how the driving demerit points system works

In NSW, demerit points are designed to encourage drivers to stick to speed limits and obey all the road rules. KELLI ROBINSON from RMB Lawyers explains how the system works:

When you commit an offence while driving, you may incur demerit points on your driving record as well as be issued a fine. If you reach the maximum demerit points for your licence type, your licence will be suspended for a period of time depending on the type of licence and demerit points accumulated.

Notably, demerit points can be accrued anywhere within Australia so if you commit an offence outside of NSW, demerit points may still be applied to your licence.

How many demerit points do I have?

  • Unrestricted licence – 13 points
  • Professional drivers – 14 points
  • Provisional P2 licence – 7 points
  • Provisional P1 licence – 4 points
  • Learner licence – 4 points

Demerit points stay active on your licence for three years from the date of the offence. The NSW Government is currently trialling a ‘Demerit Point Return Scheme’ to reward safe drivers. From 17 January 2023 – 17 January 2024, motorists with at least one demerit point will have one demerit point removed from their driving record if they remain offence free for the 12-month period.

How long will my licence be suspended for if I reach the maximum demerit points?

  • unrestricted licence – 3-month suspension – if you accumulate 13-15 points
    – 4-month suspension – if you accumulate 16-19 points
    – 5-month suspension – if you accumulate 20 or more points
  • Professional drivers – 3-month suspension – if you accumulate 14-15 points
    – 4-month suspension – if you accumulate 16-19 points
    – 5-month suspension – if you accumulate 20 or more points
  • Provisional P2 licence – 3-month suspension
  • Provisional P1 licence – 3-month suspension
  • Learner licence – 3-month suspension

What are my options if I get a notice saying my licence will be suspended?

1. Accept the suspension

2. Apply for a Good Behaviour Period
A good behaviour period will allow you to keep your licence, however if you get two or more demerit points during the following 12 months, your licence will be suspended for double the original suspension period.

The good behaviour period scheme only applies to drivers with an unrestricted licence and if your suspension letter says you are eligible. You can apply for a good behaviour period via the Service NSW website and must do so at least two days before your suspension begins. After applying for a good behaviour period, you will be required to take a Driver Knowledge Test and then the good behaviour period will start once you have passed the test.

3. Appeal a fine to avoid incurring the demerit point(s)
You can apply to have the matter heard and decided in Court. We recommend that you seek legal advice prior to appealing a fine as the likelihood of having the fine overturned in Court is low.  In order to apply to have a fine heard and decided in court you will need to fill out a form from the Service NSW website prior to the due date listed on the fine notice.

For further information contact us.

Scroll to Top