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Points on your driving licence!

Points on your driving licence

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The authorities in charge of administering the central vehicle register in Germany are based in Flensburg. This is where the colloquial term “points in Flensburg” comes from. It is used to describe the process of receiving points on your driving licence after being found guilty of a driving offence.
In Germany, drivers start with a clean driving licence. Points are accumulated for driving offences. A driver who receives 18 points or more will have their driving licence revoked.

The following driving offences and circumstances can lead to an entry being made in the register:
• driving offence fines of more than €40 (excluding administrative fees) served by fixed penalty notice or handed down in a legally binding judgment
• Convictions which lead to a driving ban order
• All legally binding judgments in criminal matters involving traffic offences
• All measures concerning the issuing, revocation and reissuing of driving licences
• Measures concerning probationary driving licences
• Participation in driving seminars (deduction of points)

Expiration

Entries in the register are normally effective for two years. In some cases this increases to five and even ten years.

The period of duration begins on the day the fixed penalty notice becomes legally binding or the day on which all appeal rights are exhausted.

If a second offence is committed while points are on a driver’s licence, those points will remain on the licence and will not be deleted. The date the new driving offence was committed is decisive and not the date on which the relevant legal or administrative decision became legally effective.

Driving seminars

If a driver takes part in a driving seminar before they receive 9 points on their driving licence, four points are deducted. If the driver already has between 9 and 13 points, 2 points are deducted. If the driver already has between 14 and 17 points, two points may be deducted if they undertake traffic psychology counselling.

Drivers may participate in a driving seminar once every five years.

Once a driver has reached 14 points, participation in a driving seminar is obligatory.

If you are at risk of receiving points on your driving licence, call our team of specialist German lawyers on +49 (0) 221 / 951 563 0 for in-depth advice as to the next steps to take.

Planned changes to the points system

From 2014 the points system in Germany will be completely re-designed. The system should become more transparent. In addition, serious driving offences will be pursued more vigorously.

Whereas under the current system, driving licences are revoked once 18 points are received, under the new system this will reduce to 8 points.

There is still no consensus on how the “old” points, i.e. points which are already on driving licences, will be transferred to the new system. The most likely scenario is that the old points will be consolidated. This means that 1-3 points will become 1 point, 4-5 will become 2 and so on.

In practice, the change means that drivers should already be trying to avoid points receiving points on their licence. While 4-5 points currently seem harmless, as 18 is the threshold for losing a driving licence, it seems somewhat more critical under the new system where a driver with 2 points only needs eight points in total before losing their licence.

With this in mind and in order to avoid the long-term serious consequences of an accumulation of points, it is important to scrutinise and challenge every proposed entry in the Flensburg register.

The only good news to come from the proposed new system is that existing points and new points will no longer be linked. This means that if a new driving offence is committed, while points are already on a driving licence, the existing points will expire as usual.

For more advice on traffic law, call our team of German lawyers on +49 (0) 221 / 951 563 0.


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Christian Solmecke is a partner at the law firm WILDE BEUGER SOLMECKE. He is the author of numerous legal publications in the area of internet and IT law. He is also an associate lecturer for social media law at the Cologne University of Applied Sciences.

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