Motoring – Check Your Employees Driving Licences

Vehicle Category Descriptions 1

Endorsement Offence Codes

When you carry out driving licence checks, you need to find out any endorsements that may be present on the driving licence4 to enable you to assess the level of risk that the licence holder presents, and their ability to carry out your business safely.

A vast array of offences may be committed, which will result in a fixed fine as well as points being added to a licence. Minor offences may attract two penalty points, while the more severe could attract up to 11 points or even disqualification. Appendix D details the endorsement codes that are recorded on a licence, along with a brief description of the offence and the number of points that it would normally attract. Once a driver has amassed 12 points, the licence is usually withdrawn and a driving ban imposed. For very serious offences, such as drink driving, a ban may be imposed following a single offence.

It is vital that you know why any points are on a licence. With the increasing number of automated speed detection devices (primarily fixed and mobile speed cameras), it is regrettable, but increasingly accepted, that drivers may have three points on their licence. You need to be able to compare these points with those obtained through driving without due care and attention or dangerous driving, as these offences have very different levels of risk associated with them.

Many fleet operators set a maximum number of points that a driver may amass (perhaps six or nine) before they have to undergo driver training, or a driving assessment by a qualified driver training company. Some companies even take disciplinary action before 12 points are reached, especially where driving is a core activity for that employee.

The majority of offences remain on a licence for four years (although they only remain valid for three years), after which time the driver can apply to have them removed. For the most serious offences, i.e. driving under the influence of drink or drugs, causing death by careless driving while under the influence of drink or drugs, or causing death by careless driving then failing to provide a specimen, the endorsements remain on the licence for 11 years (although they only remain valid for 10 years).

Since 1974, endorsements have remained on the driving licence for one year longer than the actual validity. This change was made to prevent timely applications for the removal of existing endorsements before a subsequent court appearance, when there was a real prospect of further endorsements being added and an increased penalty. Retaining endorsements on the driving licence for an extra year has prevented such abuse, but does not affect the length of time for which endorsements remain valid for totting-up purposes.

4;With the new photocard licences, any endorsements will be on the paper counterpart.
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