How does the demerit system work?

You accumulate demerit points for certain driving offences you commit. This means that when you first receive your licence you will have zero demerit points.

The amount of demerit points you can accumulate over a three year period depends on the type of licence you hold. The thresholds are as follows:

  • Unrestricted licence – 13 points
  • Professional drivers – 14 points
  • Provisional P2 licence – 7 points
  • Provisional P1 licence – 4 points
  • Learner licence – 4 points
  • Unrestricted licence with a good behaviour period – 2 points within the term of the good behaviour period.

Demerit points that are 40 months old are not counted for demerit point suspension purposes.

When does the three year period apply?

The three year period applies between the dates the offences were committed and ends on the day of the most recent offence that was committed.

What happens when you incur too many demerit points?

In the event that you have accumulated too many demerit points, the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) will issue you with either a Notice of Suspension or Refusal.

The period of suspension for unrestricted licence holders are as follows:

  • 13-15 demerit points: three months
  • 16-19 demerit points: four months
  • 20 or more points: five months

Individuals with a learner or provisional licence will be suspended for a period of 3 months.

The RMS has the ability to refuse to renew your licence if you have exceeded your demerit point threshold or have committed a serious speeding offence.

What options do I have if my licence is suspended?

If you have had your licence suspended you may apply for a 12 month good-behaviour period. However, if you are caught committing an offence that exceeds the 2 demerit threshold for the good behaviour period, your licence will be suspended for double the original suspension time. This option is not available to individuals on learner or provisional licences.

Another alternative is to appeal your suspension in the local court. However, this option does not guarantee a favourable outcome to everyone. Courts have the ability to increase the length of the suspension in some circumstances. If you are unsuccessful, the court will enforce the demerit points and a fine (which could be more than the original). The maximum fines range between $2,200–$3,740.

If you require any further information in relation to the above, contact the lawyers at The Quinn Group on (02) 9223 9166 or submit an online enquiry.