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How long are penalty points valid?

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Penalty points remain valid for three years. (Application may be made to the DVLA for points to be removed after four years.) 

If a licence holder receives 12 points within a three-year period, they are liable for disqualification. 

A person who appears to be so liable (for example, nine points already on their licence at the time of a further offence) can't be offered the fixed penalty procedure.