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In this jurisdiction, the oversight of the national demerit point system falls under the responsibility of the Transport for NSW (TfNSW). This system is designed by the government department to promote safe and responsible driving by implementing a point-based structure that carries associated financial penalties.

For drivers in New South Wales, the demerit point count begins at zero. However, if a driver commits a sufficient number of traffic-related violations within a three-year period, they can accumulate demerit points that exceed the predetermined threshold. This accumulation triggers an automatic license suspension or a period during which license renewal is prohibited. Distinct thresholds for demerit points apply based on the type of license held. Regular unrestricted license holders reach their maximum limit at 13 points, while those possessing a professional driver's license reach their limit at 14 points. A provisional P2 driver faces consequences at 7 points, whereas P1 drivers and learners have a limit of 4 points.

When a license suspension or renewal denial is enacted, TfNSW is obligated to issue an official notice to the driver. Additionally, the three-year period for demerit point accumulation is calculated from the dates of the committed offences. Consequently, the most recent violation marks the conclusion of the 36-month timeframe.

Frequently Asked Questions

Click on the options below to learn the answers to frequently asked questions about Demerit Points Suspension.

The potential duration of license suspension varies based on the accumulation of demerit points. For those holding unrestricted licenses:

Your demerit point limit depends on the type of licence you have:

  • Unrestricted licence – 13 points
  • Professional drivers – 14 points
  • Provisional P2 licence – 7 points
  • Provisional P1 licence – 4 points
  • Learner licence – 4 points
  • Unrestricted licence during a good behaviour period launch – 2 points.

Learners and provisional license holders face a standard 3-month suspension period.
The TfNSW also holds the authority to deny license renewal when a driver exceeds their point threshold or commits a serious speeding offence. The duration of the renewal refusal aligns with the periods for demerit-based license suspensions.

Provisional licence holders who exceed their demerit point limit twice must retake the Driver Knowledge Test.

For provisional P2 licensed drivers facing suspension for a high-risk driving offence, an additional 6 months are added to their P2 license period, alongside the standard 24 months. Furthermore, an extra 6-month term is added each time a P2 driver is suspended while holding that license type.

Yes, it is possible to contest a license suspension in certain circumstances. If you believe that the suspension of your driver’s license is unjust or based on incorrect information, you have the right to appeal and present your case. Here’s how the process generally works:

1. Review and Gather Information: Carefully review the reasons for your license suspension as provided by Transport for NSW (TfNSW). Gather any relevant documents, evidence, or information that can support your case.
2. Contact TfNSW: If you believe there has been an error or if you have valid reasons to contest the suspension, contact TfNSW. They can provide you with more information about the specific grounds for your suspension and the process to follow.
3. Lodge an Appeal: In many cases, you can lodge an appeal against the suspension. This usually involves submitting a formal appeal application along with any supporting documents. The appeal process may vary depending on your jurisdiction. An appeal can be elected to be heard at a Local Court.

Alternatively, unrestricted drivers in New South Wales (NSW) who exceed their demerit point limit and are on the verge of license suspension may have the opportunity to avoid suspension through a 12-month good behavior period. To explore this option, drivers can submit an online application before the scheduled suspension date.
If the application is successful, the impending license suspension will be revoked. During this 12-month period, the driver can continue to operate their vehicle, provided they do not accumulate 2 or more demerit points within that time frame.
It’s important to note that if a driver does incur 2 or more demerit points during the good behavior period, an automatic license suspension will be imposed. The duration of this suspension will be twice as long as the initial intended suspension period.
This option offers drivers a chance to maintain their driving privileges by demonstrating responsible and safe driving behavior. However, it requires a commitment to avoiding demerit points for the specified period. Seeking advice from legal professionals or relevant authorities can aid in making an informed decision and navigating the process successfully.

Certain traffic violations carry additional demerit points when committed within designated school zones, which are areas around schools marked as 40 km/h zones. These school zones are operational on all days except weekends and public holidays.

Moreover, specific periods during the year are designated as double demerit point periods. These typically align with public holidays, such as extended weekends, Christmas, New Year’s, and Easter.

During these designated periods, double demerit points are applied from midnight on the specified start date until midnight on the concluding day. Drivers will incur double demerits for offences related to speeding, seatbelts, motorcycle helmets, and mobile phone usage. It is essential for drivers to exercise increased caution and adhere to road rules during these times to avoid the heightened penalties associated with double demerits.

Driving a vehicle during a period of license suspension constitutes an offence under section 54 of the Road Transport Act 2013 (NSW). This section explicitly prohibits driving or applying for a license while disqualified, suspended, or canceled.

If an individual is found guilty of this offence and it’s their first significant traffic violation within a five-year period, they may face a maximum penalty of a $3,300 fine and/or a prison term of up to 6 months. However, for a second or subsequent offence, the maximum penalty escalates to a $5,500 fine and/or imprisonment for up to 12 months.

Should you be in a situation where you need to challenge an alleged driving offence or have a court appearance related to driving while your license is under suspension, seeking timely assistance from an experienced traffic lawyer is strongly recommended. Their expertise can be invaluable in navigating the legal complexities and advocating for your best possible outcome.

Being convicted of driving while your license is under suspension can lead to severe penalties. These consequences may include imprisonment and a further disqualification from driving. It’s crucial to understand and adhere to your license suspension period to avoid these potential repercussions.

A serious speeding offence is defined by:

  • driving more than 45km/h above the speed limit
  • driving more than 30km/h but not more than 45km/h above the speed limit
  • driving with a licence disqualification or suspension and exceeding the speed limit by more than 30km/h.

For serious speeding offences, you may have your licence suspended or disqualified for a period of time. NSW Police can issue a licence suspension at the roadside if you are caught speeding by more than 45km/h over the speed limit. Police also have the right to impound your vehicle or confiscate your vehicle’s number plates.

These offences carry demerit points that will be added to your record. If you reach or go over your demerit point limit, an additional suspension period may apply. This additional suspension would be added on top of the suspension you receive for the speeding offence.

If you have a P2 license and are suspended due to unsafe driving conduct, an extra 6 months will be added to your P2 license duration.

For instance, if a person holding a P2 license receives a suspension due to unsafe driving, they will be required to hold their P2 license for the typical 24-month span plus an additional 6 months. Only after completing this extended timeframe will they meet the criteria to seek a full license.

Moreover, for every subsequent suspension incurred, an additional 6-month extension will be added to the P2 license period, underscoring the significance of maintaining cautious and responsible driving behavior.

If your learner or provisional license is suspended due to reaching the demerit point limit, you have the option to challenge the suspension.

To initiate an appeal, you must do so within 28 days of receiving a notice of suspension or refusal. It’s important to note that the legal assumption is that you’ve received the notice four days after it has been posted. Additionally, you have the alternative of challenging the suspension in court if you choose to do so.

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