Demerit Points

A driver who has not committed any offences has zero demerit points. When you commit an offence that carries demerit points, the points are added to your record. If you incur the threshold number of demerit points within a three-year period, a licence suspension or refusal is applied.

The demerit points thresholds are as follows:

  • Professional drivers – 14 points.
  • Unrestricted licence – 13 points.
  • Provisional P2 licence – 7 points.
  • Provisional P1 licence – 4 points.
  • Learner licence – 4 points (from 17 April 2018).
  • Unrestricted licence with a good behaviour period – 2 points within the term of the good behaviour period.

Suspension And Refusal Periods

Reaching or exceeding the demerit points limit results in licence suspension or refusal. The Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) will send you a Notice of Suspension or Refusal. The notice will specify the date the suspension or refusal is to begin. The imposition of a licence suspension or refusal period relies on the RMS serving a Notice.

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

  • 13 to 15 points – three (3) months.
  • 16 to 19 points – four (4) months.
  • 20 or more points – five (5) months.
  • For provisional and learner licence holders, the suspension period is three (3) months.

A person holding a full drivers licence in New South Wales who exceeds their demerit points can usually elect to go on a Good Behaviour Licence to avoid being suspended from driving.

Can I Appeal Against The Suspension Or Refusal?

There is no right of appeal against the suspension or refusal of an unrestricted licence (There is a right of appeal for P1 and P2 licence holders – click here to read more) on the grounds of demerit points. You can, however, not pay the ticket for the offence that would result in a suspension and elect to 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 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999, you will not lose any points and therefore avoid a suspension of your licence.

Will I Get Demerit Points If A Get A Seciton 10 For The Offence?

If you elect to have a traffic offence that carries demerit points taken to court, you may be given a section 10.

The term “section 10” refers to section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999. It enables a court that finds you guilty of a traffic offence to discharge you without recording a conviction. Because there is no conviction, there is no criminal record and no loss of licence.

If you get a section 10, you will not get any demerit points. For many people this means they will not face a licence suspension.

How To Avoid Demerit Points And Save Your Licence

If your licence hangs in the balance because of a driving offence, and you want to appeal, talk to one of our traffic lawyers today about your chance of getting a section 10.

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


In NSW, traffic offences are treated seriously. Therefore, it is important to get competent legal advice as early as possible, whether you have received a penalty notice, had your licence suspended or been charged with a serious offence. Our lawyers are highly experienced and understand the difficulties you face without a licence. We can guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.


Armstrong Legal
Social Rating
Based on 281 reviews
Legal Hotline.
Open 7am - Midnight, 7 Days
Call 1300 038 223