 months with 15 points on my licence. Conor at Patterson Law assured me my case stood a good chance of a successful appeal. We appealed and my ban was reduced to 6 weeks with points removed from my site. My job was saved and I couldn't be happier, thank you
I ended up with no ban, they recognised my exceptional hardship case, but I have to keep the points till expiration, they wouldn’t negotiate, so super careful driving from now on! Thanks again for your help, it was spot on.
I would like to thank you and Patterson Law for what you did for me today and help me retain my licence. your service is very professional and my barrister did one hell of a job. once again thank you Rachel and Patterson Law. All the best for the future! I will recommend anyone who may require your services.