Penalty points and their effect on your job search

Penalty points and their effect on your job search

The ability to drive is a pre-requisite for many nannying jobs. This means that would-be applicants must have a driving licence. It usually also means that they must have a clean driving licence – or, in other words, a driving licence without any penalty points.

Penalty points – when are they awarded?

A court may fine you and ‘endorse’ your driving record with penalty points if you are convicted of a motoring offence.

You may be banned from driving if you acquire 12 or more penalty points within a 3-year period. Drivers acquiring 6 or more penalty points within 2 years of passing their driving test may be banned.

Every motoring offence has a particular endorsement code. This code is recorded on your driving record. Penalty points (on a scale of 1 to 11) are issued alongside an endorsement code. Some offences may also result in disqualification from driving.

Expired endorsements are removed automatically. If you are worried that this has not happened, you can check your driving record online.

Penalty points – when are they “spent”?

You may have heard about penalty points being “spent” but are perhaps not clear when this happens. Valid points are active on your driving licence. This means their number may increase if you commit another endorsable offence.

Penalty points remain valid for either 3 or 10 years, depending on the offence. The time runs from either the date of the offence or the date of commission, depending upon the offence. After this 3-year or 10-year period is up, the associated endorsement remains on your driving record for a further year. For example, an endorsement for reckless driving will remain on your driving record for 4 years from the date of the offence. However, an endorsement for drink driving will remain on your driving record for 11 years from the date of conviction. To complicate matters, endorsements may be treated as “spent” under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act before they expire and are removed from your driving record.

Employers, endorsements and DBS checks

A DBS check may reveal an endorsement at any time during a 4-year endorsement or during the first 5 years of an 11-year endorsement (or during the first 30 months if you are under 18). After 5 years has elapsed, the endorsement is treated as “spent” under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act – although, confusingly, it may still appear on an enhanced DBS check. In certain circumstances, however, the offence may be “filtered” and so will not appear.

What happens if my endorsement isn’t spent or my offence won’t be filtered?

This is a difficult situation. You may need to accept that a particular job isn’t right for you. Being honest with the potential employer from the outset and explaining the circumstances for which you received the endorsement can sometimes help, particularly if you can demonstrate many years of subsequent sensible and uneventful driving.