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Home Blog Demerit Points Limits in NSW

Demerit Points Limits in NSW

Driving responsibly on roads is not only beneficial to the driver, their passengers and goods but protects other road users and municipalities. The demerit point scheme is a nationwide program that assigns demerit points to holders of a driver's license for a range of driving offences.

A driver getting demerit points for a driving offence does not preclude them also receiving financial, license penalties, and so on. The demerit point program provides positive incentives for all drivers to handle their vehicles with the utmost responsibility. When you accumulate a certain demerit point depending on the license type, the driver may; have their license seized, be fined or even be convicted or imprisoned by a court.

If they are convicted or imprisoned, they will have a criminal record against their national criminal history check.

Demerit point limits for the license types

The Demerit Point system is administered by the NSW Roads and Maritime Services (RMS). And it allocates points per related offences to the driver's license records. Far from the popular belief that "points” are deducted from the person's driver's license, it adds up to a limit determined by their license type.

Here are the different license types, and limits for the Demerits point limit.

What are the suspension periods for the License holder at the Demerit point Limit?

The different license types also incur various suspension periods and penalties depending on their provisions.

Appealing a Demerit Point suspension

If you receive a suspension due to your Demerit point suspension reaching the prescribed limit, you can appeal to your local court against your suspension. However, an unrestricted license holder who has a cumulative demerit point of 13 cannot appeal against their suspension.

For holders of an unrestricted driver’s license, the only option available for them are;

  1. Complete their suspension program;
  2. A suspended driver can only complete their suspension by not driving for the period outlined by the RMS. There is always a limit set in the letter sent to the driver once they exceed their Demerit point limit. On completion of the suspension, the person/driver must contact the RMS to begin the process of having their suspension lifted.

    If the RMS consents to the suspension lifting, the demerit point “counter” resets to zero.

  3. Apply for a Good behaviour License
  4. A driver who doesn't wish to wait out their suspension period can apply for a "Good behaviour" license. However, the application must be made before the commencement of the suspension advised in the letter from the RMS.

    If granted, the driver can continue to drive within this revised 12 months Suspension period/Good behaviour license is enforced. However, should they accumulate 2 or more points within this period, they will get double the original suspension period imposed.

  5. Applying for the Professional Driver Status
  6. A holder of an unrestricted driver's license who accumulates 13 demerit points may be considered for Professional driver status. However, they must be either a driver that transports goods or an accredited taxi, bus or hire a car that drives to earn their living.

    If their application is successful, they will get a threshold of 14 points instead of 13 in 3 years.

    Here, these are the three courses of action you can take if your driver's license gets suspended as an unrestricted Driver license holder.

Provisional (P-1 and P-2) and learner License Holders

What can an appeal to court do for you?

When you appeal against your suspension, you can have your appeal;

Continue with suspension sustained by the court either immediately or at a later date.

The court may consider factors like;

Upon consideration, the person will have their suspension term reduced. And the demerit points reset on completion

The court upholds the appeal, and the suspension period is cancelled. However, the demerit points will not be cleared and remain the same. Further demerit points incurred will result in a license suspension until the time the penalty lapses.

All Demerit points reset after a “traffic infraction free-period of 3 years” from the offence.

Wrapping Up

Drivers should know that most demerit points related to license suspensions that lead to a court order and conviction will be recorded in their police check in NSW.

If you want to know what criminal offences (traffic/others) are recorded against you, applicants have the capability to apply for their own criminal record checks online via services like ANCC, or they can approach the criminal records section of their state or territory police force to get a criminal record check.

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