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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 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.
  • 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. Transport for NSW 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:

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

A person holding a full driver licence in New South Wales who exceeds their demerit points can usually elect to hold 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 but there is a right of appeal for P1 and P2 licence holders on the grounds of demerit points. You can opt to 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 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 Section 10 For The Offence?

If you elect to take the matter to court, you may be given a “section 10”. This refers to section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act that enables a court that finds you guilty of a traffic offence to discharge you without recording a conviction. You will not incur demerit points. For many people this means they will not face a licence suspension.

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

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