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This article was written by Michelle Makela - Legal Practice Director

Michelle has over 15 years experience in the legal industry, working across commercial litigation, criminal law, family law and estate planning.  Michelle has been involved in all practice areas of the firm and in her personal practice has had experience in litigation at all levels (state and federal industrial tribunals, the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, the Federal Court, Federal...

Demerit Points


A driver who has not committed any offences has no demerit points. When a driver commits an offence that carries demerit points, the points are added to their driving record. If a person incurs the threshold number of demerit points within a three-year period, their licence is suspended.

Demerit points accumulate in three-year periods but infringements are permanently recorded in a person’s driving history.

The demerit point thresholds are:

  • Unrestricted licence (Class C): 12 points.
  • Heavy vehicle licence: 12 points.
  • Public vehicle licence: 12 points.
  • Learner licence: 4 points.
  • Provisional licence: 4 points.
  • Probationary licence: 2 points.

Demerit points reset to zero upon upgrading from a learner licence to a provisional licence. However, demerit points do not reset to zero upon upgrading from a provisional licence to a full licence, or from a full licence to a higher class of licence.

Suspension and refusal periods

Reaching or exceeding the demerit points limit results in licence suspension or refusal. Access Canberra will send you a Notice of Suspension or Refusal. The notice will specify the date the suspension or refusal is to begin.

For unrestricted licence holders, the period of suspension depends on the number of points accumulated:

  • 12-15 points: 3 months.
  • 16-19 points: 4 months.
  • 20 or more points: 5 months.

For both provisional categories of licence and for learner drivers, the suspension period is 3 months.

Can I appeal against a suspension or refusal?

There are no licence appeals as such, but you can elect not to pay the ticket for the offence that would result in a suspension and instead take the matter to court. If the court dismisses the case because you are not guilty or if the court deals with you under Section 17 of the Crimes (Sentencing) Act 2005 (a non-conviction order), you will not incur any points and therefore avoid a suspension of your licence.

If you require legal advice or representation in a driving matter of in any other legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal. 

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