How the Irish Penalty Points System works
The Law governing penalty points is the Road Traffic Act 2002.
A penalty point is essentially a formal reprimand by the Gardaí endorsed on your driving licence record that shows you are guilty of a specific driving offence. Penalty points apply to both learner permits and full Irish driving licences.
Under the Irish Penalty Points system a driver accumulating 12 points within a 3-year period will automatically lose their driving licence for 6 months. For more information visit www.penaltypoints.ie. The main features of this system include:
- A driver caught speeding will have two penalty points endorsed on their driving licence and a fine of €80. This fine increases to €120 if not paid within 28 days.
- A driver may challenge the speeding violation in Court. However, if found guilty of the Offence, four penalty points will be endorsed on their licence and they will be subject to a Maximum fine of €800 for a first offence.
- All drivers must carry their Driving Licence.
- Since May 2009 penalty points have been in place for a number of NCT related offences.
- Since the 3rd August 2012 there are 48 road traffic offences that attract penalty points and fixed charge notices. These include: driving with no insurance, careless driving, driving with no seatbelt, speeding, driving while using a mobile phone and failure to obey traffic lights.
- Fixed charges offences will not attract penalty points. Instead, a fixed charge notice setting out the fine payable, will issue to the driver. The offences attracting fixed charges since august 2012 involve; the requirements to use child restraints, seatbelt wearing for bus drivers and vehicle weights.
- Driving without insurance is generally punishable by a fine of up to €2,500, disqualification of one year or more for a first offence and two years or more for a second offence, and, at the discretion of the court, a term of imprisonment not exceeding six months.
- In the case of a first offence of driving without insurance, the court may decide in special cases not to impose a period of disqualification or to impose a period of disqualification of less than a year. Where the court decides not to impose a disqualification, drivers convicted of a first offence of driving without insurance will incur 5 penalty points on their licence record in addition to any other penalty imposed by the court.
- Drivers will be liable for penalty points if they do not wear their seatbelt or if they allow a person under 17 years of age to travel unrestrained in a vehicle.
- Drivers will receive 4 penalty points if found guilty in a court of a seatbelt offence and a fine of up to €800. If you opt to pay the fixed charge of €60 within 28 days of the issue of the fixed charge notice from the Gardai, 2 points will be endorsed on your license record.
- Points remain on the licence record for a period of 3 years and an accumulation of 12 points at any time within the 3 years will lead to an automatic disqualification for 6 months.
- The amount of penalty points imposed depends on the severity of the offence.
- Gardaí enforce speeding regulations through traffic patrols, speed cameras and speed radar and video surveillance under the GATSO system. This system automatically detects vehicle speeds and registration numbers.
- If a driver is caught speeding the Gardai will send a notice of the offence to the registered owner of the vehicle. The notice of the fine and penalty points will contain a space for the owner to say who was driving the car at the time of the offence. If the relevant driver's name and licence number is not included, or it is left blank, the penalty points will be endorsed against the registered owner.
- A number of motor insurance companies require their policyholders to declare all traffic convictions. Penalty points are included in these declarations.
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