How demerit points work
If you haven't committed any offences, you have zero demerit points. If you commit an offence that carries demerit points, the points are added to your driving record.
Licence suspension or refusal
Different licence types have different limits for demerit points. If you commit enough demerit point offences within a 3 year period that you reach or go over the limit for your licence type, your licence will be suspended, or we will refuse to renew it. If this happens, we will send you a Notice of Suspension or Refusal.
The 3 year period is calculated between the dates the offences were committed. It ends on the day your most recent offence was committed.
Your licence may also be suspended if you commit an excessive speed offence.
A Notice of Suspension or Refusal specifies the date the licence suspension or refusal begins. The imposition of a licence suspension or refusal period relies on Roads and Maritime serving a Notice.
Demerit point limits
The limits are:
- Unrestricted licence: 13 points
- Professional drivers: 14 points. See Professional drivers for more information
- 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.
For unrestricted licence holders, the period of suspension depends on the number of points you accumulate:
- 13 to 15 points: 3 month suspension
- 16 to 19 points: 4 month suspension
- 20 or more points: 5 month suspension
For learner, P1 and P2 licence holders, the suspension period is 3 months.
Refusal of a licence
Roads and Maritime may refuse to renew your licence if you have exceeded your demerit points threshold, or you have committed a serious speeding offence. The periods that a licence may be refused are the same as those that apply for suspensions. Roads and Maritime will issue you with a Notice of Refusal in this situation.
Formal refusal is only applied and a refusal notice given when you attend a registry or service centre and apply for a licence or licence renewal.
Choosing the 'good behaviour' option
If you have an unrestricted licence and you receive a Notice of Suspension because you've reached or gone over your demerit points limit, you can choose to apply for a 12 month good behaviour period instead of serving the suspension.
The good behaviour option allows you to keep driving, but under strict conditions: if you receive 2 or more demerit points while you're on a good behaviour period, your licence will be suspended for double your original suspension time.
The good behaviour option is not available to learner, P1 or P2 licence holders, or if you're already serving a good behaviour period.
How to choose the good behaviour option
If you choose the good behaviour election, you must apply for it before your suspension period begins.
If you don't, then the suspension period will be enforced. The relevant legislation does not give Roads and Maritime Services the discretion to reissue the suspension notice with a new date or to change a suspension to good behaviour after the suspension period has begun.
You can apply for the good behaviour period:
How long do demerit points stay on your record?
Demerit points are not deleted. They stay on your driving record along with the offences they relate to.
Over time however, demerit points 'age'. Points that are more than 40 months old are not counted when calculating whether you've reached the demerit points limit.
Check how many demerit points you have
You can check your demerit points balance online. As a security measure and to protect your personal information, you will need to set up an online account.
The online system only shows offences that are 40 months old or less, because these are the offences that may be counted towards a licence suspension.
You cannot request details of other people's demerit points balance, driving record or personal details.
Request your driving record
Your driving record is a history of offences recorded against your licence, and shows all offences and demerit points, regardless of how old they are.
A fee is payable.
You can request 2 types of driving record:
- Online driving record, which cannot be used for legal proceedings
- Certified driving record, which can be used for legal proceedings.
You can request a driving record online. As a security measure and to protect your personal information, you will need to create online account.
You cannot obtain details of other people's demerit points balance, driving record or personal details.
Alternatively, you can request your driving record:
- By phoning 13 22 13
- In person at a registry or service centre.
There is a right of appeal against the suspension or refusal of a learner or provisional licence on the grounds of demerit points.
There is no right of appeal for unrestricted licence holders.
Demerit point offences heard in court
If the court rules that a person is not guilty of a demerit point offence, it is the end of the matter. There are no fines to pay or demerit points to be recorded.
If a court finds a person guilty of the offence and convicts the person, the court usually orders a fine. In this case the offence will be recorded on the offender’s traffic record and Roads and Maritime must apply the relevant number of demerit points.
If a court finds a person guilty of the offence and dismisses the offence under Section 10(1) of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999, the demerit points related to the offence will not be recorded. This applies for court rulings made on and after 31 January 2011.