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Exceptional Hardship

Exceptional Hardship Hearings apply only to one type of driving disqualification: the “totting up” ban.  If a driver gets 12 points or more on his or her DLVA record (as shown on the DVLA-issued driving licence) then the court is obliged to disqualify that person under the “totting up” procedures (section 35 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988). The driver will be given a 6-month ban the first time he is totted up”.  Thereafter, for a second totting ban within three years, he will receive a 12-month driving disqualification.EHH at Dumfries JP Court  

If a person would suffer exceptional hardship, then the court can refrain from imposing the totting up ban. In these cases, the court sets down a hearing, called an Exceptional Hardship Hearing, to consider the merits of the case.  It is hard to establish Exceptional Hardship in Scottish courts: the test is high (and indeed much higher than in English courts).

To calculate how many penalty points exist on your licence, don’t simply add them all together. The court considers only the relevant or “live” points in relation to a particular offence. To count the “live” penalty points, start by identifying the date of the offence which you are charged with. Go back three years from this date, counting up all the points within this three year period. That is your “live” total. If you are on 6 penalty points or above, you might be at risk of a totting-up ban.

Some of our Exceptional Hardship clients have been kind enough to comment on our service

“I would like to thank Joe from Scottish Driving Law . Without Joe I would have been banned from driving our outcome was more than we dared to hope for.  Joe has saved us from severe hardship.  This man is amazing and I would fully recommend.  Joe thank you .”

– Eddie Coates, Dumfries JP Court, March 2022

“Words cannot speak highly enough of the service Joseph provided. When I thought all hope was gone of keeping my licence Joe reasurred me that it wasn’t a lost cause and very professionally talked me through the options open to me. After agreeing to engage his services, Joe made himself available at all times and advised me well. The outcome was better than I hoped, I retained my licence despite having 9 penalty points when going to court and the fine was less than expected. I cannot recommend Joe highly enough.”

Alan Macleod, Dumfries JP Court, October 2021

“I would just like to say a massive thank you to Joe from Scottish Driving Law. He managed to get the court to return with the minimum 3 points and and allow me to keep driving.   Direct, professional and covered every single possibility making sure we were prepared for everything and that’s definitely what made the difference. This is the only firm I would trust to do so. Amazing service and an amazing life changing result. Thank you”

Kevin Mullin, Kilmarnock JP Court, July 2021


“I cannot thank Joe enough for his professionalism and knowledge of Scottish Driving Law, which enabled a very successful, and unexpected, result with my case. His guidance and help throughout the proceedings was excellent, and I am certain, that without it, the outcome would have been very different. I would recommend Joe to anyone who has the misfortune of being charged with a driving offence in Scotland.”

Richard Sharic, Dumfries JP Court


“If you require a lawyer to represent you on a Motoring Offence I would not hesitate to recommend Joe MacPherson. I had 12 points on my license and was in danger of being banned. I was required to appear in the Scottish Court and needed to try and win a Hardship Case given that my family & business would suffer greatly.  I came across Joe MacPherson  who proved to be a very thorough, searching, professional.  The Court found in my favour which was due in no small measure to Joe MacPherson`s professionalism and experience.  I would have no reservation in recommending this Barrister. – Joe, thank you so much for the assistance, my life would have been turned upside down.” 

A J Henry, Dumfries JP Court

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