Good Behaviour Licences in NSW - Avoiding Suspension

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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...

Good Behaviour Licence


Transport for NSW administers driver licences in New South Wales. The agency has the power to issue, cancel and suspend licences. A licence will be suspended by the agency if a driver exceeds their demerit point limits. A person holding a full driver licence in NSW who exceeds their demerit points can usually elect to hold 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.

Do I Have To Go To Court To Get A Good Behaviour Licence?

No. A Good Behaviour Licence is given at the discretion of Transport for NSW and is obtained from the agency. The agency does not offer such a licence to a Provisional or International licence holder or to a driver who has committed a criminal offence such as Drink DrivingDriving While Suspended or Negligent Driving Occasioning Grievous Bodily Harm or Death.

An application for a Good Behaviour Licence is made to Transport for NSW.

When a full licence holder exceeds 13 demerit points (14 demerit points in the case of a professional driver) they are sent a Notice of Suspension. The notice contains information about how to elect to hold a Good Behaviour Licence. The election can be made online or at your local Transport for NSW branch. A driver must make an election 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 the 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

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 Transport for NSW.

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 for 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. Please contact Armstrong Legal.

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