Good Behaviour Licence
The Roads and Maritime Service (RMS) administers driver licences in New South Wales. The RMS has the power to issue driver licences, cancel and suspend them. A common example is that driver licences will be suspended by the RMS if a driver exceeds their demerit point limits.
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.
It is a criminal offence to Drive While Suspended with the maximum penalties including jail sentences and further licence disqualifications. It is a matter which the courts take seriously.
Do I Have To Go To Court To Get A Good Behaviour Licence?
No. The Good Behaviour Licence is a policy implemented at the discretion of the RMS and is to be obtained from the RMS.
The RMS does not offer Good Behaviour Licences to Provisional or International licence holders. The RMS cannot offer Good Behaviour Licences for criminal offences such as Drink Driving offences, Driving While Suspended or Negligent Driving Occasioning Grievous Bodily Harm or Death.
How Do I Get A Good Behaviour Licence?
An application for a Good Behaviour Licence is to be made to the RMS.
When a full licence holder exceeds 13 demerit points (14 demerit points in the case of a professional driver) they are sent a letter from the RMS. This letter is a Notice of Suspension. The Notice of Suspension contains information about how to elect to go on a Good Behaviour Licence. The election can be made online or at your local RMS branch.
A driver must elect to go on a Good Behaviour Licence prior to the start date of their suspension period. An election cannot be made after the suspension has started.
Conditions Of A Good Behaviour Licence
The conditions of a Good Behaviour Licence are simple – don’t accrue two or more demerit points during the one year period of your Good Behaviour Licence.
What Happens If I Breach My Good Behaviour Licence?
If you breach your Good Behaviour Licence, for example by committing a mobile phone offence, speeding offence or red light camera offence, you will be suspended from driving for twice the original suspension period.
The original suspension period and breach suspension period are calculated by the number of demerit points accrued. We have outlined these below:
|Demerit Points Accrued||Original Suspension||Suspension if Good Behaviour Licence Breached|
|13 to 15 points||3 months||6 months|
|16 to 19 points||4 months||8 months|
|20+ points||5 months||20 months|
Is There Anything Else I Can Do To Avoid A Suspension?
The only way to avoid being suspended if you exceed your demerit points (or breach your Good Behaviour Licence) is by making a court election on the relevant traffic infringement(s). A court election means that the traffic infringement will be dealt with by the court, rather than the RMS.
In court, you will need to elect whether you plead guilty or not guilty. If you avoid a conviction (either by being found not guilty of the offence or being granted a section 10 non-conviction) then no demerit points will be accrued for the traffic infringement and your demerit point limit or Good Behaviour Licence won’t be breached.
There are consequences of making a court election including the potential for increased fines and the recording of traffic infringements on your criminal record. Before you make a court election you should seek legal advice.
WHERE TO NEXT?
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.