How Long do I Have to Declare Points to My Insurance Company?

Find affordable car insurance for drivers with convictions and points by answering below.

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Janine Marsh
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Janine Marsh

Financial Expert

My name’s Janine, and I’m a mum of two who’s always been passionate about trying to cut down spending costs. I am now sharing as much financial knowledge as I possibly can to help your money go that little bit further.

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Updated 24 August 2023
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Declare Points to My Insurance Company

How long do you have to declare points for insurance?

Scores of internet surfers have asked this question to their favourite search engines. It could be interpreted in one of two ways…

It might be asking for how long do penalty points need to be declared to insurance, i.e. when do you not have to declare them anymore?

Or it could be asking how long do you get before you have to tell insurance companies about newly endorsed penalty points, i.e. do you have to tell them straight away?

I’ve decided to cover all bases and answer both questions below, including lots of other related questions that usually crop up. 

How to find the cheapest insurance with a conviction

If you’ve got a conviction or points, getting insurance through a standard provider could be more expensive. 

You might find cheaper deals through specialist insurers.

I’ve partnered with Quotezone who can help you find the best insurance specifically for convicted drivers with points.

Fill out the simple form below to find great quotes for convicted drivers today. 

Find the cheapest insurance for drivers with a conviction

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What are penalty points?

Penalty points can be endorsed to your driving record when you’re found guilty of a driving conviction. If you receive 12 or more penalty points within any three-year period, you will receive a driving ban. 

The points stay on your licence for four or eleven years depending on the offence. But, as I will discuss, this isn’t the same length of time until the driving conviction becomes “spent”.

Penalty points and driving bans aren’t the only repercussions of motoring convictions. Depending on the offence, you can also be given:

  1. A fine
  2. Community service
  3. Prison sentence

How to checkpoints on your driving licence

You can check your driving licence record online to see how many penalty points you have. To do this, you’ll need your driving licence number, driving licence postcode and your National Insurance (NI) number. 

You can also get details on your driving record by calling the DVLA. 

Do penalty points on your licence affect insurance?

Yes, having unspent penalty points on your driving record can increase the cost of insurance premiums. Generally, the more penalty points you have, the more your premiums will be increased. 

The reason for this is that insurers consider drivers with penalty points as more likely to be involved in an incident and need to make a claim. To offset the risk they take on by insuring vehicles driven by convicted drivers, they must charge more. 

As a result, you might need to consider the high-risk car insurance market to find the cheapest policies. 

Don’t get ripped off by insurance companies

Getting affordable car insurance with a conviction or points can feel impossible, especially if you’re using standard comparison websites. 

Luckily, there are some specialist insurers out there… you just need to know where to find them!

I’ve partnered with Quotezone to provide access to some of the best specialist convicted drivers’ insurance deals available.


In partnership with QuoteZone

Do I have to declare penalty points after 3 years?

Yes, driving convictions and penalty points that occurred within the last three years will still be considered unspent and you’ll need to declare them to your insurer. 

How long do you have to declare points for insurance?

You must declare all driving convictions and penalty points that occurred within the last five years. Your penalty points are considered unspent until five years have passed, at which point they become “spent convictions”. 

A related question is whether you have to disclose penalty points of named drivers, just like this forum user asks:

How long do you have to declare points for insurance


The answer is yes. The unspent convictions and penalty points of all drivers named on the insurance policy must be disclosed. 

What will happen when I declare a spent driving conviction to my insurer?

You should not be quoted higher insurance premiums as a result of disclosing spent convictions and spent penalty points. 

Insurance companies are allowed to ask about these. And they often do, sometimes asking for details as far back as 10 years. But they shouldn’t use the information to increase your insurance quote. 

How long do you have to tell insurance about speeding points?

Penalty points that were endorsed for speeding offences follow the same rules as other endorsed penalty points. Points when you’re caught speeding only have to be disclosed until they’re spent, i.e. after five years

Is it illegal to not declare points?

Yes, as per the Road Traffic Act 1998, it’s illegal to withhold information from insurance companies. So you’re legally obliged to declare any unspent points on your licence.

Do you have to tell insurance about points straight away?

You must tell the insurance company about unspent convictions and points at the time of application and renewal. 

But do you also have to tell them during the policy when new points are endorsed to your licence? This has stirred some confusing debate online. 

The answer really depends on the terms and conditions of the policy you agreed to. It’s important to follow the terms or your insurance policy could be invalid. If in doubt, give them a call!

Some insurers will even try to claw back the difference between the premium payments you made and what you should have paid if you told them about new convictions. 

You’ll always need to inform your insurer if you’ve got new penalty points that result in a  driving ban. After a ban, you might need to search the disqualified driver insurance market for the cheapest insurance deals. 

Do you need to declare penalty points for temporary car insurance? 

Yes, you’ll be committing an offence by not telling insurance companies about unspent penalty points, even if it’s a short-term insurance policy. 

Can car insurance companies find out if you are lying?

It’s highly likely that a car insurance company can find out if you lied.

They can check your driving record with your permission. But it’s likely that you granted them this permission when you accepted a policy. 

Therefore, they might end up checking your driving record after you took out the policy. 

What are the consequences of not declaring points?

The consequences of not declaring points when applying to renew insurance or take out a new policy are:

  1. The insurance won’t be valid, so you’ll be driving an uninsured vehicle
  2. Driving without valid insurance could result in financial losses if you need to make a claim
  3. Named drivers will also not be insured
  4. Insurance companies might reject you for another policy
  5. Insurance providers might try and claw back part of the premiums you weren’t paying

The last potential consequence can seem quite harsh, especially considering the insurance provider wouldn’t have paid out if you did need to make a claim. But it does happen! 

What happens if you forgot to declare points on insurance?

Whether you intentionally forgot to disclose penalty points or made an honest mistake, the consequences are the same. 

The main consequence is that your insurance policy won’t be valid for all named drivers, which puts you at risk of a serious financial loss if you’re involved in a road incident. 

Can you pay to remove points from your driving licence in the UK?

It’s not possible to pay to have penalty points removed from your driving licence. Points are automatically removed when the time comes around, so you don’t have to do anything. 

But if you were caught exceeding the statutory speed limit and you meet strict criteria, you might be offered the chance to attend a speed awareness course and avoid having three penalty points added to your licence. 

One of the eligibility criteria is that this is your first speeding conviction in the last three years. 

The speed awareness course has an admission fee, so it shouldn’t be used for financial gain. It can only really be used to educate yourself on the dangers of speeding and to avoid penalty points. 

Affordable Convicted Driver Insurance

To help you avoid some of the ludicrously expensive packages out there and actually find something reasonable I’ve partnered with Quotezone.

They bring together some of the best specialist deals for convicted drivers to make your search easier. 

Try it below.


In partnership with QuoteZone

Want to know more about cheap convicted car insurance?

All isn’t lost if you have penalty points on your licence. It’s still possible to find cheap car insurance as a convicted driver. 

I’ve discussed some of the techniques you could copy to hopefully shave money off the quotes you receive. Head to my convicted driver insurance page for the details!

Or if you have another question, why not ask me directly? It could be made into an anonymous blog that helps other readers!

The authors
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My name’s Janine, and I’m a mum of two who’s always been passionate about trying to cut down spending costs. I am now sharing as much financial knowledge as I possibly can to help your money go that little bit further.
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