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What is a totting up ban?

A totting up ban is when you have accrued 12 or more penalty points on your licence over a three year period. When this happens, you’re likely to receive a driving ban unless you can cite exceptional hardship.

In this article, we’ll explain totting up bans in detail, the penalties you might face and what you can do to overturn the decision.

Is 12 points on your driving licence an instant ban?

The short answer to this is: No.

Once you tot up 12 points or more on your driving licence, you will have to attend the Magistrates’ Court.  If this happens, it is advisable to employ a specialist motoring offence solicitor to look at your case’s details.


What is the totting up disqualification period?

If your 12 points have been accumulated over a three-year period, you’ll receive a minimum driving ban of six months.


How can I keep my licence after 12 points? And can I cite exceptional hardship to avoid a ban?

It’s possible to keep your licence after totting up 12 points, and one of the ways to do that is to cite exceptional hardship.

What is exceptional hardship?

Exceptional hardship is when a driving ban would cause suffering to you and/or innocent parties should you lose your licence, like:

  • Preventing you from caring for elderly or vulnerable clients or family members
  • Stopping you from providing community or charity services
  • Causing your employees to lose their jobs
  • Not being able to pay your mortgage or rent

Losing your driving licence, which results in you losing your job, can also be cited if the collateral damage from that will cause exceptional hardship.

If I’m convicted, how long will the ban last?

As mentioned, the minimum ban is six-months, but if you’ve had a disqualification in the last three years your driving ban could last for:

  • 1-year – if you were banned for at least 56-days
  • 2-years – if you were banned for at least 56-days twice, or more


I’m a new driver. Are the rules different?

Yes, the rules are different if you’ve passed your driving test in the last two years.

Newly qualified drivers have their licence revoked if they accrue six points or more, resulting in revocation of your driving licence. You then have to re-sit both the theory and practical tests before they can regain their full driving licence.

Why legal advice is essential.

Your best chance of winning a road offence lawsuit is by employing Keep My Driving Licence.


Because our solicitors are road traffic offence specialists who can review your and give you the best representation possible.

Need advice from a motoring offence specialist?

If you’ve totted up 12 points or more, it’s not the end of the road. You may have grounds for advancing exceptional hardship, and Keep My Driving Licence would like to defend you. Not only will we look into the facts of your case, we’ll also explain every possible outcome and support you when you need it most.

Get the legal support you deserve.

Call us for free today on 0800 999 5535. Email or fill in the contact form below.

Ask Carl

Have you got a question on motoring law you want the answer to?  Carl and our specialist team are here to answer your questions.